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Nanostructured Functional Materials

Broad objectives:
Development of advanced materials with improved functionalities for solar cells, sensors, functional coatings,...
Specific objectives:
Development of materials to achieve more efficient low-cost solar cells
Specific advantages
Solid background in preparation techniques (plasma, wet chemical synthesis) of a wide range of nanostructured materials, some of which we have pioneered (solid dye thin films, nanoparticle multilayers), Pioneer works in the field of design and integration of photonic nanostructures in solar cells and sensors, Participation in or Coordination of large Spanish and European consortia with similar scientific and technological goals; Well-established links to industrial partners

Nanostructured multilayered architectures for the development of optofluidic responsive devices, smart labels, and advanced surface functionalization (NANOFLOW)



Research head: Angel Barranco Quero y Francisco Yubero Valencia
Period: 31-12-2016 / 31-12-2019
Financial source: Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI) y Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDRE)
Code: MAT2016-79866-R
Research group: Agustín R. González-Elipe, José Cotrino Bautista, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Fabián Frutos (US), Ana I. Borrás Martos, Alberto Palmero Acebedo, Victor Rico Gavira, Ricardo Molina (IQAC-CSIC), Fernando Lahoz (ULL), Xerman de la Fuente (ICMA-CSIC), Jesús Cuevas (US), M. Fe Laguna (UPM), Antonio Rodero (UCO), M. Carmen García (UCO)

Abstract[+]

NANOFlow is a multidisciplinary Project that aims the development of novel optofluidics sensing devices integrating advanced multifunctional nanostructured materials. The project is solidly grounded in the research group experience in the synthesis of nanoestructured functional thin films, advance surface treatments and development of planar photonic structures The main objective of the project is to combine and integrate the available synthetic and processing methodologies in the fabrication of optofluidic components capable of modifying their physical behavior when they are exposed to liquids. The integration of these optofluidic components together with accessory technologies based on new principles of photonic detection, large surface area microplasmas discharge as light sources or flexible substrates for the fabrication of sensing tags define an ambitious landscape of applications that will be explored in the project. Besides, the modeling of thin film growth in combination with advanced deposition diagnosis methodologies will be combined to adjust the thin film deposition processes to the desired functionalities.Therefore, NANOFlow aims to cover all the scientific-technological chain from the materials development to the final applications including advanced characterization, flexible synthetic routes, alternative low-cost and high throughput process (e.g. atmospheric plasma synthesis), device integration and testing of devices in real conditions.

The NANOFlow research activities will culminate in the development of three innovative devices, namely smart labels for sensing, traceability and anticounterfeiting applications (e.g. smart labels incorporated in food-packaging), a versatile optofluidic multisensing device and an optofluidic photocatalytic cleaning system that will integrate a large area microplasma source, liquid actuated UV/Visible optical switches and a photocatalytic nanostructured surface. All of these devices will operate under the basis of an optofluidic actuation and/or response and are designed to present clear potentialities for direct application in liquid sensing, manipulation and monitoring.

The NANOFlow research activities in the different work-packages and, particularly, the final devices are intended to have a direct impact in the Theme 2 (Seguridad and Calidad Alimentaria) of the “RETOS” defined in the call covering this project proposal.. Besides, some of the activities proposed, in particular the third device are also connected with the Theme 3 (Energía segura eficiente y limpia) of the call. It is very interesting to stress that these activities are of particular relevance in the geographical context of Andalucia where Agriculture,  Food production and Energy are three of the most relevant strategic sectors. 


Nanophosphor-based photonic materials for next generation light-emitting devices NANOPHOM



Research head: Gabriel S. Lozano Barbero
Period: 12-12-2016 / 31-03-2022
Financial source: European Commission STARTING GRANT
Code: H2020-ERC-STG/0259
Research group:

Abstract[+]

Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly light sources are an essential part of the global strategy to reduce the worldwide electricity consumption. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) emerge as a key alternative to conventional lighting, due to their high power-conversion efficiency, long lifetime, fast switching, robustness, and compact size. Nonetheless, their implementation in the consumer electronic industry is hampered by the limited control over brightness, colour quality and directionality of LED emission that conventional optical elements relying on geometrical optics provide.

This project exploits new ways of controlling the emission characteristics of nanophosphors, surpassing the limits imposed by conventional optics, through the use of nanophotonic concepts. The development of reliable and scalable nanophosphor-based photonic materials will allow ultimate spectral and angular control over the light emission properties, addressing the critical shortcomings of current LEDs. The new optical design of these devices will be based on multilayers, surface textures and nano-scatterers of controlled composition, size and shape, to attain large-area materials possessing photonic properties that will enable a precise management of the visible radiation.

Nanophom will significantly advance our comprehension of fundamental phenomena like the formation of photonic modes in complex optical media to which light can couple, as well as advancing the state of the art of high-efficiency solid-state lighting devices.


Super-IcePhobic Surfaces to Prevent Ice Formation on Aircraft



Research head: Agustín R. González-Elipe
Period: 01-02-2016 / 31-01-2019
Financial source: Union Europea
Code: H2020-TRANSPORT/0149
Research group:

Abstract[+]

The accretion of ice represents a severe problem for aircraft, as the presence of even a scarcely visible layer can severely limit the function of wings, propellers, windshields, antennas, vents, intakes and cowlings. The PHOBIC2ICE Project aims at developing technologies and predictive simulation tools for avoiding or mitigating this phenomenon.
The PHOBIC2ICE project, by applying an innovative approach to simulation and modelling, will enable the design and fabrication of icephobic surfaces with improved functionalities. Several types of polymeric, metallic and hybrid coatings using different deposition methods will be developed. Laser treated and anodized surfaces will be prepared. Consequently, the Project focuses on collecting fundamental knowledge of phenomena associated with icephobicity issues. This knowledge will give better understanding of the ice accretion process on different coatings and modified surfaces. Certified research infrastructure (ice wind tunnel) and flight tests planned will aid in developing comprehensive solutions to address ice formation issue and will raise the Project’s innovation level.
The proposed solution will be environment-friendly, will contribute to the reduction of energy consumption, and will help eliminate the need for frequent on-ground de-icing procedures. This in turn will contribute to the reduction of cost, pollution and flight delay.

http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/199478_en.html


A full plasma and vacuum integrated process for the synthesis of high efficiency planar and 1D conformal perovskite solar cells



Research head: Angel Barranco Quero
Period: 01-01-2016 / 31-12-2017
Financial source: Union Europea
Code: EU144338_01 Marie Curie Actions
Research group: Juan Ramón Sánchez Valencia

Abstract[+]

