Month: July 2017

Probing localized strain in solution-derived YBa2Cu3O7−δ nanocomposite thin films

Roger Guzman, Jaume Gazquez, Bernat Mundet, Mariona Coll, Xavier Obradors, and Teresa Puig. Phys. Rev. Materials. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.1.024801

Enhanced pinning due to nanoscale strain is unique to the high-Tc cuprates, where pairing may be modified with lattice distortion. Therefore a comprehensive understanding of the defect landscape is required for a broad range of applications. However, determining the type and distribution of defects and their associated strain constitutes a critical task, and for this aim, real-space techniques for atomic resolution characterization are necessary. Here, we use scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) to study the atomic structure of individual defects of solution-derived YBa2Cu3O7 (YBCO) nanocomposites, where the inclusion of incoherent secondary phase nanoparticles within the YBCO matrix dramatically increases the density of Y1Ba2Cu4O8 (Y124) intergrowths, the commonest defect in YBCO thin films. The formation of the Y124 is found to trigger a concatenation of strain-derived interactions with other defects and the concomitant nucleation of intrinsic defects, which weave a web of randomly distributed nanostrained regions that profoundly transform the vortex-pinning landscape of the YBCO nanocomposite thin films.

July-August 2017: Julia’s stay in Japan

Our PhD Student Júlia Jareño is visiting Prof. Shimoyama Laboratory in Aoyama Gakuin University, in Japan. Through their expertise in thin film growth, the project is focused on studying the growth mechanism of Ba2342 as a buffer layer for YBCO films. Our student has also had the oportunity to visit the Asahi substation from Tokyo power where a BSSCO cable is on operation.


Mariona Coll, Research Award L’Oréal-Unesco “For Women in Science” 2017

We are very happy to announce that our researcher Mariona Coll has been awarded with one of the Research Awards L’Oréal-Unesco “For Women in Science” in the 2017 Call for her project “Nanochemistry: New materials for the efficient conversion of solar energy”.

After obtaining her PhD at ICMAB on 2007, Mariona did her postdoctoral research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and at University of Maryland (USA). She came back at ICMAB in 2010, and obtained the Ramon y Cajal Researcher position in 2014. Her research interests are focused on novel materials for energy applications, such as superconducting materials or materials for photovoltaics. 

The Research Award “For Women in Science”, of 15,000 €, will be devoted to support and promote the project developed at ICMAB by Mariona Coll during the following year. The awards ceremony will take place in Madrid on November 22, 2017.

The Jury of this XII Edition was composed by the following scientists:

  • Pedro Miguel Echenique, Professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU), President of the Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC) and Prince of Asturias Award on Scientific Research on 1998
  • Avelino Corma, Research Professor at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Valencia ITQ (CSIC / UPV), Founder of the Institute of Chemical Technology in Valencia ITQ (CSIC / UPV) and Prince of Asturias Award on Scientific Research on 2014
  • Teresa Rodrigo, Professor at the University of Cantabria, Member of the Scientific Committee of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
  • Pilar López Sancho, Research Professor at the Materials Science Institute of Madrid (ICMM-CSIC)



Congratulations Changyong!

Congratulations to our PhD Student Changyong Lu that yesterday has defended his thesis at Sala de Graus II of Science Faculty of UAB, entitled: 

“Synthesis and Characterization of Magnetic Nanocomposites and Their Applications Study”

Nanomaterials especially nanoparticles become one of the most attractive area not only in scientific research but also in industrial applications. In this thesis, the preparation of magnetite nanoparticles, their related nanocomposites and the application of those obtained nanomaterials have been studied. The Fe3O4@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles were synthesized via normal and microwave assistance reverse microemulsion methods. The obtained nanoparticles were fully characterized with different laboratory techniques and the effect of reaction parameters on final products was also studied. These nanoparticles were used as a support of Ag catalysts nanoparticles and the as synthesized nanocomposites shown nice catalytic property and high recyclability.

A novel Fe3O4@GNF@SiO2 nanocapsulates were also prepared via in situ formation of magnetite nanoparticles and silica coverage process. The obtained nanocapsulates have nice stabilities even in the acid environments. The potential application of these nanocapsulates in magnetic resonance imaging research was also studied. On the other hand, the cytotoxity and interaction with cell of Fe3O4@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles were studied which indicate the possibility of using them in biomedical research. Then, the Fe3O4@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles were further decorated with biomolecules such as MC540 and L-thyroxine. The Fe3O4@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles with the surface functionalized with molecule imprinted polymers also suggested the potential application in biosensor research.


