Top Science Results

A collection of strontium and vanadium oxide (SrVO3) metallic films of increasing thickness.| ICMAB-CSIC

A new theory to explain the transparency of metallic oxides

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The electrons of some metal oxides, due to their large effective mass when coupled with the ionic lattice of the material, cannot follow the electric field of light and allow it to pass through the material. Transparent and conductive materials are used in smartphone touch screens and solar panels for photovoltaic energy.

Press Release, Top Science Results, 2021

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Amplified frequency-domain thermoreflectance setup used to study the existence of second sound in germanium. | ICMAB, CSIC

Thermal waves observed in semiconductor materials

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A study published in Science Advances reports on the unexpected observation of thermal waves in germanium, a semiconductor material. This phenomenon may allow a significant improvement in the performance of our electronic devices in a near future. The study is led by researchers from the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB, CSIC) in collaboration with researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and the University of Cagliari.

Websites News, Radio, Newspapers, Press Release, Top Science Results, Breaking News, 2021

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Jewel Ann Maria Xavier, ICMAB researcher, with the magnetic nanoparticles. | ICMAB-CSIC

A device monitoring heart failure from saliva co-developed by ICMAB and IMB-CNM researchers

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The instrument, developed in the framework of the European project KardiaTool, contains a biosensor chip developed in the Clean Room of the IMB-CNM, and functionalized magnetic nanoparticles synthesized at ICMAB, key to detect the biomarkers found in saliva. It is a quick Point-of-Care saliva test that does not require specialized personnel. 

Radio, Press Release, Top Science Results, Breaking News

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Sole Roig, researcher at the NN group at ICMAB-CSIC, showing a sample of a hybrid mesh of surgical polypropylene and the bio-based bacterial nanocellulose. | ICMAB-CSIC

Bio-nanocellulose meshes improve hernia repair surgery

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Bacterial nanocellulose is an emergent biocompatible natural polymer with increasing applicability in the healthcare sector. A potential innovative application can be found in the design of surgical meshes for the treatment of abdominal hernias. Researchers from ICMAB-CSIC and B. Braun Surgical, a leading manufacturer of medical devices for wound closure, have collaborated to develop a bio-based surgical mesh with this biomaterial. First results from an in vivo animal study yield promising outcomes.

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Fourier-filtered electron microscopy image showing phase coexistence between M1 phase and the newly discovered x3M phase, with the two phases weaving across each other forming a “tweed” pattern

Tweed texture revealed in vanadium dioxide in metal-insulator transitions

The study of metal-insulator transitions in VO2 through atomic scale imaging has allowed to uncover a periodical tweed structure: a weaving of vanadium dimers acting like the threads of an actual tweed at the atomic level. This research, led by ICMAB researcher Felip Sandiumenge and ICN2 and ICREA researcher Gustau Catalan, and published in Advanced Materials, provides relevant information for the understanding of transitional states in specific classes of materials.

Top Science Results, 2021

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A) Spatial organisation of the catalytic biostructures. B) and C) Detail of the two types of amino acids and their interactions.

Nanoenzymes designed with a unique combination of structure and functions

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ICMAB researchers from the LMI group have collaborated in a study to design minimalist biostructures that imitate natural enzymes, capable of carrying out two differentiated and reversibly regulated activities thanks to a unique combination of structural and functional properties. The strategy used opens the door to the creation of “intelligent” nanomaterials with tailor-made combinations of catalytic functions.

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Irene Anton, researcher at the NN group, holding a bacterial nanocellulose membrane

Bio-membranes with ocular stem cells to treat corneal disorders

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The production, preparation, and use of bacterial nanocellulose as corneal bandages could be the key to help delicate stem cells to migrate to the cornea and heal the eye from a range of ocular disorders.

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Mariano Campoy-Quiles and Xabier Rodríguez-Martínez, co-authors of the study, in their lab | ICMAB

Machine learning to predict the performance of organic solar cells

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In this study, researchers have demonstrated that by feeding machine-learning algorithms with high-throughput experimental datasets, it is possible to retrieve predictive models for the performance of organic solar cells.