Photovoltaic or solar cells (SC) devices –that transform light into electricity- have been extensively studied in the last decades since they represent a promising way to exploit the sun energy. Currently, perovskite-based solar cells(SC) are receiving increasing attention due to their low cost and high efficiency. They are very promising as an alternative for the existing ones, but still need to advance to reach higher efficiency and durability and require synthesis methods compatible with the industrial production of CMOS devices at wafer scale. These recent SC are mostly fabricated via wet methods in planar architecture. Inherent to the nature of the wet approaches, usually appear several drawbacks as contaminations and chemical reactions on the interfaces that might result deterioration of the SC performance.
PlasmaPerovSol main objective is the fabrication of a complete perovskite solar cell device by a full plasma and vacuum integrated process carried out under the premises of the “one reactor concept”. Thus, the different components of the solar cell will be deposited sequentially within a vacuum reactor avoiding exposition of the materials and interfaces to air or solvents. The technology developed by the hosting group combine vacuum deposition assisted by plasma that permits the fabrication of conformal layers over a large variety of templates. This approach is also proposed here to fabricate conformal multilayers over 1D scaffold that will demonstrate the advantages of 1D-SC. Plasma and vacuum processes present as advantage the high purity and stoichiometric control on the deposition within an ample range of materials compositions. The synthesis approach is compatible with large scale industrial production and allows the fabrication of SC on processable and flexible substrates. At the same time, the low temperatures used make the approach compatible with current CMOS technology and by using masks permits their integration on preformed devices.

http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/196104_es.html

 


Purely organic and hybrid organic-inorganic spin valves on supported nanowires produced by advanced vacuum and plasma-assisted deposition techniques



Research head: Víctor López-Flores
Period: 01-10-2015 / 30-09-2017
Financial source: Junta de Andalucia
Code: TAPOST-234
Research group: Supervisor: Ana Borrás Martos. Cmponentes: Angel Barranco Quero, Francisco Aparicio, Juan Ramón Sánchez Valencia

Abstract[+]

The transition to organic electronics requires new devices on the nanometer scale composed only by organic materials, providing small, flexible, transparent and cheap devices. Among electronic devices, the spin valves have stood out for their rapid transfer from the experimental phase to the general public products, but a reliable organic spin valve nanometric device is yet to be developed.
The scientific objective of this project is to fill that gap. By using advanced, industrially scalable nanotechnology methods, we intend to produce a hybrid organic-inorganic and a fully organic spin valve in the form of a supported nanowire of ~200 nm width and several microns length, with a concentric spin valve stack. Three main fabrication techniques will be used: organic Physical Vapor Deposition (O-PVD), plasma-enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (PE-CVD) and remote plasma assisted vacuum deposition (RPAVD). Magnetoresistance measurements will be performed on single nanowires by conducting-probe atomic force microscopy (CP-AFM), and will give the definite measurement of quality of the samples produced.
This project will be developed within the Nanotechnology on Surfaces research group (NanoOnSurf), at the Institute of Materials Science of Seville (CSIC – University of Seville), located in the multidisciplinary CicCartuja research centre (Seville, Spain). State-of-the-art synthesis and characterisation techniques developed in the host research group will be the key for the success of this proposal..
This project is directly related with Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014-2015, chapter 5.i, action ICT 3 – 2014: Advanced Thin, Organic and Large Area Electronics (TOLAE) technologies, and thus is expected to have a strong impact in the future European electronic industry.


PhoLED – Photonic Nanostructures for Light-Emitting Devices



Research head: Hernán Míguez García
Period: 1-09-2015 / 31-08-2017
Financial source: Unión Europea
Code: EU144490_01 Marie Curie Actions
Research group: Dongling Geng

Abstract[+]

This project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 657434.
The PhoLED project seeks to largely surpass the optical performance of state-of-the-art light emitters devised for illumination applications and contribute to solve some of the main technical limitations that the current technology presents. This project aims at integrating novel optical nanostructures and emitters, such as colloidal quantum dots or nanophosphors, to yield the next generation of light-emitting devices in which full spectral and angular control over the emission properties will be possible. The approach focuses on the development of: i) new synthetic routes to achieve efficient nanophosphors, and ii) preparation and processing strategies, based on surface textures and colloidal scatterers, to attain large area optical nanostructures possessing photonic properties that will allow a precise control on the intensity, angular distribution and color quality of light emission. Results achieved within this project will provide significant advance both in the comprehension of fundamental phenomena as well as in the development of versatile solid-state lighting devices of optimized efficiency, aiming to overcome technical barriers and maximize performance. The project’s outcome is twofold: a substantial expansion of the preparation of optical nanostructures to control light-mater interaction, and the practical realization of nanostructured lightemitting devices with unprecedented properties.


Advanced optical materials for efficient optoelectronic devices



Research head: Hernán Míguez García / Manuel Ocaña Jurado
Period: 1-01-2015 / 31-12-2017
Financial source: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: MAT2014-54852-R
Research group: Ana Isabel Becerro Nieto, Nuria Núñez Alvarez, Mauricio E. Calvo Roggiani, Gabriel Lozano Barbero, Juan Francisco Galisteo López, Miguel Anaya Martin

Abstract[+]

The MODO project will focus on the development of optical materials to optimize the performance of optoelectronic devices such as solar cells or light emitting devices, thereby improving their energy conversion efficiency. The main objective of this proposal is to increase their performance by controlling light absorption and emission processes occurring in the materials composing these devices. This will be achieved through the design and integration of photonic nanostructures whose properties are also compatible with the manufacture and operation requirements of these systems, such as thermal, chemical and mechanical stability, durability, ease of processing and scale-up.


Synthesis and properties of luminescent nanoparticles for biomedical applications



Research head: Alberto Escudero Belmonte
Period: 01-10-2014 / 30-09-2016
Financial source: Junta de Andalucia
Code: TAPOST-234
Research group:

Abstract[+]

Luminescent nanoparticles are currently attracting wide research interest in Nanobiomedicine due to their applications, ranging from optical biolabels for imaging of tissues or intracellular structures to sensors to detect biological molecules, and as tracking devices. This project is focused on the design of new, cheaper, and environmentally friendly synthesis methods of uniform luminescent nanoparticles, such as rare earth doped fluorides, phosphates, molybdates, and vanadates. It also evaluates their biomedical applications, with especial attention to their sensing properties and their ability to detect tumour cells. This scientific work includes the characterization of the resulting materials, the optimization of their optical and magnetic properties, and the development of different functionalization processes. The final step of this research project deals with the study of the interaction of the functionalised nanoparticles with cells of different nature, and includes cytotoxicity studies, with special attention to the role played by the morphology and chemistry of the particles.


Integration of Photonic Nanostructures in Flexible Dye Solar Cells



Research head: Hernán Míguez García
Period: 1-07-2014 / 30-06-2016
Financial source: Unión Europea
Code: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IIF Marie Curie Actions
Research group: Yuelong Li

Abstract[+]

It is the main goal of this project to bring to the host institution and the European Research Area the knowledge and technology to prepare current record flexible dye sensitized photovoltaic devices, previously developed by the candidate in South Korea and then the USA, in order to be able to further improve them, while endowing them with semi-transparency, using stretchable and bendable optical materials. The candidate has demonstrated that several key materials and processes provide better
performance of bendable dye solar cells, i.e., enhanced efficiency and flexibility, by allowing the preparation of electrodes in which the electron diffusion length is longer and charge collection efficiency is consequently enhanced. However, highly efficient dye solar cells are opaque as a consequence of the particular diffuse scattering design employed to improve light absorption, which limits their application in building or automotive integrated photovoltaics. This proposal seeks to solve such drawback by
introducing photonic nanostructures in different configurations, yielding both light harvesting enhancement and preserving transparency, hence placing Europe at the forefront of research in this specific area within the field of renewable energy. This final goal will be attempted through different approaches, each one challenging from the materials science perspective. Preparation of such highly efficient and transparent devices will combine the flexible solar cell processing tools previously developed by the candidate with the versatile optical material preparation techniques pioneered by the host institution. More specifically, integration of novel porous flexible photonic structures into the light harvesting layer, use of flexible mirrors attached to the back of the counter-electrode, and designed distribution of scatterers will be employed to
reach the target.


