Month: November 2017

Research Award L’Oréal-Unesco FWIS 2017 for Mariona Coll and her project on new materials for photovoltaics

Our researcher, Dr. Mariona Coll, has been awarded with the Research Award L’Oréal-Unesco “For Women in Science” 2017. The awards ceremony took place this last Wednesday, 22 November, in Madrid. Mariona will receive 15.000 € that will be invested in her research project which “can contribute to one of the most important challenges of this century: find a new energy system for the production of clean energy”. 

Mariona Coll, and her research project on the development of new materials for the conversion of solar energy, carried out at SUMAN-ICMAB, has been awarded with one of the five Research Awards L’Oréal-Unesco “For Women in Science”. Mariona studied Chemistry at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and did her PhD in Chemistry at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and SUMAN-ICMAB, on the development of superconducting materials. She then was a postdoc in USA (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, University of Maryland) and in Europe (IFWDresden, University of Hamburg, ICMS-CSIC), before coming back to SUMAN-ICMAB.

At SUMAN-ICMAB, Mariona is currently researching new materials capable of converting the solar light into electrical energy in a more efficient way than the current materials used nowadays in solar cells (mainly crystalline silicon), by combining nanotechnology with low cost chemistry-based methods.

The awards ceremony was built upon the question “How can we make that young girls fall in love with STEM?”, since the “For Women in Science” program has been for 17 years working on enhancing the visibility of women in science, and this year was specially focused in STEM: its goal is to reach the 50 % women in the STEM university studies (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

RESEARCH AWARDS For Women in Science 2017:

The full list of this year’s Research Awards is the following: 

  • Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Mariona Coll.
  • Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Eva Mª Fernández.
  • Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), Maia Garcia Vergniory.
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Mª del Prado Martín Moruno.
  • Instituto de Física Corpuscular (IFIC, CSIC-Universidad de Valencia), Mariam Tórtola.

In the press:

Congratulations Joffre!

Dr. Joffre Gutierrez has recently obtained a mobility grant Jose Castillejo for young researchers from the Spanish Ministerio de educacion, cultura y deporte. Thanks to this grant, Dr. Gutierrez will work for six months with Prof. Xiaolin Wang at the Institute for superconducting and electronic materials at the University of Wollongong (Australia). There, he will perform a study of the vortex pinning of REBa2Cu3O7-x films and tapes at magnetic fields up to 14T and under high hydrostatic pressure (1.5 GPa) with the aim to identify the best microstructure for the working conditions found at the future circular collider at CERN

10-12th Nov 2017: SUMAN-ICMAB at EXPOMINER

Our tenured scientist, Susagna Ricart, and our PhD students, Laia, Júlia, Ferran, Artur and Juri, have participated at EXPOMINER BARCELONA MARKET (Show of mineral, fossils and jewelry) during last weekend (VIDEO 1)

Laia Soler and Júlia Jareño conducted a workshop entitled “Levitate with superconductors” (Abstract: Can you imagine a train that travels without touching the rails? This workshop will show you how this may be possible, thanks to superconductor materials. Come and play with trains that levitate and objects that spin endlessly in the air!) on Friday 10th morning

Dr. Susagna Ricart gave an Informative talk entitled “De les perovskites als superconductors”on Sunday 12th morning.

And finally, Ferran Vallès, Artur Romanov and Juri Banchewski were the responsibles for the “Levitate with superconductors” workshop during all Sunday 12th  (VIDEO 2)

As we can see in the videos the “Levitate with superconductors” workshop created a great expectation!

From the research group we want to express our gratitute to all of them for their excellent contributions! Good Job!



23th – 31st October: External laboratory stay at the LNCMI in Grenoble

Engaging one of the European Magnetic Field Laboratory (EMFL), two members of the SUMAN group, Dr. Joffre Gutierrez and the PhD student Artur Romanov, departed for a week to the Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Intenses (LNCMI) in Grenoble.

The provided 36 T magnetic fields at LNCMI allow research at conditions usually not available at scientific facilities. With this stay, our group achieved first step stones towards the goal to link transport measurements with vortex dynamics of both commercially available tapes and ICMAB grown thin films at extreme conditions.

Piezo-generated charge mapping revealed through direct piezoelectric force microscopy

Piezo-generated charge mapping revealed through direct piezoelectric force microscopy

A. GomezM. GichA. Carretero-GenevrierT. Puig & X. Obradors Nature Communications 8, Article number: 1113 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01361-2 

While piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials play a key role in many everyday applications, there are still a number of open questions related to their physics. To enhance our understanding of piezoelectrics and ferroelectrics, nanoscale characterization is essential. Here, we develop an atomic force microscopy based mode that obtains a direct quantitative analysis of the piezoelectric coefficient d33. We report nanoscale images of piezogenerated charge in a thick single crystal of periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN), a bismuth ferrite (BiFO3) thin film, and lead zirconate titanate (PZT) by applying a force and recording the current produced by these materials. The quantification of d33coefficients for PPLN (14 ± 3 pC per N) and BFO (43 ± 6 pC per N) is in agreement with the values reported in the literature. Even stronger evidence of the reliability of the method is provided by an equally accurate measurement of the significantly larger d33 of PZT.

Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona ICMAB CSIC


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