Scientific infrastructures

Synthesis, processing and integration of materials

Metallic alloys

• Bulk processing techniques: casting by induction and arc
melting, GLEEBLE 3800 thermo-mechanical simulator equipped with tools for physical simulation of casting, rolling, forging, welding, sintering, and controlled heat treatments.
• Powders manufactured by gas atomisation and mechanical milling. Selective laser melting technology for additive manufacturing of metals.

Polymer based composites and nanocomposites

• Liquid moulding processing: RTM resin transfer moulding, VI vacuum infusion, RFI resin film infusion and pultrusion.
• Prepreg lamination using vacuum bagging of autoclave and out-of-autoclave prepregs (OoA) or laminate hot-press moulding (<400°C).
• Semi-industrial equipment for compounding and injection moulding of thermoplastics.
• Integration of advanced nano-fillers.
• Filament maker for 3D printing (3dvo).
• Melt flow index.


• Synthesis and chemical modification of nanocarbons, inorganic materials, nanoporous semiconductors, thin films, zeolites and other nanomaterials.
• Evaporation equipment in controlled atmospheres, high-pressure reactors and in-house chemical vapour deposition systems.

Energy storage and conversion devices

• Synthesis and characterisation of nanostructured electrode materials for energy storage applications. Fabrication of
composite electrodes and integration in various types of rechargeable batteries (Li-ion, Li-S, Li-O2, Na-ion, and hybrid batteries, etc.).
• Fabrication and testing of nanocarbon-based electrodes and their integration with liquid and solid electrolytes to form large-area (> 100 cm2) flexible supercapacitors.
• Integration of energy-storage functions in structural composites.

Microstructural and chemical characterisation

• 3D microscopy at different length-scales, including X-ray tomography, X-ray diffraction, 3D-SEM, 3D-EDS and 3D-EBSD in the FIB and 3D-TEM and 3D-EDS in the TEM.
• In-situ thermo-mechanical testing of mininaturised samples in the X-ray tomography system, as well as in the SEM and TEM.
• In-situ processing studies in the X-ray tomography system, such as casting, infiltration and curing of polymer based materials.
• Raman spectrophotometer.
• Gel permeation chromatography.
• Particle size analyser.
• Freeze dryer.
• In-situ thermal studies of polymers in the X-ray diffractometer.

Mechanical properties

• Mechanical testing of a wide range of materials, using electromechanical and hydraulic machines (quasi-static, dynamic, fracture and fatigue testing in a wide range of temperatures).
• Characterisation of mechanical properties at multiple length scales, including nanoindentation, micropillar compression, microtensile testing and fracture micromechanics.
• Tests can be carried out both ex-situ and in-situ in SEM, TEM and X-ray tomography, including measurements at elevated temperature.


• Simulation techniques at different scales (electronic, atomistic, mesoscopic and continuum) to design or improve materials and components by means of virtual testing and virtual processing.
• High-performance computer cluster (600+ Intel Xeon CPU cores and NVIDIA GPU acceleration leading to a computational power of 90 Tflops).
• In-house developed simulation tools.
• Commercial and open source software tools for modelling and simulation in Materials Science and Enginnering (CALPHAD, DICTRA, Micress, Abaqus, LSDyna, PamCrash, LAMMPS, VASP, etc.).

Functional properties

Fire resistance

• Rapid laboratory scale tests for screening (micro-scale combustion calorimetry and oxygen index).
• Dual cone calorimetry and UL94 Horizonal/Vertical Flame Chamber.


• DSC, TGA and Hot Disk Thermal Conductivity analyser. Thermal behaviour of mechanical properties, DMA and rheology. 
• Pushrod Dilatomer for the measurement of dimensional changes.


• Electrochemical characterisation of energy storage devices (Li-ion, Li-S, Li-O2, Na-ion, and hybrid batteries). Simultaneous testing of 100 batteries can be performed using a multichannel battery tester.
• Galvanostatic/potentiostatic cycling at various current densities.
• Single channel Zive SP1 electrochemical workstation is used for cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) study of batteries.
• LCR equipment to quantify dielectric properties in composites.

Biomaterials and cell culture

• Confocal, fluorescence and inverted microscopes.
• PCR instrument.
• Multi-mode plate reader (absorbance, fluorescence, luminescence).
• Ultrasonic processor.
• Autoclave.
• Protein gel electrophoresis and blotting system.
• Liquid nitrogen tank for cell storage and 80ºC freezer.
• Prusa mini 3D printer.
• Biosafety cabinets.
• Benchtop and CO2 incubators.
• Centrifuge and microcentrifuge, vortex mixers, hot plate stirrer, dry block heater, UV lamp, and thermostatic water baths.

External services

IMDEA Materials provides experimental support for academic and industrial collaborators for the characterization of samples of different nature through the following laboratories:

Micro and nanomechanics Laboratory NANOMEC (RedLab 359)

       External use of TEM
       External use of X-Ray Tomograph

Materials processing and characterization Laboratory PROCAMAT (RedLab 360)

Synthesis of Nanomaterials SYNANO (RedLab 361)

Fire Resistance Laboratory FIRERESLAB (RedLab 362)