Highly optimized unit for a sustainable enhanced solar system HOUSESS



Research head: Hernán Míguez García
Period: 03-02-2014 / 31-12-2017
Financial source: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: RTC-2014-2333-3 (Programa Retos)
Research group: Juan Francisco Galisteo López, José María Miranda Muñoz

Abstract[+]

The aim of the project is the design, development, prototyping and validation of a hybrid photovoltaic-thermosolar system that allows the storage and manageability of the generated solar energy. This integrated system will generate electricity at lower costs than standard thermosolar technology.

The hybrid system consists of a parabolic cylinder system and a low concentration photovoltaic solar receiver. Between these two components a dichroic filter is placed, which receives the reflected light from the parabolic cylinder primary mirror and allows the selective separation of the solar spectrum, letting pass a portion of the light to the photovoltaic receiver and reflecting the rest to the thermal tube receiver. Said dichroic filter sends to the photovoltaic receiver photons with wavelengths which are more efficiently absorbed by the solar cell. The thermal part of the system also shows the ability to controllably deliver power, allowing energy storage for its use in the most suitable moment of the day.


Dielectric Barrier Discharge plasma for the developing of industrial process at atmospheric pressure (DBD-Tech)



Research head: José Cotrino Bautista
Period: 30-01-2014 / 29-01-2017
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P12-FQM-2265 (Proyecto de Excelencia)
Research group: Francisco José García García, Jorge Gil Rostra, Richard M. Lambert, Manuel Macías Montero, Alberto Palmero Acebedo, Victor Rico Gavira

Abstract[+]

This research project aims first the study of different unknown basic aspects of the construction of the dielectric barrier discharge, better design conditions for: barrier electrodes, the design of the metallic electrodes and dielectrics and to know the best working conditions (size and operation frequency) for the plasma. One goal is to control the lateral functionalization of advanced materials and other objective, is the discovering of new plasma catalysis processes that can increase selectivity and the reduction of energy consumption by plasma chemical reactions in controlled industrial processes of high added value and/or impact. It is expected for both applications, a clear advance in optimization of the industrial process.


New multifunctional 1D hybrid nanostructures for selfpowered nanosystems



Research head: Ana Isabel Borrás Martos
Period: 1-01-2014 / 31-12-2016
Financial source: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: MAT2013-42900-P
Research group: José Cotrino Bautista, Ricardo Molina Mansilla, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Ana Isabel Borrás Martos, Angel Barranco Quero

Abstract[+]

HYBR(1)D is a multidisciplinary Project that aims the development of novel multifunctional nanostructured materials for applications as renewable energy devices, photonics and device miniaturization. The main objective of the project is the development of original synthetic strategies for nanostructured 1D materials like organic and inorganic nanowires and other hybrid hetero-structured systems. Special attention will be paid to the development of coaxial “core@shell/multi-shell” structures integrating organic, metallic and oxide nanostructured components. These materials will be synthesized using an innovative methodology compatible with processable substrates of different nature that will be fully scalable to industrial production. In addition, the project also included exploratory studies about self-supported composite membranes where the nanostructured 1D materials will be embedded.

A second project objective is to probe the functionality of the novel 1D nanostructures in different applications under the global strategy that we defined as development of “selfpowered nanosystems”. These applications are: energy power generation devices (solar cells and piezoelectric nanogenerators) and nanosensors. It is worthy to notice that although the materials under study are relatively diverse, from semiconducting inorganic nanotubes (TiO2, ZnO) to organic single-crystal nanowires (“small molecules”) or hybrid heterostructures, the synthetic vacuum methodologies are, in all the cases, very similar and easily adaptable. These methodologies are physical vapor deposition (organic molecules), plasma assisted vacuum deposition (organic molecules and inorganic oxides), metal dc-sputtering and oxygen plasma etching. All of them can be used sequentially or in combination and are integrated in the same reactors. The project PI and the Nanotechnology on Surface group from the ICMS-CSIC have a solid background in the use of plasma and vacuum technology for the study of functional thin films and devices that is being extended to the field of 1D supported nanostructures in the recent years. HYBR(1)D project intend to cover all the scientific-technological chain from the materials development to the final applications including advanced characterization, flexible synthetic routes, device integration and testing at laboratory scale.


Environmental and process monitoring with responsive devices integrating nanostructured thin films grown by innovative vacuum and plasma technologies



Research head: Agustín R. González-Elipe
Period: 01-01-2014 / 31-12-2017
Financial source: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: MAT2013-40852-R
Research group: José Cotrino Bautista, Ricardo Molina Mansilla, Victor Rico Gavira, Francisco Yubero Valencia, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Alberto Palmero Acebedo, Angel Barranco Quero, Fernando Lahoz Zamarro

Abstract[+]

This project aims at the development of a new generation of low dimensional responsive systems and sensors that integrate nanostructured layers with well-controlled electrical and optical properties which, prepared by innovative vacuum and plasma methods, present a tunable and high porosity and are able to actively interact with the environment. The basic principles of the oblique angle approach (OAD) during the physical vapor  deposition (PVD) of evaporated thin films will be extended to the fabrication of similar layers by plasma and magnetron sputtering techniques. Combination of these techniques along with other innovative plasma technologies, including atmospheric pressure plasma deposition or plasma-evaporation polymerization will be employed to achieve a strict control over the nanostructure and properties of  final films and complex systems . Supported metal and oxide  nanostructured thin films, stacked multilayers and hybrid and composite suported nanostructures will be prepared and thereafter characterized by advanced electron and proximity microscopies and other techniques. Process-control strategies will be implemented in order to understand the fundamental mechanisms governing the film structurations and to propose new synthetic routes scalable to industrial production so as to achieve tailored morphologies and properties for these porous thin film materials. Highly ordered and homogenous arrays of these nanostructures will be used  as ambient temperature gas and liquid sensors, microfluidic responsive devices and intelligent labelling tags. For these applications the supported porous thin films will be suitably functionalized with metal nanoparticles, grafted molecular chains or layers of other polymeric materials. They will be also stacked in the form of vertically ordered photonic structures. Innovative device integration approaches including the water removal of evaporated sacrificial layers of NaCl and their integration in the form of microdevices will be carried out to fabricate advanced sensors, microreactors  and responsive systems. Photonic, electrical and/or electrochemical principles of transduction will be implemented into the devices for detecting and/or fabricating  i) oxygen and chlorine in solutions, ii) glucose and organic matter in water  iii) gas and vapor sensors or iv)  inteligent labels. Specific applications are foressen for the control of the outside environment (air and waters), industrial and greenhouse locations, agroindustrial processes such as fermentation and the tracking and trazability of different kinds of goods and foods.

