News

NextGEM project partners during the Kick-off meeting in Crete on July 2022

ICMAB participates in the new NextGEM European project to investigate new generation electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure and possible health effects

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The 48-month EU-funded NextGEM project started on 1 July 2022 and counts with 7.56 M€. One of the objectives of the project is to ensure EU citizens’ healthy living and a safe working environment when employing existing and future electromagnetic fields (EMF)-based telecommunication technologies

Press Release, New Projects, Breaking News, Press Review

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Submolecular Resolution Imaging of P3HT:PCBM Nanostructured Films by Atomic Force Microscopy: Implications for Organic Solar Cells

Título : Submolecular Resolution Imaging of P3HT:PCBM Nanostructured Films by Atomic Force Microscopy: Implications for Organic Solar Cells
Autores: Letizia Liirò-Peluso, James Wrigley, David B. Amabilino*, and Peter H. Beton*
Citation and DOI:
ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2022, XXXX, XXX, XXX-XXX
Publication Date:June 17, 2022
DOI https://doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.2c01399
PlumX: Submolecular Resolution Imaging of P3HT:PCBM Nanostructured Films by Atomic Force Microscopy: Implications for Organic Solar Cells
The efficiency of organic bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells depends greatly on both the bulk and surface structure of the nanostructured bicontinuous interpenetrating network of materials, known as the active layer. The morphology of the top layer of a coated film is often resolved at the scale of a few nanometers, but fine details of the domains and the order within them are more difficult to identify. Here, we report a high-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) investigation of various stoichiometries of the well-studied poly(3-hexylthiophene):[6,6]-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PCBM) active layer mixture.

Molecular

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Quatsomes Formulated with l-Prolinol-Derived Surfactants as Antibacterial Nanocarriers of (+)-Usnic Acid with Antioxidant Activity

Título : Quatsomes Formulated with l-Prolinol-Derived Surfactants as Antibacterial Nanocarriers of (+)-Usnic Acid with Antioxidant Activity
Autores: Sara Battista, Mariana Köber, Pierangelo Bellio, Giuseppe Celenza, Luciano Galantini, Guillem Vargas-Nadal, Lorenza Fagnani, Jaume Veciana, Nora Ventosa*, and Luisa Giansanti*
Citation and DOI:
ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2022, 5, 5, 6140–6148
Publication Date:May 9, 2022
DOI https://doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.1c04365
PlumX: Quatsomes Formulated with l-Prolinol-Derived Surfactants as Antibacterial Nanocarriers of (+)-Usnic Acid with Antioxidant Activity
The efficacy of the treatment of bacterial infection is seriously reduced because of antibiotic resistance; thus, therapeutic solutions against drug-resistant microbes are necessary. Nanoparticle-based solutions are particularly promising for meeting this challenge because they can offer intrinsic antimicrobial activity and sustained drug release at the target site. Herein, we present a newly developed nanovesicle system of the quatsome family, composed of l-prolinol-derived surfactants and cholesterol, which has noticeable antibacterial activity even on Gram-negative strains, demonstrating great potential for the treatment of bacterial infections.

Biomaterials

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Highly Aligned Bacterial Nanocellulose Films Obtained During Static Biosynthesis in a Reproducible and Straightforward Approach

Título : Highly Aligned Bacterial Nanocellulose Films Obtained During Static Biosynthesis in a Reproducible and Straightforward Approach
Autores: Nerea Murugarren, Soledad Roig-Sanchez, Irene Antón-Sales, Nanthilde Malandain, Kai Xu, Eduardo Solano, Juan Sebastian Reparaz, Anna Laromaine
Citation and DOI: Adv. Sci. 2022, 2201947. 
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202201947
PlumX: Highly Aligned Bacterial Nanocellulose Films Obtained During Static Biosynthesis in a Reproducible and Straightforward Approach
Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) is usually produced as randomly-organized highly pure cellulose nanofibers films. Its high water-holding capacity, porosity, mechanical strength, and biocompatibility make it unique. Ordered structures are found in nature and the properties appearing upon aligning polymers fibers inspire everyone to achieve highly aligned BNC (A-BNC) films. This work takes advantage of natural bacteria biosynthesis in a reproducible and straightforward approach. Bacteria confined and statically incubated biosynthesized BNC nanofibers in a single direction without entanglement.

