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A new iron oxide polymorph found at high pressures

  • Researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility have characterized the structural, electronic and magnetic behavior of nanoparticles of a rare phase of iron oxide, the epsilon phase, under extreme pressure conditions, emulating the conditions of the interior of the Earth.
  • The study, published in Nature Communications, concludes that the presence of this rare phase of iron oxide in the inner Earth is possible, and that under these conditions there is a new iron oxide phase, epsilon prime, with magnetic properties radically different from those known so far.

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Researchers from "Madame du Châtelet" talking about the gender gap in science in the press

On Saturday, 17 November 2018, we participated in the "Science Tech Girls Vallès" event, in the Library Vapor Badia in Sabadell. The event was planned as a morning full of science and technology for girls between 8 and 18 years old. Boys could also participate, but it was an action to encourage the participation of girls in science. The morning started at 10 am with the dramatised reading, created and performed by ICMAB women, "Madame du Châtelet and her Instagram followers", which wants to visibilize the women scientists throughout history. 

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ICMAB researchers collaborate in a study published in Nature Physics about a "Giant topological Hall Effect"

ICMAB researchers Gervasi Herranz, Blai Casals and Rafael Cichelero, from the MULFOX group, have contributed to a study led by the group of Manuel Bibes, from Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS/Thales (France), published in Nature Physics on October 15, 2018. The study, entitled "Giant topological Hall effect in correlated oxide thin films" describes the discovery of a giant topological Hall effect arising from the topology of spatial distribution of spin textures. 

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"New perspectives for photovoltaics" by Mariona Coll at Revista de Física

The last issue of the Revista Española de Física (RdF) of the RSEF contains five articles written by the winners of the XII edition of the Research Awards "For Women in Science" from L'Oréal-UNESCO. The Editorial Committee decided to invite them to write an article about their research for the section "Temas de Física". Mariona Coll, from the ICMAB, has written the article "Oxides and low-cost chemical methods: New perspectives for photovoltaics".

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Nobel Prize in Physics for for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics... how do we use lasers at ICMAB?

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 was awarded “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics” with one half to Arthur Ashkin “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems”, the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses”. Here at ICMAB we also work with lasers. Do you want to know how?

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"El reto de ser científicas y madres" by Valentina Raffio in El Periódico

On Monday, 24 September, this article appeared in the printed version in the newspaper "El Periódico", both in the Spanish and Catalan version. The article is written by the journalist Valentina Raffio, and features two ICMAB researchers, Teresa Puig and Marta Mas-Torrent, in the framework of the project #LasCientíficasCuentan, an initiative by CSIC-Brussels and funded by the FECYT. We transcribe here the text. 

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Marta Mas-Torrent and Teresa Puig, ERC researchers, in #LasCientíficasCuentan

The project "Las Científicas Cuentan" is an initiative of the CSIC Delegation in Brussels financed by the FECYT. The aim of the project is to bring basic science to the general public, through the story of women scientists who have been awarded with a ERC project during the past years. From the ICMAB, Marta Mas-Torrent (ERC-Starting Grant) and Teresa Puig (ERC-Advanced Grant) participate in the project.

The presentation will be on Wednesday, September 19 in Barcelona with a talk by Teresa Puig on superconducting materials (7 pm).

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New boost to future calcium batteries - A possible cathode?

  • A recent study demonstrates the feasibility of the electrochemical extraction of calcium from a metal oxide, which could be used as a cathode (positive electrode) for calcium batteries
  • The study, published in Dalton Transactions, was carried out in collaboration with Toyota Motor Europe, which shares the patent

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SOMMa in the press: "Respiro para la ciencia"

This article was published on May 28, 2018, in La Vanguardia, and is signed by Carina Farreras, Barcelona. We transcribe it here as it is. You can download here the paper version. SOMMa is the alliance of the Severo Ochoa and Maria de Maeztu research centers and units, formed by 41 research centers and units, and by more than 5,000 researchers. SOMMa wants to promote Spanish Excellence in research and enhance its social impact at national and international levels.

Respiro para la ciencia. Una enmienda a ley de Presupuestos desencalla la paralización de los centros.

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Soft organic materials that change color and charge transfer with the application of an electric field

Wearable electronics, cell phones, electronic papers, smart windows, sensors, and wireless communication devices need mechanically flexible electronic components that are able to change their color and the degree of charge transfer. The development of lightweight flexible organic conducting materials with these properties has a great technological interest in this field.

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Finding a needle in the haystack: 50 times faster evaluation of organic materials for solar cells

  • Researchers from the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) have successfully demonstrated a combinatorial platform that evaluates how good an organic material is for photovoltaic applications.
  • The platform method is 50 times faster and saves about 90 % of material compared to the conventional evaluation protocols.
  • The study has been published in Advanced Electronic Materials, where it has been back cover, and is performed in the framework of the ERC project FOREMAT from Dr. Mariano Campoy-Quiles

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Superconducting materials and levitation of magnets with Teresa Puig in "Els Matins de TV3"

On Thursday 11 October 2018, the programme "Els Matins de TV3", directed by Lídia Heredia, interviewed researcher Teresa Puig about the superconducting materials, in their section devoted to science, and presented by Daniel Arbós. The section, of more than 18 minutes long, explains what superconducting materials are, what are their main applications, and shows the levitation experiment. 

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Cancer immunotherapy recognized with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 has been jointly awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation". At ICMAB, we also work on projects related to cancer immunotherapy and we are very excited about this prize. However, the strategy followed by our researchers and by the Nobel Prize winners is somehow different. Do you want to know why?

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Mariona Coll, scientist with GLAMOUR

The October issue of GLAMOUR, the most read magazine among women and female teenagers in Spain, publishes the interview to seven Spanish female researchers discussing on gender balance and the difficulties to do research in Spain. Mariona Coll, a chemist from ICMAB, is one of them.

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The ICMAB website: the most visible of the CSIC

According to the Ranking Web of Research Centers, the ICMAB has the most visible website of all the CSIC research centers and units. In addition, the ICMAB website has raised to the 2nd position in the global ranking (in 2017 it was in the 4th place, and in 2016 in the 13th), from a total of 138. 

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Minimalist Biostructures Designed to Create Nanomaterials

  • Researchers from the IBB-UAB fabricate 4 molecules of only 7 amino acids with the ability to self-assemble and rapidly and inexpensively form nanomaterials for biomedical and nanotechnological purposes.
  • Four peptides were used to create one of the most resistant bionanomaterials described to date, nanocables and mini enzymes to act as a catalyst for the formation of nanomaterials.
  • The study, publised in ACS Nano included the collaboration of Isabel Fuentes and Francesc Teixidor from the ICMAB-CSIC.

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ICMAB researchers develop flexible materials that switch from nano-porous 3D to 2D structures in a reversible way

  • These materials can have applications in selective gas separation or gas adsorption, as catalysts for chemical reactions, as encapsulation and drug delivery for active substances or hazardous waste adsorption.
  • The strategy is based on the spherical shape of the boron-based linkers used as ligands.
  • Look at this video, that explains the transformation:  https://youtu.be/eO9fMitBfFY

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