It is expected that the combination of scientific breakthroughs in thin film technology and new film engineering principles at the micro- and nano-scales will open new areas of research with a high impact in key enabling technologies such as photonics, nanotechnology, advanced materials and in other fields like plasma technology and microfluidics.


Microfluidic integrated sensors for the control of fermentation



Research head: Agustín R. González-Elipe
Period: 2-12-2013 / 31-12-2015
Financial source: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: RECUPERA2020 - 1.4.1
Research group: Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, José Cotrnio Bautista, Francisco Yubero Valencia, Alberto Palmero Acebedo, Angel Barranco Quero, Ana I. Borrás Martos, Victor J. Rico Gavira, Rafael Alvarez Molina, Pedro Angel Salazar Carballo

Abstract[+]

The objective of this Project is the development of new integrated and robust micro/nano- fluidic systems that enable the reliable incorporation of control tests, sensorization and rapid analysis of agrofood products, mainly liquids or soluble. The technology to be developed should be applied to final products, as well as during their different elaboration steps. IN particular, a niche of application that will be directly addressed in the project is the control of fermentation process with the development of new integrated fluidic transductors that permit the quantitative detection of glucose and/or other sugars by means of electrochemical and photonic developments integrated in microfluidic and similar devices.


New materials for advanced packaging, intelligent label-ing, anti-counterfeiting and monitoring of agricultural and livestock products



Research head: Angel Barranco Quero
Period: 02-12-2013 / 31-12-2015
Financial source: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: RECUPERA2020 - 1.4.2
Research group: Ana Isabel Borrás, Francisco Yubero, José Co-trino, Juan Pedro Espinós, Juan Ramón Sánchez Valencia, Francisco Javier Aparicio Rebollo

Abstract[+]

This Project intends the development of novel materials and processes for intelligent labeling of agricultural and livestock products to improve their traceability. The project is based on the development of active optical structures, laser processing strategies and the fabrication of practical testing prototypes.


Purification of air in greenhouses and food processing centers



Research head: José Cotrino Bautista
Period: 2-12-2013 / 31-12-2015
Financial source: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: RECUPERA2020 - 2.2.3
Research group: Ana María Gómez Ramírez, Antonio Méndez Montoro de Damas

Abstract[+]

This project is related with a technology to generate a cold plasma at atmospheric pressure with air flowing through a reactor. The specific objective of this activity is the development of a prototype air purification system for greenhouses, food processing centers, livestock enclosures, or other similar types of markets or enclosures where the concentration of gases harmful to the health of the workers can be very significant by the use of insecticides, fungicides, disinfectants or other compounds. The developed system should be able to purify the air in closed installations and where a large number of chemicals, mainly volatile organic compounds, accumulate in the air that is handled. The cold plasma reactor technology design follows the characteristics of packed-bed dielectric barrier discharge by using ferroelectric dielectric.


New materials for advanced packaging, intelligent labeling, anti-counterfeiting and monitoring of agricultural and livestock products



Research head: Angel Barranco Quero
Period: 01-12-2013 / 31-12-2015
Financial source: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: RECUPERA2020 - 1.4.2
Research group: Ana Isabel Borrás, Francisco Yubero, José Cotrino, Juan Pedro Espinós, Juan Ramón Sánchez Valencia, Francisco Javier Aparicio Rebollo

Abstract[+]

This Project intends the development of novel materials and processes for intelligent labeling of agricultural and livestock products to improve their traceability. The project is based on the development of active optical structures, laser processing strategies and the fabrication of practical testing prototypes.


Innovative SOFC Architecture based on Triode Operation



Research head: Agustín R. González-Elipe
Period: 01-09-2012 / 29-02-2016
Financial source: Unión Europea
Code: FCH-JU-2011-1
Research group: Francisco Yubero Valencia, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Angel Barranco Quero, Richard Lambert, Victor J. Rico, Ana Borrás Martos, José Cotrino, Jorge Gil, Pedro Castillero, Fran J. García, Alberto Palmero

Abstract[+]

The development of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) operating on hydrocarbon fuels (natural gas, biofuel,LPG) is the key to their short to medium term broad commercialization. The development of direct HC SOFCs still meets lot of challenges and problems arising from the fact that the anode materials operate under severe conditions leading to low activity towards reforming and oxidation reactions, fast deactivation due to carbon formation and instability due to the presence of sulphur compounds. Although research on these issues is intensive, no major technological breakthroughs have been so far with respect to robust operation, sufficient lifetime and competitive cost.

T-CELL proposes a novel electrochemical approach aiming at tackling these problems by a comprehensive effort to define, explore, characterize, develop and realize a radically new triode approach to SOFC technology means of an integrated approach based both on materials development and on the deployment of an innovative cell design that permits the effective control of electrocatalytic activity under steam or dry reforming conditions.
The novelty of the proposed work lies in the pioneering effort to apply Ni-modified materials electrodes of proven advanced tolerance, as anodic electrodes in SOFCs and in the exploitation of our novel triode SOFC concept which introduces a new controllable variable into fuel cell operation.
In order to provide a proof of concept of the stackability of triode cells, a triode SOFC stack consisting of at least 4 repeating units will be developed and its performance will be evaluated under methane and steam co-feed, in presence of a small concentration of sulphur compound.
 


Control of the Optical Emission and Absorption properties of Nanomaterials Integrated in Multifunctional Porous Photonic Structures



Research head: Hernán R. Míguez García
Period: 01-01-2012 / 31-12-2014
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: MAT2011-23593
Research group: Nuria Nuñez Alvarez, Mauricio Calvo Roggiani, Carmen López López, Sonia Rodríguez Liviano, Manuel Ocaña Jurado, Silvia Colodrero Pérez, José Raúl Castro Smirnov

Abstract[+]

In this project the modifications of both optical emission and absorption of nano-materials of different sort (rare earth doped nanoparticles, semiconductor quantum dots, metallic nanoparticles, and films of organic dyes of nanometer dimensions) that occur when they are embedded in different types of photonic structures will be investigated. Both fundamental and applied aspects of the subject will be analysed. Efforts will be mainly focused on materials of current technological interest for solar cells, sensors and light emitting devices. From the applied point of view, this project finds its motivation in the possibility that photonic structures offer of modifying absorption and emission processes in a controlled manner so that they can be inhibited or amplified depending on the specific goal pursued. Particularly, we seek to put into practice these concepts to generate new designs of more efficient solar cells, capable of harvesting a larger amount of the incident radiation, and in the development of films for sensing devices responsive to modifications of different kind, such as presence of targeted molecules, variations of ambient gas pressure, etc... Also, more efficient or controlled light extraction from light emitting devices is sought after. The development of small prototype devices to prove the novel concepts under research is also an objective of this grant proposal.
In its more fundamental aspect, our project aims at deepening our knowledge of the interaction between light and matter in systems in which there exists a strong dispersion and anisotropy of the dielectric constant, and in which it is possible to attain very low photon propagation speeds. For this analysis, we will employ different types of porous photonic structures, such as one-dimensional and three-dimensional photonic crystals, as well as disordered assemblies of particles, as hosts in which a wide range of organic and inorganic nanomaterials will be integrated in different configurations and whose absorption and emission will be experimentally and theoretically studied.
Although this project has a fundamental character due to the nature of the prepara-tion techniques and complex optical properties we seek to analyze, it is our aim to continue generating and transferring intellectual property based on the novel concepts, properties and designs which are the subject of our research.