  • Dr. Josep Ros Badosa, UAB
  • Dr. Susagna Ricart Miró, ICMAB

PhD Committee: 

  • President: José Luís Bourdelande, Departament de Química, UAB
  • Secretary: Eduardo Solano Minuesa, ALBA Synchrotron
  • Vocal: Albert Calleja Lázaro, OXOLUTIA S.L

10 -12 July: SUMAN participation to Nanoselect NOE Anual Meeting

The NANOSELECT NOE: Advanced materials and NANOtechnologies for innovative electrical, ELECTronic and magnetoelectronic devices (NANOSELECT) coordinated by Prof. Xavier Obradors, director of the ICMAB-CSIC, has prepared its Annual Meeting for 2017. The meeting was hold in Sant Feliu de Guíxols (Girona) on July 10-12, 2017. 

The Network of Excellence (NOE) NANOSELECT is a natural continuation of the corresponding Consolider Project which was focused in Functional Oxide Materials. The Meeting will be also supported by the Severo Ochoa Program. The Program aims to promote excellence in scientific research in Spain. It targets centres or units that carry out cutting-edge research and are among the world’s best in their respective areas. The ICMAB is one of the top research institutions named as a Severo Ochoa Research Centre by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO).

During the meeting SUMAN researchers presented their last results entitled:

  • “Mechanisms of novel transient liquid assisted growth for ultrafast production of YBa2Cu3O7-x thin films” (oral communication by Laia Soler)
  • “The role of Oxygen exchange kinetics in the engineering of carrier concentration of YBa2Cu3O7-x thin films” (oral communication by Alex Stangl)
  • “Reversible tuning of spin textures and resistance states in High Temperature Superconducting films” (oral communication by Anna Palau)
  • “Chemical growth techniques to nanoengineer functional oxide thin films and interfases ” (oral communication by Mariona Coll)
  • ” Competition between octahedral tilts and polar shifts in perovskites” (oral communication by Jaume Gazquez)
  • “Structural distortions triggered by the most common YBCO defect: the Y2Ba4Cu8O16 intergrowht” (oral communication by Bernat Mundet)

And the following posters:

