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Research topics
3D-printed solid oxide cells based on recycled ferrite for a new horizon energy

The proposed research combines materials and technology development to build a green technological horizon, contributing to the EU Green Deal objectives. The activities will be carried out in IMDEA Nanociencia’s research teams leaded by Dr. Alberto Bollero (nanomagnetism and sustainability) and Dr. Gorka Salas (synthesis of nanoparticles), in close collaboration with research centers and companies covering from fabrication of ceramic and metal powder to 3D-printing of functional elements.

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Tracking electron transfer dynamics and charging processes in novel endohedral metalofullerene dyads

This project will apply various complementary ultrafast X-ray and optical spectroscopic techniques to probe in “real-time” the elementary steps governing the reactivity and efficiency of electron transfer (ET) processes in functional organic nanosystems designed for solar energy conversion. The main goal of the experimental studies will be the application of the emerging X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) to extract a mechanistic and site-selective (with atomic specificity) description of the ultrafast dynamics (both electronic and structural), which will allow further optimization of their reactivity and efficiency towards photovoltaic applications.

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Resistive switching and memristive behavior in 2D materials

The aim of the proposed research is to design, fabricate and characterize memristive devices based on 2D materials. For this, a combination of thorough structural and electrical characterization including the use of local probes and nanostructuring /doping techniques will shed light on the microscopic origin of the resistive switching in 2D materials. This will in turn allow the tuning of the electrical behaviour for different applications such as quantum metrology and neuromorphic computation.

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Phase transitions in 2D transition metal dichalcogenides

The candidate will growth and characterize at the atomic scale 2D materials on different substrates and will characterize the samples by means of low temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy, low energy electron diffraction (LEED) as well as Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) in combination of transport measurements. The Spin-Polarized Angle Resolved Photoemission experiments will be carried out at the system installed at IMDEA Nanociencia and at beamtimes at ALBA synchrotron.

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Fighting disease with multifunctional nanoparticles

In this project, the candidate will develop new nanomaterials based on magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and oligonucleotides for diagnosis and treatment of diseases, such as Uveal Melanoma, Pancreatic Cancer and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The candidate will develop linkers to control the conjugation of nucleic acids to the MNPs and implement a flow synthesis process for the preparation of MNPs during her/his secondment at Synthelia.

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Two-dimensional semiconductor membranes as unique object identifiers

We want to study nano-electro-mechanical-optical-systems (NEMOS) based on TMD resonators. By means of a phase-locked optical and electronic detection scheme we aim at mapping the temporal evolution of the strain fields in standing-wave modes of beams and membranes of different geometries, thickness and boundary conditions.

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Fundaments of low-dimensional organic matter

In this project, a multidisciplinary effort is set on the study of pi-conjugation in organic and metal-organic materials on surfaces, targeting to achieve physico-chemical properties that go beyond conventional metals and insulators. Accordingly, we plan to synthesize and rationalize the expression of magnetic or complex phases of matter in 1D and 2D organic and metal-organic materials on surfaces.

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Deciphering the role of charge-transfer states in all-organic photocatalysis

The successful candidate has a dedicated background in (ultrafast, low-temperature) transient absorption and/or transient photoluminescence spectroscopy, ideally applied to organic materials in the past. The project further requires basic knowledge in (organic) materials science / chemistry, and in materials preparation; knowledge in density functional theory calculations is desired, but not mandatory.

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Intracellular temperature measurements for disease theranostics

The applicant is expected to write an interdisciplinary research proposal in the field of intracellular temperature measurements to diagnose or/and to treat cancer or inflammatory conditions to metabolic disorders. We can work with simulation (simulate the performance of nanothermometers), we can do nanotechnology experiments (design new nanothermometers), cell culture experiments (to unravel diseases mechanism based on intracellular temperature) and animal experiments (treat diseases based on intracellular temperature).