 


Polymer-Inorganic Flexible Nanostructured Films for the Control of Light (POLIGHT)



Research head: Hernán R. Míguez García
Period: 01-01-2012 / 30-11-2017
Financial source: Unión Europea
Code: 307081
Research group:

Abstract[+]

The POLIGHT project will focus on the integration of a series of inorganic nanostruc-tured materials possessing photonic or combined photonic and plasmonic properties into polymeric films, providing a significant advance with respect to current state of the art in flexible photonics. These highly adaptable films could act either as passive UV-Vis-NIR selective frequency mirrors or filters, or as matrices for light absorbing or optically active species capable of tailoring their optical response. The goal of this project is two-fold. In one aspect, the aim is to fill a currently existing hole in the field of materials for radiation protection, which is the absence of highly flexible and adaptable films in which selected ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths can be sharply blocked or allowed to pass depending on the different foreseen applications. In another, the POLIGHT project seeks to go one step beyond in the integration of absorbing and emitting nanomaterials into simple flexible polymeric matrices by including hierarchically structured photonic lattices that provide fine tuning of the optical properties of these hybrid ensembles. This will be achieved by means of enhanced matter-radiation interactions that result from field localization effects at specific resonant modes. The opportunity arises as a result of the recent development of a series of robust inorganic photonic structures that present interconnected porous networks susceptible of hosting polymers and thus inheriting their mechanical properties.
 


Development of Nanostructured Ceramic Coatings and Scaffolds for Bone Regeneration (BIOCEREG)



Research head: María Aránzazu Díaz Cuenca
Period: 06-07-2011 / 05-06-2016
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: CTS-661
Research group: M. Lourdes Ramiro Gutiérrez, Sara Borrego González

Abstract[+]

The aim of this Project is to advance in the development of new biomaterials with im-proved bioactivity for their application in bone repair and regeneration. The goal is the prepa-ration of new coatings and scaffolds of ceramic materials using laser processing techniques from nanostructured ceramic particulates in the SiO2-CaO-P2O5 system which will be synthe-sised at the ICMS. The hypothesis is the compositional properties and the textural parameters of the particulates in combination with the laser source have potential for processing depositions with controlled macro-nanostructure. It is programmed to prepare two types of prototype pieces: i) Titanium metallic substrates with bioactive ceramic coatings and ii) monolith scaffolds of bioactive ceramic with controlled geometry. There are two milestones to highlight. The first one is the fabrication of prototype pieces (coatings and scaffolds) with reproducibility, homogeneity, micro-nanostructural features, and surface and mechanical properties requirements. A second milestone will be the evaluation of their in vitro an in vivo biological properties. The achievement of both mentioned milestones will lead to the final biomaterial prototype. Bone regeneration biologists and orthopaedic surgeons will study the bioactivity and biocompatibility of the coatings on titanium substrates provided by Synthes which is a leader Company in orthopaedic trauma devices for internal and external fixation and is included in the proposal as EPO. The application of the laser processing to the SiO2-CaO-P2O5 nanostructured ceramic materials is completely new and we believe that it could be optimised for obtaining coatings and reticulated scaffolds while keeping their nanostructural features. The Project integrates material scientist, laser engineers, biologists and orthopaedic surgeons. We believe that this multidisciplinary approach with work in the i) synthesis, processing and characterisation of materials, ii) regeneration biology and tissue engineering and iii) medical practise could achieve results with potential to be transferred to the industry to promote the orthopaedic products to improve Andalusian bone repair and regeneration therapies.


Sun and vision for the present thermal energy. SOLVENTA



Research head: Agustín R. González-Elipe
Period: 4-05-2011 / 31-12-2014
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: Proyecto INNPACTO - IPT-2011-1425-920000
Research group: Francisco Yubero Valencia, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Angel Barranco Quero, Victor J. Rico, Ana Borrás Martos, José Cotrino, Jorge Gil, Pedro Castillero, Fran J. García

Abstract[+]

This Project aims at the development of a series of equipment and devices to monitor the working conditions of solar thermal plants based on light concentration with cylindrical parabolic mirrors. The role of ICMSE in this project focusses on the application of plasma technology systems and the development of thin films able to determine the working conditions of these facilities.


Process-control in plasmas for the synthesis of nanostructured thin films (PLASMATER)



Research head: Alberto Palmero Acebedo
Period: 15-03-2011 / 14-03-2014
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P09-FQM-6900
Research group: José Cotrino Bautista, Ana Borrás Martos, Francisco Yubero Valencia, Rafael Alvarez Molina, Juan Carlos González González, Carmen López Santos

Abstract[+]

Project PLASMATER aims at developing new plasma-based procedures to control the nanostructure, porosity and morphology of deposited thin films, and optimize the material functionalities and applications. From an experimental point of view, plasma-assisted thin film deposition techniques make use of various quantities to define the deposition conditions, such as the electromagnetic power, pressure in the reactor, etc. These quantities controls the plasma properties, which at the same time conditions the growth mechanism of the films. The complexity of the relation between experimentally controllable quantities and growth processes has produced the existence of empirical relations between experimental conditions and final film structure and composition, whose justification from a fundamental point of view is unclear. In PLASMATER we propose to analyze three related aspects of the deposition of TiO2 and ZnO thin films assisted by plasmas: i) complete diagnosis of the plasma bulk and sheath in connection with the material microstructure, ii) functionality of the material, and iii) the de-velopment of predictive numerical codes that calculate the final film microstructure as a func-tion of experimentally controllable quantities. This last part is of relevance because to our knowledge, i) it is the first time in the literature the deposition is fully characterized from a fundamental point of view, ii) this knowledge can be applied to suggest modifications in the deposition reactor in order to enhance different structural properties of the films. In order to carry out the PLASMATER project, we aim at following at mixed theoretical and experimental strategy in order to interactively develop numerical codes of the thin film growth in multiple conditions. All the spatial scales involved in the description must be studied, from the plasma bulk itself (typically of few tens cm), the plasma sheath (below 1 mm), and the surface of the material (tens nm). Advanced diagnosis techniques will be employed to understand the plasma behavior and the film growth. Finally, PLASMATER will focus on the experimental conditions that lead to an optimized performance of the studied materials for advance applications in technology and industry.


Environmentally friendly processing of ceramics and glass (CERAMGLASS)



Research head: Xermán F. de la Fuente Leis
Period: 1-01-2011 / 31-12-2014
Financial source: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: LIFE11 ENV/ES/560
Research group: ICMS: Agustín R. González-Elipe, Victor J. Rico, Angel Barranco Quero, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Jorge Gil, Francisco Yubero Valencia

Abstract[+]

The general objective of the 'CERAMGLASS' project is to reduce the environment impact of thermal treatment of ceramics by the successful application of an innovative laser-furnace technology on planar ceramics and glass. The project plans to construct a pilot plant based on the innovative combination of a continuous furnace and a scanning laser. It aims at demonstrating a considerable reduction in energy consumption and the industrial scalability of the process.
The project primarily aims at showing that it is feasible to produce robust ceramic tile of only 4 mm thick. This would represent a 50% reduction in tile thickness, with consequent reduction in consumption of raw source materials. The project will adapt decoration compositions with more environmentally friendly materials by using the laser processing. Specifically it will adapt screen printing decorations to third-fire products with lustre and metallic effects and decoration inks for planar glass. The replacement of toxic starting materials will allow a minimisation of CO2 and other gas emissions, toxic residues and a reduction of the energy consumption of the process.