  • “In-situ thermal analysis of YBa2Cu3O7-∂ FF precursor solutions during pyrolysis: film versus powder” by S. Rasi, J. Farjas, P. Roura, S. Ricart, L. Soler, J. Jareño, T. Puig and Xavier Obradors
  • “New insights in strained ReNiO3 thin films” by B. Mundet, J.Gázquez, R.Guzman, J. Jareño, J.C. González-Rosillo, X. Obradors and T. Puig
  • “Physical Properties of Nanostructured, Liquid Assisted Grown, Epitaxial YBa2Cu3O7-x Superconducting Films” by J.Banchewski, L.Soler, J.Jareño, R.Guzmán, S.Rasi, J.Farjas, P.Roura, S.Ricart, C.Mocuta, X.Obradors and T.Puig
  • “Colloidal solutions of Nanoparticles in Alcoholic Ionic Environments for Growth of Nanocomposite Fucntional Oxides” by N.Chamorro, Z.Li, A.Garzon, P.Cayado, M.Coll, R.Yañez, J.Ros, T.Puig, X.Obradors and S.Ricart
  • “Exceptional self-assembly by citrate bridge formation in LnF3 (Ln=Y, Gd) nanoparticles synthesis” by J.Martinez-Esain, J.Faraudo, T.Puig, X.Obradors, J.Ros, S.Ricart and R.Yañez
  • “Synthesis and aplications of Fe3O4@SiO2 nanoparticles and Fe3O4@CNT@SiO2 nanocapsules” by C.Lu, S.Sandoval, T.Puig, X.Obradors, G.Tobias, J.Ros and S.Ricart
  • “Chemical co-substitution on multiferroic BiFeO3 thin films for next generation photovoltaics” by P.Machado, A.Sánchez, J. Gazquez, X.Obradors, M.Campoy-Quiles, T.Puig and M.Coll
  • “YBa2Cu3O7-x nanocomposite films by CSD-ultrafast Transient Liquid Assisted Growth” by  J. Jareño, L.Soler, J.Banchewski, N.Chamorro, S. Rasi, R. Guzmán, J.Martínez, S.Ricart, J.
    Ros, J.Farjas, C. Mocuta, X. Obradors and T. Puig
  • “Preparation of nanostructured YBCO YBa2Cu3O7 – BaMO (M=Zr, Hf) superconductor nanocomposite using colloidal solution with preformed oxide nanoparticles” by Z. Li, M. Coll, N. Chamorro, B. Mundet, J. Gazquez, F. Vallés, A. Palau, C. Pop, J. Ros, S. Ricart , T. Puig and X. Obradors
  • “Defect analysis in new liquid-mediated YBa2Cu3O7 thin films” by R. Guzman, L. Soler, J. Jareño, J. Banchewski, S. Ricart, X. Obradors and T Puig
  • “Tuning of the electronic structure in High Temperature Superconducting films at nanometric scale” by A. Fernandez, J.C. Gonzalez-Rosillo, X. Obradors, A. Palau, N. Mestres and T. Puig
  • “Superconducting Medium Speed Synchronous Electrical Generator for 2MW class of Wind Mills” by X. Granados, J. López-López, A. Muñoz, J.L. Rodriguez-Izal, C. Salvatierra, E. Martínez, A.L. Angurel, T. Puig and X. Obradors
  • ” Vortex pinning in CSD YBCO nanocomposite films also at ultrahigh magnetic fields” by F.Vallès, A.Palau, Z. Li, B. Mundet, B. Villarejo, C. Pop, F. Pino, M.Coll, J. Gázquez, S. Ricart, X.
    Obradors and T. Puig
  • “Thick YBa2C3O7-x layers with ink jet printing single deposition” by B. Villarejo, Flavio Pino, C. Pop, S. Ricart, P. Roura, J. Farjas, N. Chamorro, J. Ros, X.
    Obradors and T. Puig
  • “Chemical solution deposition growth of low fluorine thick coated conductors of YBa2Cu3O7 and YBa2Cu3O7 nanocomposites with preformed BZO nanoparticles” by C. Pop, B. Villarejo, F. Pino, N. Chamorro, F. Valles, B. Mundet, A. Palau, J. Gazquez, A. Usoskin, S. Ricart, T. Puig and X. Obradors

Teresa Puig invited talk at CEC-ICMC 2017

From 9 to 13th July our head department, Prof. Teresa Puig, has assisted to 2017 Cryogenic Engineering Conference and International Cryogenic Materials Conference and she presented an invited talk entitled “Vortex pinning landscape in low cost chemical solution Nanocomposite YBa2Cu3O7-x coated conductors”

Novel Fe3O4@GNF@SiO2 nanocapsules fabricated through the combination of an in situ formation method and SiO2 coating process for magnetic resonance imaging

Novel Fe3O4@GNF@SiO2 nanocapsules fabricated through the combination of an in situformation method and SiO2 coating process for magnetic resonance imaging

Changyong Lu,* Stefania Sandoval, Teresa Puig, Xavier Obradors, Gerard Tobias, Josep Rosa and Susagna Ricart. RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 24690. DOI: 10.1039/c7ra04080f

An in situ approach for the synthesis of Fe3O4 nanoparticles combined with a SiO2 coating process was employed to prepare Fe3O4@GNF@SiO>2 nanocapsules. Graphitised nanofibres (GNF) were initially filled with iron(III) acetylacetonate, and used as a precursor for the synthesis of ultrasmall Fe3O4 nanoparticles (4.6 nm in diameter) inside the cavities of GNF (Fe3O4@GNF) with a high density. By using a silica coating process, Fe3O4@GNF@SiO>2 nanocapsules were obtained. The presence of the silica shell not only prevented leakage of the nanoparticles from inside the GNF but also protected the magnetite nanoparticles from dissolution, even in harsh acidic conditions. Furthermore, the silica coating resulted in an increased dispersability of the nanocomposites in water. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies indicate relatively high Image ID:c7ra04080f-t1.gif relaxivities for Fe3O4@GNF nanocomposites and Fe3O4@GNF@SiO>2 nanocapsules revealing the potential application of these hybrid materials for bioimaging. Therefore, the coating of filled GNF with silica is as an excellent strategy for the protection of encapsulated payloads.

Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona ICMAB CSIC


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