RL1: Sustainable energy conversion and storage systems
Mission: contribute in the global energy challenge by advancing in the next generation materials for energy conversion and storage.
Advance in the next generation materials for renewable energy generation:
From the sun (photovoltaics): organics, perovskites, boron-based, oxides, nanostructured inorganics, hybrid systems, photonic structures
From waste heat (emerging thermoelectrics): organics, nanocarbon (polymer/carbon strategies).
Advance in the next generation materials for storage technologies (post-Li-ion battery technologies): hard carbon anodes for Na-ion batteries; electrolytes, anodes and cathodes for Mg- and Ca-based batteries, Zn-air batteires
Develop innovative sustainable technologies, replacing critical or toxic materials by others, in the field of metal organic frameworks (MOFs), oxide-nitride layers, carbons and polymeric materials.
Advance characterization and theoretical tools that help the understanding of materials for energy (e.g. XRD, AFM/SPM, TEM, IR, UV and Raman spectroscopies, ALBA’s synchrotron lines, theoretical simulations).
RL2: Superconductors for power applications
Mission: create high quality high-current superconducting tapes to enhance the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact in electricity transport, distribution, generation and use.
Low cost manufacturing processes suitable for industrial applications based on chemical deposition methods and inkjet deposition.
Nanostructuring of the films to enhance their performance.
Advanced characterization techniques (electronic nanoscopy, density functional theory analysis of defects, X-ray magnetic circular dichroism and in-situ X-ray diffraction synchrotron studies, in-situ resistivity and high magnetic field transport measurements).
RL3: Oxide electronics
Mission: the study of transition metal oxides, considered to be the building blocks for efficient and energy friendly data storage, advanced computing and energy harvesting devices.
Contribute in exploiting orbital physics and interface engineering to induce emerging properties, using oxides for data storage, communications and light harvesting.
Engineering magnetic properties, searching and understanding multiferroic materials, integrating ferroelectric and ferromagnetic oxides on silicon, tailoring electronic properties with nitrides and designing and making artificial polar materials.
Development of thin films of these materials with subnanometric precision.
Use the most advanced tools of lithography for device microfabrication, prior to electrical, magnetic and optical characterization.
Structural, morphological and microstructural analysis are done by a combination of in-house techniques (e.g. PLD) and extensive use of large scale facilities (ALBA synchrotron radiation, neutron beams, most advances electron microscopes, etc.).
Theory and simulation of the properties and behavior of the materials (flexoelectricity, thermal transport…).
RL4: Molecular electronics
Mission: the fabrication of organic semiconductors for molecular and flexible electronics, which have a strong impact on the wellbeing of society, especially in the technological advances and health areas.
Use of organic molecules in electronic devices.
Design novel molecular switches, memory electronic and spintronic devices, low-cost organic field-effect transistors and (bio) chemical and temperature sensor devices.
The devices are developed considering a holistic perspective including: design and synthesis of the molecules, structural, morphological and electronic characterization, device fabrication and integration, and theory prediction and rationalization.
From fundamental studies (molecule/surface interactions, structure/property correlations) and proof-of-concept devices.
Nanoscale behavior, structure and geometry of the molecular systems, organic devices and engineered surface are characterized by STM, AFM, Kelvin probe, among others.
RL5: Multifunctional nanostructured biomaterials
Mission: provide key inputs in the current nanomedicine challenges with strong impact on health: therapy, diagnosis and tissue repair.
Synthesis of nanomaterials for therapy and diagnosis obtained by new manufacturing schemes and able to cross biological barriers (nanovesicles, nanocapsules, nanoparticles, dendrimers, nanotubes, containing bioactive molecules…),
Synthesis of nanomaterials for multimodal diagnosis enabling to obtain images of the different tissues and metabolites distribution based on contrast agents magnetic nanoparticles and organic free radicals, X-ray absorbers or radionuclei.
Synthesis of nanostructured materials for tissue repair to understand and control signals directing cell behavior towards vascular or neural reparation therapies (biocompatible nanostructured electrodes based on graphene; endothelial cells and magnetic nanoparticles, and surfaces that trigger the organization of growth factors…)
Simulation of the behavior and self-assembly of soft and biomaterials.
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