Research Topics

The activity of the department concentrates on two main areas:

  1. The development of fundamental aspects of Crystallography as well as the solution of specific crystallographic problems
  2. The preparation, characterization, properties determination and new applications of materials designed at the nanometer scale. In each area, several lines may be distinguished:

 

1. SOLVING CRYSTALLOGRAPHIC PROBLEMS

  • New methodologies for phase retrieval and new techniques for diffraction data acquisition: The objectives for the next years will be centred on the development of advanced crystallographic methodologies taking advantage of the new possibilities offered by the high-resolution powder-diffraction beamline at the ALBA synchrotron. Besides the extension of direct methods to more complex structures and problems, much effort will be devoted to the improvement of direct-space methods for solving molecular structures from diffraction data, mainly in collaboration with ALBA and UAB.
  • Electron density studies: We will continue exploring structure-property relationships through the analysis of the electron density distribution and their implications in the material properties. In particular, we will investigate how a polarizing field tunes the strength of hydrogen bonds and also the effect of charged species on the formation of hydrogen bonds and other intermolecular interactions. Both aspects are relevant to understand transport properties in ionic liquids and in biochemical processes.
  • Resolution of crystal structures: The expertise and the powerful methods developed by the group will be used to solve and analyze different kinds of crystal structures. These methods will be applied to samples in single crystal or powdered form (bulk) or to surfaces.

 

2. SOLVING MATERIALS PROBLEMS

  • Porous materials for catalysis: Excellent results are being obtained in the ongoing research about the catalytic properties of nanocomposited porous materials (aerogels and cryogels) in organic synthesis reactions (in liquid phase), and in environmentally interesting reactions (in gas phase). New systems will be essayed (bimetallic nanoparticles, conducting substrates, microreactors) and other properties investigated based on similar materials.
  • Crystal engineering applied to drugs: Our experience in the design, preparation and characterization of cocrystals and salts of drugs allows us to face relevant problems in the formulation of pharmaceuticals (i.e., improving solubility). These and also new soft porous materials will be investigated. As it can be seen in the corresponding section, the department has been very active producing not only publications and communications but also participating in other scientifically significant related aspects as popular science articles, book editions, invited talks, patents, engineering projects, internships, expositions, and teaching in masters and schools, among others.
  • Rational synthesis of inorganic and hybrid nanoparticles and nanocomposites and the study of their structural-functional properties. Among others, we are currently interested in the stabilization of metastable phases, the preparation of core-shell nanoparticles, nanocomposites and biocompatible porous scaffolds. We aim at the applicability of those materials in the health (MRI contrast agents, cell trafficking, drug delivery vehicles and nanoparticle assessment in 3D environments) and in the information technology sectors (magneto-electric or magneto-photonic materials).  www.icmab.es/nn
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Where we are

1
Campus de la UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain Phone: + 34 935 801 853 Fax:+ 34 935 805 729

Brands at Buckingham, New York , America

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Brands at Buckingham, New York , America

Tel: (33 4) 2212820, Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.