Biomaterials

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Oscillatory patterns in redox gradient materials through wireless bipolar electrochemistry. The dynamic wave-like case of copper bipolar oxidation

Título : Oscillatory patterns in redox gradient materials through wireless bipolar electrochemistry. The dynamic wave-like case of copper bipolar oxidation
Autores: L. Fuentes-Rodríguez, E. Pujades, J. Fraxedas, A. Crespi, K. Xu, L. Abad and N. Casañ-Pastor *
Citation and DOI:
Mater. Chem. Front., 2022, Advance Article
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/D2QM00482H
PlumX: Oscillatory patterns in redox gradient materials through wireless bipolar electrochemistry. The dynamic wave-like case of copper bipolar oxidation
Bipolar electrochemistry allows the development of processes in a wireless manner, with reactions occurring at the induced anodes and cathodes of an immersed conducting material in the electrolyte. As a result, a gradient oxidation state may appear along the main axis field on the surface or bulk of the material depending on the type of reaction available at each induced potential. Redox intercalation gradients have been observed, metal anodization, or deposition, and also reactions at the electrolyte in the nearby environment of the poles induced.

Energy

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Open PhD research position in nanocomposite materials for energy harvesting at ICMAB

Deadline: 2022-10-01

The candidate will work with Pablo Guardia, researcher at the Nanoparticles & Nanocomposites (N&N) group, an interdisciplinary group mainly focused in the rational synthesis of nanoparticles and nanocomposites and the study of their structural-functional properties incluing those related to the nano/bio interfaces. 

Closed Jobs

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MnTa2N4: A Ternary Nitride Spinel with a Strong Magnetic Frustration

Título : MnTa2N4: A Ternary Nitride Spinel with a Strong Magnetic Frustration
Autores: Rafael Trócoli, Carlos Frontera, Judith Oró-Solé, Clemens Ritter, Pere Alemany, Enric Canadell, M. Rosa Palacín, Josep Fontcuberta, and Amparo Fuertes
Citation and DOI:
Chem. Mater. 2022, 34, 13, 6098–6107
Publication Date:June 24, 2022
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.2c01240
PlumX: MnTa2N4: A Ternary Nitride Spinel with a Strong Magnetic Frustration
Magnetic frustration results from competing magnetic interactions and leads to unusual ground states, ranging from non-collinear magnetic orders to spin liquids (SLs), opening the path to new physics and emerging properties. We report the engineered magnetic interaction design and synthesis of the new ternary nitride MnTa2N4 with a normal spinel structure, where the magnetic cations Mn2+ occupy exclusively the tetrahedral sites forming a diamond lattice.

Oxides

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Optimizing vortex pinning in YBa2Cu3O7-x superconducting films up to high magnetic fields

Título : Optimizing vortex pinning in YBa2Cu3O7-x superconducting films up to high magnetic fields
Autores: Ferran Vallès, Anna Palau, Dmytro Abraimov, Jan Jaroszynski, Anca-Monia Constantinescu, Bernat Mundet, Xavier Obradors, David Larbalestier & Teresa Puig
Citation and DOI: Commun Mater 3, 45 (2022)
https://doi.org/10.1038/s43246-022-00266-y
PlumX: Optimizing vortex pinning in YBa2Cu3O7-x superconducting films up to high magnetic fields
The magnetic flux pinning capabilities of YBa2Cu3O7-x (YBCO) coated conductors vary strongly across different regions of the magnetic field–temperature phase diagram and with the orientation of the magnetic field θ. Here, we determine the optimal pinning landscape for a given region of the phase diagram by investigating the critical current density Jc(H,θ,T) in the 5–77 K temperature range, from self-field to high magnetic fields of 35 T.

Superconductors

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One-step double network hydrogels of photocurable monomers and bacterial cellulose fibers

Título : One-step double network hydrogels of photocurable monomers and bacterial cellulose fibers
Autores: Soledad Roig-Sanchez, Doron Kam, Nanthilde Malandain, Ela Sachyani-Keneth, Oded Shoseyov, Shlomo Magdassi, Anna Laromaine, Anna Roig
Citation and DOI: Carbohydrate Polymers, Volume 294, 2022, 119778
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2022.119778
PlumX: One-step double network hydrogels of photocurable monomers and bacterial cellulose fibers
Soft-tissue replacements are challenging due to the stringent compliance requirements for the implanted materials in terms of biocompatibility, durability, high wear resistance, low friction, and water content. Acrylate hydrogels are worth considering as soft tissue implants as they can be photocurable and sustain customized shapes through 3D bioprinting. However, acrylate-based hydrogels present weak mechanical properties and significant dimensional changes when immersed in liquids.

Biomaterials

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Open PhD Position on novel geometries for organic solar cells and photodetectors at ICMAB

Deadline: 2022-09-09

The candidate will join the team led by Mariano Campoy-Quiles, which is a team of around 10-12 physicists, chemists, material scientists and engineers, whose mission is to contribute to find solutions that will help to provide clean energy to everybody. The team is part of the Nanostructured Materials for Optoelectronics and Energy Harvesting (NANOPTO) group, which is generally devoted to materials for energy and photonic applications.

