News

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

There’s no way that turning a material upside down makes it any softer, right? Wrong! Through the combined effect of two properties inherent to certain types of crystal, flexoelectricity and piezoelectricity, researchers at the ICN2 led by ICREA Prof. Gustau Catalán have found that polar materials can be made more or less resistant to dents when they are turned upside down… or when a voltage is applied to switch their polarisation. Published this week in Advanced Materials, this research points to the future development of “smart mechanical materials” for use in smart coatings and ferroelectric memories.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

New Severo Ochoa – María de Maeztu Alliance for research excellence in Spain

Representatitves of the 25 Severo Ochoa Centres of Excellence and 16 María de Maeztu Units of Excellence accredited by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness met this afternoon for the first meeting of the Severo Ochoa – María de Maeztu Alliance (SOMMa). Presided over by the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela, the event was attended by the directors and other representatives of the research centres and units behind the alliance’s creation.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

How graphene can transform brain-computer interfaces

ICN2 group leader ICREA Prof. Jose Antonio Garrido and fellow Graphene Flagship programme coordinator, Prof. Kostas Kostarelos of the University of Manchester, were invited by Advanced Materials to present their vision of the role of graphene in the design of advanced brain-computer interfaces. Published earlier this month, the work entitled “Graphene in the design and engineering of next-generation neural interfaces” outlines the current state-of-the-art in this field, along with the ways graphene is allowing us to overcome some of the obstacles to fully realising the next generation of neural interfaces. 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Hematite-based nanowire structures to enhance solar-to-fuel conversion in photoelectrochemical water splitting

ICN2 researchers led by ICREA Prof. Jordi Arbiol, in collaboration with the IREC and ICIQ, have produced a material for use in photoelectrochemical water splitting that is not only cheaper than existing alternatives, but increases both the efficiency and output of the process. Based on the integration of several materials into a multilayer nanowire structure, the research was featured on the cover of this month’s Energy & Environmental Science.

Wednesday, 04 October 2017

Meet ICN2 at Expoquimia 2017

ICN2 representatives will be sharing ideas and knowledge at Expoquimia both as speakers and at an institutional booth shared with members of the Advanced Materials Cluster (Cluster MAV). This event is a leading show and meeting point for the chemical sector nationally and internationally.