 


Functional porous thin films and 1D supported oxide nanostructures for the development of thin film microfluidics, photonic, valves, and microplasmas (POROUSFILMS)



Research head: Francisco Yubero Valencia
Period: 01-01-2011 / 31-12-2013
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: MAT2010-18447
Research group: Agustín R. González-Elipe, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Alberto Palmero Acebedo, Rafael Alvarez Molina, Juan Carlos González González, Victor J. Rico Gavira, Jorge Gil Rostra, Ana Isabel Borrás Martos, Lola González García, José Cotrino Bautista

Abstract[+]

Functional TiO2, ZnO, SiO2 and doped SnO2 in the form of porous thin films and other supported fiber-like nanostructures will be prepared by plasma deposition and evaporation at glancing angles (GLAD). Precise control of the nano and microstructure of the films and fibers will be attained by selecting appropriate GLAD deposition conditions and, in the case of plasma deposition, by adjusting the principal plasma parameters after modelling the plasma processes and sheath-related phenomena that control the development of the film/fibers nanostructure. The primary objective of the project is to successfully tailor the porosity and other key properties (optical, electrical conductivity, wetting behaviour etc.) of the synthetized materials to enable novel methods of fluid handling (liquids and gases) at the micro and, possibly, nanoscales so as to invent and develop applications in the fields of microfluidic and microplasmas. A further objective is the processing of these structures in both 2D (i.e., lithographic processsing) and 3D by use of laser-based techniques, multilayer stacking of different porous thin film structures and/or selected plasma deposition of hydrophobic patches of other materials such as polymers, silicones, etc. Microfluidic thin film-based devices controlled by light (i.e., photonic valves) will then be developed by employing appropriately designed TiO2 and ZnO porous structures. These materials become superhydrophilic when illuminated with light of <390 nm which will be used to selectively illuminate very small areas (channels, micrometer circuits, etc.) by either a suitable lamp or a laser. Light-controlled microfiltration is envisaged as another new application in this field, whereby preferential diffusion/filtration of polar liquids through the illuminated zones may be induced (i.e. valve open). Achieving prompt reversal of this process (i.e. valve closed) is another challenge that will be addressed by the project. A final, exploratory objective is the modelling, design and development of microplas-mas based on the most promising thin film porous structures developed during the earlier phases of the work. These prototype microplasma devices will consist of porous doped SnO2 thin film electrodes permeable to gases with porous insulator layers (SiO2) acting as separation barriers. Evaluation of the plasma characteristics of these prototype devices will be another distinct task undertaken by the project.


Plasma CVD synthesis of novel organic nanostructured materials integrated in planar devices for photonic sensing and security applications NANOPLASMA



Research head: Angel Barranco Quero
Period: 01-01-2011 / 31-12-2013
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Programa  FEDER Unión Europea
Code: MAT2010-21228
Research group: Ana Borrás Martos, Agustín R. González-Elipe, Carmen Ruiz, M. Carmen López-Santos

Abstract[+]

NANOPLASMA proposes the development of novel techniques based on plasma for the synthesis and processing of new organic functional materials. In contrast with the established plasma technology used in plasma enhanced CVD and plasma polymerization that implies the complete fragmentation of volatile precursor molecules, NANOPLASMA processes achieve the synthesis of new families of fluorescent thin films and supported 1D nanomaterials by controlling the chemistry and fragmentation degree at the boundaries of plasma discharge. The research focuses in the synthesis of organic matrices with a well controlled nanometric microstructure incorporating luminescent dye molecules (i.e. perylenes, rhodamines, phtalocyanines y porphirins) and 1D luminescent organic nanowires formed by similar molecules. The project also contemplates the development of methodologies based on the plas-ma etching and laser ablation for the production of 2D lithographic patterns of the lumines-cent thin films and nanostructures. The research in this line will be completed with basic stud-ies aiming the development of a “chemical patterning” process based on the plasma surface functionalization and chemical derivatization of self-assembled monolayers. Both the synthetic methodologies and the patterning strategies of NANOPLASMA are fully compatible with the present optoelectronic and silicon technologies and can be adapted to wafer scale integration for mass scale production. These materials and processes will be used for the fabrication of two types of proto-type devices: photonic gas sensors and luminescent microstructures for intelligent labelling applications. The gas sensing devices consist of a luminescence film and/or structure integrat-ed onto a 1D photonic crystal with a stacking defect designed and constructed to couple the luminescent signal of the sensor layer. The intelligent labelling devices are patterned litho-graphic structures made on single or multilayer structures of luminescence films with specific functionalities and environmental responses not achieved by any available technology.


Systems for the detection of explosives in publlic infrastructures



Research head: Angel Barranco Quero
Period: 1-09-2010 / 31-10-2011
Financial source: Ministerio de Industria (Contrato: ARQUIMEA)
Code: Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (Programa CENIT)
Research group: Francisco Javier Aparicio, Agustín R. González-Elipe, Ana Isabel Borrás Martos, Juan Pedro Espinós

Abstract[+]

The objective of the project is the development of thin films with adequate optical properties for their use as active elements in optical gas sensors capable of responding to the presence of gases and/or volatile products produced by the partial decomposition of explosives.


Development of bones regeneration membranes modified at nanometric scale (OSTEOMEM)



Research head: Agustín R. González-Elipe
Period: 03-02-2010 / 02-02-2013
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P09-CTS-5189 (Proyecto de Excelencia)
Research group: José Cotrino Bautista, Rafael Alvarez Molina, Carmen López Santos, Jorge Gil Rostra, Antonia Terriza Fernández

Abstract[+]

OSTEOMEM aims at developing disposable and biodegradable membranes for bone regeneration to be use in chirurgic oral and maxillofacial implants for the treatment of defects. During the healing of the bone defects, membranes must simultaneously preserve the formation of soft tissues and promote the filling of the hole by the new bone, so that, after the reabsorption of the membrane, the structure of tissues would be similar to that prior to the chirurgical intervention. To achieve that, the membranes should degrade within the body in a period of four-six months, thus avoiding the need of a second intervention required to remove non-biodegradable membranes. It is expected that the membranes developed in the project are comparable to that of animal membranes and avoid the problems associated with the use of these latter.


