The Programme on Advanced Materials for Multifunctional Applications at IMDEA Materials Institute combines expertise in design and synthesis of nano and molecular building blocks and their integration into macroscopic materials and devices. The guiding objective is to simultaneously realise various functions, including fire safety, high-performance mechanical properties and efficient energy management, amongst other properties. 34 researchers in the programme combine expertise spanning from in silico molecular design to fabrication of large energy storing devices. The following are the main research lines of the programme:
Synthesis, emerging technologies and integration of carbon-based nanomaterials (graphene, nanotubes, nanofibers and hybrids)
- Nanomaterials integration towards devices and energy managing devices: synthesis of nanocarbon/semiconductor hybrids for photo and electrocatalysis, interaction of nanocarbons with liquid molecules, polyelectrolytes and inorganic salts.
- Sensors: chemical, piezoresistive, piezoelectric.
- Hierarchical materials: materials design from the nanoscale to the macroscale, nano-reinforced materials, composite materials with enhanced electrical and thermal conductivity.
- Size effects in the mechanical behaviour of multifunctional materials: study of structure-property relations in macroscopic ensembles of nanobuilding blocks, and development of mechanical models for hierarchical materials and their interfaces.
Synthesis and properties of polymer-based multifunctional nanocomposites
- Sustainable materials: bio-based nanocarriers, novel guest-host nanomaterials, nano-cross linkers, functional dye-sensitized solar cells, multifunctional polymer nanocomposites, etc.
- Fire retardant materials through nanodesign: multifunctional nanomaterials to increase fire retardancy: layered double hydroxides, sepiolite, molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), nanocarbon, nano metal hydroxide, novel functional nanomaterials, nanocoatings, etc.
Solar Energy Conversion Schemes
- Nanocarbon-based solar cells: Optimization of nanocarbons for each device component, such as conductive substrates, photoelectrodes, electrolytes, etc.
- Fabrication of solar cells with non-conventional substrates.
Thin-film lighting technologies
- Development of perovskite-based lighting devices with a focus on new NPs and device architectures.
- Fabrication of efficient and stable white lighting devices based on new organic and organometallic emitters.
- Dual functional devices: Design of novel device architectures and components.
- Design of elastomeric color down-converting materials based on fluorescent proteins.
- Fabrication and analysis of single-point lighting and display systems.
- Further development towards bio-diagnosis and bio-reactor applications.
Electrochemical Energy Storage
- Tailored designing of nanostructured electrode materials, interfaces and electrolyte compositions.
- Spectroscopic/microscopic studies and implementation in electrochemical energy storage devices such as Li-ion, Na-ion, Li-S and Li-O2.
Computational and data-driven Materials Discovery
- Discovery of porous materials for energy applications (CO2 capture, methane storage).
- Design of ionic liquids.
- Characterisation of nanoparticles and others.
- Multifunctional Nanocomposites (Dr. J. J. Vilatela, Programme leader)
- High Performance Polymer Nanocomposites (Dr. D.-Y. Wang)
- Computational and Data-Driven Materials Discovery (Dr. M. Haranczyk)
- Electrochemical Energy Storage, Nanomaterials (Dr. V. Etacheri)
- Hybrid Optoelectronic Materials and Devices (Dr. R. Costa)