Press Release, Top Science Results, Breaking News, 2021

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ICMAB Researchers by Pau Franch

ICMAB’s most frequent collaborators in 2020 - A year in review

Collaboration is a key part of research. Whether it be collaboration with similar researchers with different skill sets or perspectives, or collaboration with researchers in others fields for an interdisciplinary approach, joining efforts with other institutions is a solid way to improve ICMAB’s work. Here are the institutions that have collaborated more with ICMAB in 2020:

Top Science Results

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Europe in a globe by Krzysztof Hepner

ICMAB’s top countries with whom we have collaborated in 2020 - A year in review

International research partnerships are a key factor to improve our collective knowledge. Not only does it allow everybody to share access to different scientific installations and techniques, it also gives research a more diverse viewpoint that ensures every possibility is considered. These are the countries that ICMAB has collaborated more with during 2020:

Top Science Results

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Glasses and books by Marylou Fortier

ICMAB’s 2020 most published journals - A year in review

Scientific dissemination is clearly dependent on journals to help spread the word about research done all around the world. Many specialized journals, in fields like materials science or nanotechnology, have helped ICMAB Researchers get eyes on their research. These are the journals that have shared more of our research in 2020:

Top Science Results

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Books on bookshelves by Alfons Morales

The 10 ICMAB articles with a higher IF in 2020 - A year in review

The Clarivate journal Impact Factor metric system gives a yearly numeric indicator of how much has an article been cited and how much impact has it had. This year, ICMAB’s average IF has been at 7.42, with an 18 % of all publications having an IF higher than 10. These are the ICMAB articles that have had a higher IF during 2020:

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Highlighted lines in a book by Russ Ward

The 15 most cited ICMAB articles of 2020 - A year in review

Citation is one of the key factors to understand the effect an article has had on a particular field. This year, ICMAB Researchers have published articles across many fields, like energy storage, thermoelectrics, or nanomedicine. From all this research, two of ICMAB’s articles have become highly cited pieces. Do you want to know which articles have been the most cited this year?

Top Science Results

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New COVER in "Organometallics" on boron-based antimicrobial and antifungal agents

The Organometallics journal (ACS Publications) features in its COVER the recently published article "Metallacarborane Assemblies as Effective Antimicrobial Agents, Including a Highly Potent Anti-MRSA Agent" by ICMAB researcher, Clara Viñas and co-workers from ICMAB, Universitat de Girona, Universidad de Córdoba and Durham University (UK).

Cover, Top Science Results, Breaking News, 2020

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ERC grantees at ICMAB: Marta Mas-Torrent, Agustín Mihi, Mariano Campoy-Quiles, Teresa Puig, Alexandre Ponrouch, Massimiliano Stengel, Núria Aliaga-Alcalde, Gerard Tobias, Martí Gich, Can Onur Avci

ICMAB is the 10th Catalan Institution with more ERC Grants

Título Artículo: ICMAB is the 10th Catalan Institution with more ERC Grants
A new publication by AGAUR highlights the importance of Catalan Research in the European context and shares the top research institutions in ERCs, Numbers show that from 2007 to 2019, Catalunya has received 369 ERC grants and that 82 % of them are distributed in 16 institutions, including ICMAB. 

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Announcement of a public-private investment fund for the promotion of knowledge transfer

Councillor Ramon Tremosa visited the facilities of the ALBA Synchrotron with its director, Caterina Biscari, on 16 November 2020. After the visit, they both met with several Directors of other research centers in the area, including ICMAB Director Xavier Obradors. During the meeting the announcement of the Government's intention to create a public-private investment fund to promote the knowledge transfer of the research in Catalonia was made. 

Top Science Results, Breaking News, 2020

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Unexpected soft ferroelectric domain walls

"Our colleagues at ICN2 studied a range of ferroelectrics using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and discovered that 180-degree domain walls – regions separating ferroelectric domains with opposite polarization – are mechanically softer than the surrounding material" says Konstantin Shapovalov, ICMAB researcher and co-author of the now published article in Physical Review X Mechanical Softness of Ferroelectric 180° Domain Walls, in which he contributed with the theoretical interpretation of this unexpected phenomenon. 

Top Science Results

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Electric forces to characterize future biocompatible organic electronic devices

A joint collaboration between the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB) and The University of Manchester has succeeded in mapping the electrical properties of organic biosensor/electrolyte interfaces at the nanoscale by measuring local electric forces. Electronic biosensorsbased on organic materials could make soon a reality the dream of low-cost, disposable, flexible and biocompatible electronic devices for the interaction with biological systems.