Flexible hybrid nanostructures for applications as ultraviolet, visible and near infrared filters



Research head: Hernán Míguez García
Period: 03-02-2010 / 03-02-2013
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: FQM6090
Research group: Mauricio Calvo Roggiani, Agustín Mihi Cervelló, Silvia Colodrero Pérez, Nuria Hidalgo Serrano, Gabriel Lozano Barbero, Olalla Sánchez Sobrado

Abstract[+]

This project aims at developing radiation filters and screens in the shape of films and capable of blocking or selecting ultraviolet (UV), visible (Vis) or near infrared (NIR) radiation within well-defined spectral ranges. Biocompatibility, flexibility and specific adhesive proper-ties will be sought after in order to make these films usable to protect all types of ill, wounded or burnt skin. The aim is to fill a currently existing hole in the field of skin phototherapy based on the healing properties of UV-Vis-NIR light, which is the absence of biocompatible patches in which selected ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths can be sharply blocked or allowed to pass depending on the needs of the patient. For clinical cases that so required, an integral approach to skin photo-healing will be taken, devising materials that allow therapeutic wavelengths to reach the skin while blocking harmful ones and providing the controlled topical release of substances that have a beneficial effect on the skin. This project is based on a new series of novel prototype materials that have recently been developed in the group headed by the applicant in the Institute of Materials Science of Seville.


Mesoporous materials (HA-SBA-15) functionalized with a collagen-targeted rhBMP-2 and their related collagen hybrid composites for bone tissue engineering



Research head: M. Aránzazu Díaz Cuenca
Period: 01-01-2010 / 31-12- 2012
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: BIO2009-13903-C02-02
Research group: M. Lourdes Ramiro Gutiérrez

Abstract[+]

A key component in tissue engineered materials for bone repair and regeneration is the scaffold that serves as a template for cell interactions and the formation on bone-extracellular matrix. This scaffold material also provides structural support to the newly formed tissue. Materials in the ternary system SiO2-CaO-P2O5 have demostrated excellent bioactivity for their use in orthopaedic repair and regeneration. The development of new synthesis routes which combine sol-gel chemistry and Block Copolymer (BCPs) self-assembly procedures have potential to be used as interesting methods to produce mesoporous organised SiO2-CaO-P2O5 materials with improved surface area and reactivity. Previous work carried out by the PI of this application has resulted in the synthesis of a biocompatible material (HA-SBA-15) consisting of calcium phosphate hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles growth within a mesoporous (nano-sized-pore-organised) silica SBA-15 structure. Among their biocompatibility, the high surface area and the ordered distribution of pores with very homogeneous size confers to this material very interesting properties for their application as a matrix material for the adsorption of therapeutic agents, drugs or growth factors with requires their application in a controlled and prolonged release. The bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have been widely used because their potent osteinductive properties and certain recombinant proteins BMP-2 and BMP-7 have been approved by the FDA for their use in orthopaedic surgery. Nevertheless, the use of these growth factors is not very extended due to the very high costs of these treatments and the fear to possible undesired side effects due to the use of high concentrations without any controlled delivery system. On the other hand, recent achievements of the team coordinator of this project application (Subproject 2) has produced and patented a recombinant BMP (rhBMP-2) with an additional decapeptidic collagen type I binding domain (CBD) which has shown that this fusion protein has advantages over native BMP-2, and that its combination with collagen may be better and safer alternative for bone repair. In this SubProject application we propose to work in new synthesis routes to produce a nanostructured composite material (HA-SBA-15) with variations in the textural and HA nanoparticle parameters to optimise improved collagen targeted BMP-2 protein adsorption capacities and delivery properties capacities and kinetics. A related objective will be to find and asses the experimental conditions and variables to incorporate successfully a collagen targeted BMP-2 protein to the nano-organised material. The study will cover the analysis of the biomolecule loading, desorption kinetics and final integrity. A second task of the proposed project will be the consolidation of the nano organised powder precursors in 3D ceramic-collagen hybrids composite scaffolds structures which fulfil requirements of biocompatibility, macroporosity and minimal mechanical stability for be using in the in the vivo experimental models which will be carried out as part of the working plan of the other SubProject (Subproyect 2). Work will be carried out to develop fabrication methods of the nanostructured materials into 3D scaffolds while retaining their nanostructural features. The integration of both the protein free HA-SBA-15 and also the fuctionalised collagen targeted BMP-2 material will be considered.


Polymeric and hybrid nanocomposite thin films for photonic and photovoltaic applications (NANOPHOTON)



Research head: Angel Barranco Quero
Period: 01-01-2010 / 02-02-2013
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P09-TEP-5283 (Proyecto de Excelencia)
Research group: Ana Borrás, Fabián Frutos, Lola González-García, Said Hamad, S. Lago, Alberto Palmero, Carmen Ruiz-Herrero, Juan R. Sánchez-Valencia, Johan Toudert

Abstract[+]

The Nanophoton project aims the development of a novel family of materials, struc-tures and device prototypes for application in solar energy, environmental sensing and space communication technology. The starting point of the project is the research in the photonic properties of hybrid nanometric films. These functional thin films will be processed and inte-grated in optical structures. The project encompasses fundamental molecular simulation studies, the development of novel nanometric functional structures, the study of suitable processing/integration procedures and the validation of prototype devices. These devices will be of three kinds: photonic gas sensors, detectors insensitive to the angle of detection for diffuse optical communications and photovoltaic cells. An interesting characteristic of the Nanophoton technology will be its fully compatibility with the current optoelectronic and microelectronic industrial manufacturing processes.


Applications of photonic crystals in solar cells: power conversion efficiency enhancement though optical absorption amplification



Research head: Hernán R. Míguez García
Period: 14-01-2009 / 13-01- 2012
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P08-FQM-03579 (Proyecto de Excelencia)
Research group: Manuel Ocaña Jurado, Mauricio Calvo Roggiani, Nuria Nuñez, Agustín Mihi, Gabriel Lozano, Silvia Colodrero, Nuria Hidalgo, Olalla Sánchez Sobrado

Abstract[+]

Porous photonic crystals introduced in heterojunction solar cells allow to enhance sig-nificantly their photovoltaic performance by increasing the light harvested by the device. This concept, pioneered by the multifunctional optical materials group, have lead to highly efficient and transparent dye solar cells that preserve their potential application as window modules, one of their main added values. The concepts proposed in this project are not only interesting from a fundamental point of view in photonics and energy conversion, but also of clear relevance for building integrated photovoltaics.


Control of Optical Emission and Absorption Properties of Nanomaterials in Photonic Crystals



Research head: Hernán R. Míguez García
Period: 01-01-2009 / 31-12-2011
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: MAT2008-02166
Research group: Manuel Ocaña Jurado, Mauricio Calvo Roggiani, Nuria Nuñez, Agustín Mihi, Gabriel Lozano, Silvia Colodrero, Nuria Hidalgo, Olalla Sánchez

Abstract[+]

In this project the modifications of both optical emission and absorption of nano-materiales of different sort (rare earth doped nanoparticles, semiconductor quantum dots, and films of organic dyes of nanometer dimensions) that occur when they are embedded in a photonic crystal structure. Both fundamental and applied aspects of the subject will be ana-lysed, efforts being focused on materials of current technological interest. From the applied point of view, this project finds its motivation in the possibility that photonic crystal offer of modifying those absorption and emission processes in a controlled manner so that they can be inhibited or amplified depending on the specific goal pursued. Particularly, we seek to put into practice these concepts to generate new designs of more efficient solar cells, capable of harvesting a larger amount of the incident radiation, and in the development of films for sensing devices sensitive to modifcations of different kind, such as presence of targeted molecules, variations of ambient gas pressure, etc... In its more fundamental aspect, our project aims at deepening our knowledge of the interaction between light and matter in systems in which there exists a strong dispersion and anisotropy of the dielectric constant, and in which it is possible to attain very low photon propagation speeds. For this analysis, we will employ photonic crystals with three dimensional order as hosts in which a wide range of organic and inorganic nanomaterials will be integrated in different configurations and whose absorption and emission will be experimentally and theoretically studied.