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Synthesis and electrical readout of novel MOF-SCO hybrid sensors with advanced sensitivity and selectivity

Novel sensing materials are needed to tackle key unmet challenges in environmental monitoring, defense, energy, health or food quality. Therefore, huge economic and research efforts are constantly being made to develop materials capable to accurately detect target gases (e.g. CO2, NO2 or H2), volatile organic compounds, (e.g. as benzene, formaldehyde), explosives (TNT, TATP), drugs (acetic anhydride, phenylacetone) and molecules such as water 

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Lanthanide-based field-deployable metal-organic frameworks (MOF) for selective NO2 detectors

Among the hazardous gases released from fossil fuels combustion, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and related nitrogen oxides, (NOx), are some of the most dangerous. Any NOx form can cause serious damage to the respiration system when breathed at levels beyond 1 ppm. The most common effects are lung tissues damage and aggravation of respiratory diseases or heart conditions. NOx also plays a role in the chemistry of the atmosphere, contributing to ozone formation, smog and acid rain. Air quality monitoring of NOx in urban areas is therefore necessary due to the daily massive production of these harmful gases. Presently, there is a wide range of NO2 sensors in the market, the most common being chemiresistors based on semiconducting metal oxides.

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Correlative microscopy across scales: following the intracellular journey of potent metallodrugs

We are interested in the development of metallodrugs as tools to modulate the cancer cell to ultimately halt cancer progression. We have developed metal-based candidates with exceptional potency against a number of cancer cell lines, and whose mechanism of action we are only starting to unveil. In order to unambiguously identify the intracellular target of such potent metallodrugs we must first localize the metal-compound inside the cell with nanometric resolution.

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Single molecule spintronics

We want to use STM operating at room temperature to study single-molecule junctions of compounds relevant for spintronic applications using magnetic electrodes (Ni or Fe for example). We will use the electrochemical chamber to remove oxide from the electrode surface to allow the magnetic molecules to bind correctly to the magnetized electrodes. We also have the ability to oxidise/reduce a molecule temporally using the bias voltage which gives us another avenue to obtain (magnetic) molecules with unpaired electrons.

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Quantum transport in novel 2D materials

An ideal candidate will have research interests aligned with: quantum physics, quantum transport, organic electronics (metal- and covalent-organic frameworks), surface science, quantum materials and/or nanodevices. Practical skills on electrical characterization (optical and magneto-electrical) as well as cleanroom-based fabrication processes will be an advantage for the development of the project.

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Hybrid systems for metal-based bio-orthogonal catalysis on carbon nanotubes

Advances in our understanding of cancer biochemistry have emphasised the importance of interfering the very intricate molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis. We now face having to therapeutically target resilient cells prone to readily develop resistance to new drugs. Catalytic drugs are emerging as new tools to circumvent resistance due to the low doses they need to exert a lethal effect. Nanotechnology can aid to generate more sophisticated strategies capable of multi-targeting the cancerous cell and effectively stop cancer progression.  

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Microwave absorption properties of switchable molecular-based spin crossover materials

The wireless communication expands constantly the ranges of frequency. This technological need drives the research effort to build novel device constituents, capable to easily tuned the exact frequency bands. Importantly, some communication structures (e.g. Wi-Fi or GPS amount others), works in different frequency ranges covered by different frequency components such as filters and antennas. Thus, it is of paramount relevance reach novel devices that can be configured (or reconfigured) to easily adjust the different range of frequency.

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Antibacterial nanomaterials

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a serious threat to public health and a global burden that is expected to get worse in the near future. To overcome this problem, there is an increasing necessity to design new antibacterial agents. One promising and innovative approach consists in the use of nanomaterials with antibacterial properties.

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Unravelling ultrafast spin switching dynamics in nanoscale iron-based metal-organic frameworks

One of the main goals of the project is to study microscopic (on atomic length scales) and real-time (on fundamental timescales of the involved processes) origin of photoinduced transformation in functional nanomaterials that can be rapidly switched between two magnetic sates states allowing them to be used in magnetic data storage devices or photoswitches. 

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Modelling of 2D materials

a) Novel electronic and structural properties of twisted bilayer graphene and related systems. Extensions to other two dimensional materials: hBN, transition metal dichalcogenides. b)Stacks of 2D layers with different properties. Combinations of superconducting and magnetic layers. Proximity effects. Role of spin-orbit coupling. Emergence of new features. c) Interplay between geometric structure and electronic properties. Role of natural and induced deformations. d) Local modulations of the properties of 2D materials. Application to the design of nanoscale devices.

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