Top Science Results

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New semiconductors with strong optical response in the framework of a MIT "la Caixa" Foundation project

The first article of the joint project between ICMAB and MIT in the framework of the collaborative project MIT-SPAIN "la Caixa" Foundation SEED FUND is now published in Physical Review Materials. The project is focused on the investigation of new materials for photovoltaic applications. Ignasi Fina is the ICMAB researcher involved in the study. 

Top Science Results, Project Results

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Borate-based passivation layers enables reversible calcium batteries

A study published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science has combined experimental and theoretical approaches to study the passivation layers formed on calcium metal electrodes and their influence on the reversible operation of calcium-based batteries. The work is led by researchers from the ICMAB-CSIC, who have collaborated with the ALBA Synchrotron (MIRAS beamline) as well as with other international laboratories and universities. 

Press Release, Top Science Results

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Local conductance control in h-Er(Mn,Ti)O3.

NextGen nanotechnology: changing conductivity with an Atomic Force Microscope with nanoscale precision

A route to control the conductivity in the functional oxide Er(Mn,Ti)O3 through the use of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) could allow for an improvement of conductivity that is not detrimental to other materials’ properties like magnetism or multiferroicity, as demonstrated in a new Nature Materials article that counts with the collaboration of ICMAB Researcher Konstantin Shapovalov from the Electronic Structure of Materials (LEEM) Group.

Top Science Results, 2020

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Quantum confinement in hybrid perovskites in the Nature Materials News & Views by Alejandro Goñi

ICMAB and ICREA researcher, Alejandro Goñi, from the NANOPTO group, is author of an article in the News & Views section in Nature Materials, in which he was asked to review one publication from Laura Herz and co-workers from the University of Oxford, published in Nature Materials about hybrid halide pervoskites and some of their fascinating properties. 

Top Science Results, 2020

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How do surface acoustic waves enhance catalytic activity?

An international team of researchers with the participation of he ICMAB have studied the mechanism by which surface acoustic waves (SAW) enhance catalytic activity. Researchers were able for the first time to measure the effect of SAW on the electronic structure of a Pt model catalyst and achieved a remarkable precision with the new experimental setup at the CIRCE beamline in the ALBA Synchrotron.

Top Science Results, 2020

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Piezoresponse Force Microscopy, a simple method to visualize moiré superlattices

A recent publication in Nature Nanotechnology in which Massimiliano Stengel, ICREA scientist, and Konstantin Shapovalov, postdoctoral researcher at ICMAB, participated, show how Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM) is an effective tool to visualize and characterize moiré patterns in a wide range of twisted bilayer systems including twisted bilayer graphene. The publication is a collaboration between researchers from Columbia University in USA, the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan, Nanjing University in China, Stony Brook University in USA, the Flatiron Institute in USA and the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona.

Top Science Results, 2020

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How do superconducting coated conductors respond to the extreme temperature, frequency and magnetic field conditions of the CERN Future Circular Collider?

A new publication in Scientific Reports by researchers of the Superconducting Materials and Large Scale Nanostructures (SUMAN) group at the ICMAB, the ALBA Synchrotron, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and CERN, has studied the surface resistance and vortex properties of seven superconducting coated conductors at microwave frequencies, high magnetic fields and low temperatures (mimicking the expected conditions of the Future Circular Collider at CERN) to study how they respond.

Top Science Results, 2020

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Summary of effects in magnetophoresis due to magnetic and hydrodynamic interactions beyond the classical model. The cartoon indicates the physical interactions behind the cooperative effect and the magnetic-induced convection, illustrated by the images

The challenge of understanding low-gradient magnetic separation

Low-gradient magnetic separation (LGMS) is a complex phenomena with a behaviour so contradictory with classic magnetophoresis models that it was considered to be almost paradoxical. An Editor’s Choice feature article at the Langmuir journal, co-authored by ICMAB Researcher Jordi Faraudo, proposes a unified theoretical framework to understand and control this helpful separation technique.

Top Science Results, 2020

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Practical and versatile micro-patterning for organic electronics and photonics

Scientists have managed to draw at high resolution and speed, local patterns in organic semiconductor films used in optoelectronic and photonic applications. The new method enables the patterning of material characteristics and concomitant final properties, including molecular conformation, orientation, crystallinity and composition. The technique, published with open access in Nature Communications, has also been patented and industrial partners are sought for further co-development.

Press Release, Top Science Results, TT Patents & Techno Offers, 2020

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