Study of Surface modified materials and coatings by ReflEXAFS SURCOXAFS



Research head: Adela Muñoz Páez
Period: 01-01-2009 / 31-12-2011
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: MAT2008-06652
Research group: Stuart Ansell, Regla Ayala Espinar, Sofía Díaz Moreno, Lola González García, José Manuel Martínez Fernández, Víctor López Flores

Abstract[+]

X-ray Absorption spectroscopy in reflection mode, ReflEXAFS, is a novel technique yielding the typical information from EXAFS, local structure around de absorbing atom, together with that obtained from reflectometry, such as roughness, layer thickness or density within the near surface region. The technique has also the capability of controlling the thickness of the region probed simply by changing the incidence angle, within a rather interesting range, 20-200 Ǻ. Moreover, in contrast with other surface spectroscopic techniques, such as XPS, it allows the study of buried layers. For all these reasons, it is a useful tool to provide structural information of surface materials, such as those with thin layer structure, coatings and surface modified bulk materials. In previous projects we developed measurement protocols for this technique at using model sample. Herewith we propose to apply the technique to real systems of two types: surface modified steels by nitriding treatments and materials made of mixed thin layers with optic and magnetic properties. Apart form the intrinsic interest of the technique itself and the systems which are going to be prepared and studied, this project is relevant in the framework of the development of XAS-based techniques of potential application in the Spanish beamline at the ESRF, SPLINE, as well as in the new Spanish synchrotron source, ALBA.


Surface functionalisation of materials for high added value applications (FUNCOAT)



Research head: Agustín R. González-Elipe
Period: 15-12-2008 / 15-12-2013
Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: CSD2008- 00023 (Consolider)
Research group: Fernández Camacho, A., Espinós, J.P., Yubero, F., Cotrino, J., Sánchez López, J.C., Barranco, A., Palmero, A., Rojas, C.

Abstract[+]

FUNCOAT is an integrated project within the application call CONSOLIDER-INGENIO 2010 aiming at the exploitation of synergies existing in the Spanish scientific community, with the general objective of developing principles, processes and devices related to the surface functionalisation of materials. The project integrates 14 well-accredited research centres covering from fundamental and theoretical aspects to final applications. This large effort of integration is critical to achieve substantial advances in this broad field, which go beyond the mere accumulation of results. The research teams belong to different institutions: University, CSIC (responsible for the management of the project) and Technological centres. They maintain scientific relationships among them that extend over the last 15 years. Specific scientific and technological objectives are: understanding of fundamental phenomena driving the modification of surfaces and interfaces, control of the micro- and nano- structure of surfaces and thin films, optimization of thin film deposition methods, process development of multifunctional surfaces for novel applications (mechanical and metallurgical, optical, magnetic, energy, biomaterials, etc) and, finally, the production of new devices based on functionalised surfaces. Other important objectives include the technological transfer of the scientific results to the productive sectors as well as the education and training of scientists, young researchers and engineers. Strategic sectors of our modern society where the activities of FUNCOAT find a direct impact are material processing, energy, environment, health care, agriculture, etc. In order to accomplish an efficient coordination of efforts and the integration of the activities of all the groups, the project is structured around six workpackages: A) Fundamental phenomena in surfaces, interfaces and thin films, B) New processes for the control of the micro- and nano- structure of films and surfaces, C) Mechanical and metallurgical coatings for surface protection, D) Chemical functionalisation and biomedical applications, E) Coatings for optical control, photonic applications and solar energy collection and F) Novel magnetic phenomena in surfaces/interfaces.


Nitrogen Plasmas for the superficial functionalization of materials



Research head: José Cotrino Bautista
Period: 01-02-2008 / 31-01- 2011
Financial source: Junta de Andalucía
Code: P07-FQM-03298 (Proyecto de Excelencia)
Research group: Agustín R. González-Elipe, Francisco Yubero Valencia

Abstract[+]

The project PlasNitro discusses the characterization of nitrogen plasmas in various technological related applications with techniques of deposition and functionalization of materials, reforming and processes of sterilization. Different procedures to measure properties of plasmas will go down to point, plasma that can be used in doping, deposition, functionalization and modification of materials and that contain nitrogen. In all cases by using techniques of diagnosis based in the detection of nitrogen species. Nitrogen is a usual component nowadays, only or in mixtures with other gases, in a lot of processes used in technology of plasma. Its experimental characterization and/or the modeling will allow getting fundamental properties from plasma (electron density, electron temperature, temperature of the gas, reactive species, etc.) and knowing the contribution to the homogenous (in phase plasma) and heterogeneous (in the surface-material interaction) reactions of the appropriate components of nitrogen. Numerical codes to get out the electron energy distribution function in plasma will become elaborate in the project. To this end the evaluation of the vibrational distribution of nitrogen will be necessary previously. This step implies taking into account multiple vibrational-vibrational processes, vibrational-translactional and vibrational-rotational processes. In the project we will be able to obtain models of fluid of the nitrogen plasma with the contributions of the most important species of the plasma. The theoretical calculations will be complemented with experimental measurements using electrostatic Langmuir's probe, this will allow measuring the electron energy distribution function, as well as density and temperature of the electrons. The partial nitrogen pressure in each application and the plasma's neutral components will be controlled by means of an analysis of residual gases. The kinetic modeling of the nitrogen plasma will enable the interpretation of measurements in the plasma out of the thermodynamic equilibrium and by using the Monte Carlo technique of simulation that enable the control of deposition/modification and the nano/microstructure of the materials. We will have, in this way, techniques that they will enable to control themselves and improving the procedures of work and the properties desired in the materials.


Crust to core: The fate of subducted material



Research head: Ana Isabel Becerro Nieto
Period: 01-7-2006 / 31-01-2011
Financial source: Unión Europea
Code: MRTN-CT-2006-035957
Research group: Universidad de Bayreuth (Alemania), Universi-dad de Milán (Italia), University College London (Reino Unido), Geological Survey of Norway (Noruega), Universidad Pierre et Marie Curie, París (Francia), Friedrich Schiller Universitat Jena (Alemania), UniverzitaKarlova V Praga (República Checa)

Abstract[+]

At convergent plate boundaries material is transported from the Earth's surface to its interior; this is one of the central processes in the solid Earth, determining its dynamic, chemical, and thermal evolution. It is linked to a wide range of surface features, ranging from plate tectonics to earthquakes and volcanoes to the chemical evolution of the Earth's atmosphere.Despite this importance many aspects of the subduction process and associated material fluxes are poorly understood to date, and advances in understanding require the integrated efforts of many sub-disciplines in the Earth sciences as well as integration of neighbouring fields. To overcome the fragmentation and advance the basic understanding of the subduction process we form a European network which combines unique facilities and expertise in petrology, experimental and computational mineralogy, analysis, synthesis, and dynamic studies of the Earth's interior.


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