Research Groups

RESEARCH UNIT: Solid State Chemistry

Solid State Chemistry (SSC)

Activities have focused on the study of battery materials, the development of carbon nanomaterials and new porous nanostructures, the use of electrochemical methods for the synthesis and control of materials and the development of oxynitrides with new electronic properties.

The Solid State Chemistry (SSC) Group’s research interests cover a diversity of topics within materials chemistry, centered in the areas of battery materials, inorganic and carbon nanomaterials, hybrid materials, biomaterials and nitride-based materials. The design of new inorganic phases, basing on crystal chemical criteria, mixed-valence character and their modification by chemical/electrochemical doping –cationic or anionic- and by changing the size and microstructure, are among their major objectives.

The development of new synthetic methodologies, specific for each targeted phase, is also a defining feature of the Research Unit. The investigated materials include high power/high capacity electrodes for rechargeable batteries, electroactive materials for neural growth, drug delivery systems, inorganic nanowires, carbon nanotubes, luminescent and electronic materials and catalysts.


  • Prof. Amparo Fuertes - Research Professor
  • Prof. M. Rosa Palacín - Research Professor
  • Prof. Nieves Casañ-Pastor - Research Professor
  • Prof. Concepción Domingo - Research Professor
  • Dr. Gerard Tobias - Research Scientist
  • Dr. Dino Tonti - Tenured Scientist
  • Dr. Ana Mª López - Ramón y Cajal Researcher
  • Dr. Alexandre Ponrouch - Tenured Scientist
  • Julio Fraile - Technical Staff
  • Dr. Stefania Sandoval - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Deyana Stoytcheva - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Roberta Verrelli - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. María Soria - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Elena Marchante - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Romain Dugas - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Ashley Black - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Damien Monti - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Rafael Trocoli - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Amirali Yazdi - Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Núria García Portoles - PhD Researcher
  • Enrique Irisarri - PhD Researcher
  • Laura Rodríguez - PhD Researcher
  • Alejandro Borrás - PhD Researcher
  • Eulalia Pujades - PhD Researcher
  • Marina Llenas - PhD Researcher
  • Martà Kubovics - PhD Researcher
  •  Laura Fuentes - PhD Researcher
  • Albert Rosado Morente - PhD Researcher
  • Jhonatan Ricardo Guarín Romero - PhD Researcher
  • Juan Forero - PhD Researcher
  • Wenhai Wang - PhD Researcher
  • Raphaelle Houdeville - PhD Researcher
  • Ona Segura - MSc Student
  • Celia Martínez - MSc Student
  • Dr. Dejan Kepic - Visiting Researcher

Left: Induced dipoles electrochemistry affecting neural growth (Abad et al, Electrochim. Acta 317 (2019), 102. Right: Topochemical nitridation of the double perovskite Sr2FeMoO6 (Ceravola et al, Chem. Commun. 55 (2019), 3105.


Batteries based on multivalent ions (e.g. Ca2+, Mg2+) and metal anodes could enable very high energy densities.Bottlenecks to overcome are not only the development of electrolytes and cathodes enabling efficient cation diffusion, but also the lack of proper methodology for the study of such new chemistries. In this regard, activity has focused in the development of new cathode materials involving a transition metal as redox center, the study of Ca2+ solvation structure in organic electrolytes and the establishment of reliable protocols and experimental setups for such studies. Research has been also performed on lithium and Li-O2 batteries. Inspection of high-energy lithium-rich oxide battery materials in collaboration with ALBA light source has revealed a central role of manganese in their limited cycle life.

In the field of carbon nanomaterials, a protocol that allows the simultaneous filling and end-closing of carbon nanotubes has been developed, resulting in the so called carbon nanocapsules. These have been proven to be non-cytotoxic, regardless of the encapsulated compounds, and hold great interest in cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Sustainable supercritical CO2 technology has been developed for the fabrication of graphene oxide aerogels and composites involving nanoparticles of metals, oxides or metal-organic frameworks for environmental and energy applications.

Activity has also focused on the evaluation of field gradients and intercalation processes occurring at the poles of the unconnected mixed conducting material serving as neural growth support, that eventually favour direction and speed of neural growth. Research in oxynitrides has been performed in the synthesis of new double perovskites with high cation order and the study of the effect of the nitride anion on their magnetic and electrical properties.