Closed Jobs

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3D and 2D aromatic units behave like oil and water in the case of benzocarborane derivatives

Título : 3D and 2D aromatic units behave like oil and water in the case of benzocarborane derivatives
Autores: Jordi Poater, Clara Viñas, Miquel Solà & Francesc Teixidor
Citation and DOI: Nat Commun 13, 3844 (2022)
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-31267-7
PlumX: 3D and 2D aromatic units behave like oil and water in the case of benzocarborane derivatives
A large number of 2D/2D and 3D/3D aromatic fusions that keep their aromaticity in the fused compounds have been synthesized. In addition, we have previously proven the electronic relationship between the 3D aromaticity of boron hydrides and the 2D aromaticity of PAHs. Here we report the possible existence of 3D/2D aromatic fusions that retain the whole aromaticity of the two units. Our conclusion is that such a 3D/2D aromatic combination is not possible due to the ineffective overlap between the π-MOs of the planar species and the n + 1 molecular orbitals in the aromatic cage that deter an effective electronic delocalization between the two fused units.

Biomaterials

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Adara Babuji | ICMAB-CSIC

Congratulations Dr. Adara Babuji, new ICMAB graduate!

Date : 2022-07-26

Doctor Adara Babuji from the Physical Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces (SURFACES) Group at ICMAB-CSIC, defended her PhD thesis titled "Significance of molecular and crystal structure on organic semiconductor doping"on Tuesday, 26 July 2022 at ICMAB

PhD Congrats

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Organic semiconductor on glass support | ICMAB-CSIC

Efficient photovoltaics: more (light) with less (material)

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Absorb more light while using less material: This constitutes one of the most complicated milestones in the field of organic photovoltaics due to its practical implications: improving the efficiency of solar cells, (potentially) their stability and their semi-transparency to the human eye. Now, the achievement of such milestone seems to be closer than ever.

Press Release, Top Science Results, Press Review

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Compact fluidic electrochemical sensor platform for on-line monitoring of chemical oxygen demand in urban wastewater

Título : Compact fluidic electrochemical sensor platform for on-line monitoring of chemical oxygen demand in urban wastewater
Autores: Wenchao Duana, Murat Gunes, Antonio Baldi, Martí Gich, César Fernández-Sánchez
Citation and DOI: Chemical Engineering Journal, Volume 449, 1 December 2022, 137837
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2022.137837
PlumX: Compact fluidic electrochemical sensor platform for on-line monitoring of chemical oxygen demand in urban wastewater
The rapid expansion of urban areas has given rise to the generation of large amounts of wastewater that pose a growing pressure on the surrounding ecosystems. Effective water quality surveillance programs demand the implementation of in-field tests to monitor water safe discharge in the environment after being adequately treated. This paper describes the manufacturing and application of a miniaturized electrochemical sensor for measuring dissolved chemical oxygen demand (COD) in surface waters entering and exiting urban wastewater treatment plants (UWWTP).

Oxides

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Status and challenges for molecular solar thermal energy storage system based devices

Título : Status and challenges for molecular solar thermal energy storage system based devices
Autores: Zhihang Wang,* Helen Hölzel and Kasper Moth-Poulsen*
Citation and DOI: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2022, Advance Article
DOI https://doi.org/10.1039/D1CS00890K
PlumX: Status and challenges for molecular solar thermal energy storage system based devices
Molecular solar thermal energy storage systems (MOST) offer emission-free energy storage where solar power is stored via valence isomerization in molecular photoswitches. These photoswitchable molecules can later release the stored energy as heat on-demand. Such systems are emerging in recent years as a vibrant research field that is rapidly transitioning from basic research to applications.

Energy

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Rana Adel | ICMAB-CSIC

Congratulations Dr. Rana Adel, new ICMAB graduate!

Date : 2022-07-22

Doctor Rana Adel, from the Nanostructured Materials for Optoelectronics and Energy Harvesting (NANOPTO) Group at ICMAB-CSIC, defended her PhD thesis titled "Structure-processing-performance nexus of solution processed organic thin films" on Friday, 22 July 2022. Congrats!