Solvent-free functionalisation of graphene oxide with amide and amine groups at room temperature
Sandoval, S; Fuertes, A; Tobias, G
Chem. Commun. 55, 81, 12196-12199, 2019

On the Study of Ca and Mg Deintercalation from Ternary Tantalum Nitrides
Verrelli, R; Black, AP; Frontera, C; Oro-Sole, J; Arroyo-de Dompablo, ME; Fuertes, A; Palacin, MR
ACS Omega, 4, 5, 8943-8952, 2019

Multivalent rechargeable batteries
Ponrouch, A; Bitenc, J; Dominko, R; Lindahl, N; Johansson, P; Palacin, MR
Energy Storage Materials, 20, 253-262, 2019

Post-Li batteries: promises and challenges
Ponrouch, A; Palacin, MR
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A – Mathematical, Physical and Engineering sciences, 377, 2152, 2019

Rechargeable aqueous electrolyte batteries: from univalent to multivalent cation chemistry
Demir-Cakan, R; Palacin, MR; Croguennec, L
J. Mater. Chem. A, 7, 36, 20519-20539, 2019

Microstructure and electrical transport in electrodeposited Bi films
Moral-Vico, J; Casan-Pastor, N; Camon, A; Pobes, C; Jaudenes, RM; Strichovanec, P; Fabrega, L
Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 832, 40-47, 2019

Charge Delocalization, Oxidation States, and Silver Mobility in the Mixed Silver-Copper Oxide AgCuO2
Carreras, A; Conejeros,
Inorg. Chem. 58, 10, 7026-7035, 2019

Electric field gradients and bipolar electrochemistry effects on neural growth: A finite element study on immersed electroactive conducting electrode
Abad, L; Rajnicek, AM; Casan-Pastor, N
Electrochimica Acta, 317, 102-111, 2019

Polycaprolactone foams prepared by supercritical CO2 batch foaming of polymer/organic solvent solutions
Salerno, Aurelio; Domingo, Concepcion
Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 143, 146-156, 2019

Non-cytotoxic carbon nanocapsules synthesized via one-pot filling and end-closing of multi-walled carbon nanotubes
Martincic, Markus; Vranic, Sandra; Pach, Elzbieta; Sandoval, Stefania; Ballesteros, Belen; Kostarelos, Kostas; Tobias, Gerard
Carbon, 141, 782-793, 2019

Role of Manganese in Lithium- and Manganese-Rich Layered Oxides Cathodes
Simonelli, L; Sorrentino, A; Marini, C; Ramanan, N; Heinis, D; Olszewski, W; Mullaliu, A; Birrozzi, A; Laszczynski, N; Giorgetti, M; Passerini, S; Tonti, D
J. Phys. Chem. Letters, 10, 12, 3359-3368, 2019

Combined Influence of Meso- and Macroporosity of Soft-Hard Templated Carbon Electrodes on the Performance of Li-O-2 Cells with Different Configurations
Olivares-Marin, M; Aklalouch, M; Tonti, D
Nanomaterials, 9, 6, 2019

Multivalent Batteries-Prospects for High Energy Density: Ca Batteries
Monti, D; Ponrouch, A; Araujo, RB; Barde, F; Johansson, P; Palacin, MR
Frontiers in Chemistry, 7, 2019

Methods and Protocols for Reliable Electrochemical Testing in Post-Li Batteries (Na, K, Mg, and Ca)
By: Dugas, Romain; Forero-Saboya, Juan D.; Ponrouch, Alexandre
Chemistry of Materials, 31, 21, 8613-8628

Cation Solvation and Physicochemical Properties of Ca Battery Electrolytes
Forero-Saboya, J. D.; Marchante, E.; Araujo, R. B.; Monti, D; Johansson, P; Ponrouch, A 
J. Phys. Chem. C., 123, 49, 29524-29532, 2019

Structure of inorganic nanocrystals confined within carbon nanotubes
Sandoval, S; Tobias, G; Flahaut, E
Inorganica Chimica Acta, 492, 66-75, 2019

Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of SPION-Reduced Graphene Oxide Hybrids for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Marina Llenas, Stefania Sandoval, Pedro M. Costa, Judith Oró-Solé, Silvia Lope-Piedrafita, Belén Ballesteros, Khuloud T. Al-Jamal, Gerard Tobias
Nanomaterials, 9, 10, 1364, 2019

Topochemical nitridation of Sr2FeMoO6
R.Ceravola, C.Frontera, J.Oró-Solé, A.P.Black, C.Ritter, I.Mata, E.Molins, J.Fontcuberta and A. Fuertes
Chem. Commun., 55, 3105-3108, 2019

Awards and Recognitions

  • Alexandre Ponrouch was awarded with the International Battery Association (IBA) Early Career Award
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