PhD Congrats

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Pre- and post-assembly modifications of colloidal plasmonic arrays: the effect of size distribution, composition and annealing

Título : Pre- and post-assembly modifications of colloidal plasmonic arrays: the effect of size distribution, composition and annealing
Autores: Oriol Colomer-Ferrer, Serni Toda Cosi, Ylli Conti, David E. Medina-Quiroz, Leonardo Scarabelli* and Agustin Mihi
Citation and DOI: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2022, Advance Article
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/D2TC01148D
PlumX: Pre- and post-assembly modifications of colloidal plasmonic arrays: the effect of size distribution, composition and annealing
Templated self-assembly has emerged as one of the most versatile approaches for the fabrication of plasmonic ordered arrays composed of colloidal nanoparticle clusters, representing a valid alternative to top-down lithography for the scalable and low-cost production of this type of plasmonic substrates. Templated self-assembly can be applied to a variety of materials, solvents, and colloidal size, shape, and composition. A higher degree of control over the preparation of the colloids and their assembly would enable the rational modification of the internal composition and architecture of the repeating units of the array, targeting specific properties and applications. In this work, we explored both pre- and post-assembly modifications of the plasmonic system, analyzing their effect on the resulting collective optical properties.

Energy

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Julio Fraile, with the supervisors and members of the PhD Committee

Congratulations Dr. Julio Fraile, new ICMAB graduate!

Date : 2022-07-07

Doctor Julio Fraile, from the Solid State Chemistry (SSC) Group at ICMAB-CSIC, defended his PhD thesis titled "Utilización de técnicas de adsorción de gases para la caracterización textural de materiales micro y mesoporosos" on Tuesday, 5 July 2022. Congrats!

PhD Congrats

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X-ray Detectors With Ultrahigh Sensitivity Employing High Performance Transistors Based on a Fully Organic Small Molecule Semiconductor/Polymer Blend Active Layer

Título : X-ray Detectors With Ultrahigh Sensitivity Employing High Performance Transistors Based on a Fully Organic Small Molecule Semiconductor/Polymer Blend Active Layer
Autores: Adrián Tamayo, Ilaria Fratelli, Andrea Ciavatti, Carme Martínez-Domingo, Paolo Branchini, Elisabetta Colantoni, Stefania De Rosa, Luca Tortora, Adriano Contillo, Raul Santiago, Stefan T. Bromley, Beatrice Fraboni, Marta Mas-Torrent, Laura Basiricò
Citation and DOI: Adv. Electron. Mater. 2022, 2200293. 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/aelm.202200293
PlumX: X-ray Detectors With Ultrahigh Sensitivity Employing High Performance Transistors Based on a Fully Organic Small Molecule Semiconductor/Polymer Blend Active Layer
The implementation of organic semiconductor (OSC) materials in X-ray detectors provides exciting new opportunities for developing a new generation of biocompatible devices with high potential for the fabrication of sensitive and low-cost X-ray imaging systems. Here, the fabrication of high performance organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) based on blends of 1,4,8,11-tetramethyl-6,13-triethylsilylethynyl pentacene (TMTES) with polystyrene is reported. The films are printed employing a low cost and high-throughput deposition technique. The devices exhibit excellent electrical characteristics with a high mobility and low density of hole traps, which is ascribed to the favorable herringbone packing (different from most pentacene derivatives) and the vertical phase separation in the blend films.

Molecular

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Sergi Martín Rio with the PhD supervisors and evaluation committee

Congratulations Dr. Sergi Martín, new ICMAB graduate!

Date : 2022-07-05

Doctor Sergi Martín Rio, from the Advanced Characterization and Nanostructured Materials (ACNM) Group at ICMAB-CSIC, defended his PhD thesis titled "Complex Oxide Heterostructures for Spin Electronics" on Tuesday, 5 July 2022. Congrats!

PhD Congrats

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Bulk photovoltaic effect modulated by ferroelectric polarization back-switching

Título : Bulk photovoltaic effect modulated by ferroelectric polarization back-switching
Autores: Yunwei Sheng, Ignasi Fina, Marin Gospodinov, and Josep Fontcuberta
Citation and DOI: Appl. Phys. Lett. 120, 242901 (2022) 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0094837
PlumX: Bulk photovoltaic effect modulated by ferroelectric polarization back-switching
Short-circuit photocurrent due to bulk photovoltaic effect displays an oscillatory dependence on the polarization state of light. Here, we explore how the ferroelectric polarization direction in h-LuMnO3 crystals affects the oscillating short-circuit photocurrent. It is shown that after prepoling the crystal at saturation, at remanence, the direction and amplitude of photocurrent oscillations are no longer dictated by prepoling voltage but are largely modulated by polarization back-switching, here ruled by the imprint field.

Oxides

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Welcome Alejandro Cuesta at ICMAB!

Nombre y apellidos: Alejandro Cuesta
Hello! My name is Alejandro. I have recently finished the Master in Applied Materials Chemistry in UB. I will do my PhD in NanoCIM research group under the supervision of Gerard Tobias. The research deals with the chemistry of tubular 1D Van der Waals heterostructures.

In my free time I enjoy outdoor sports and tennis. I like discovering new music and going to the cinema. See you around!

Spain

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