Media mentions

Ruben costa, the sole spanish researcher selected to participate in the World Economic Forum meeting in Tianjin

Rubén Costa, senior researcher at IMDEA Materials, has been recognized as one of the best scientists in the world under the age of 40 by the Word Economic Forum. He will play an important role at the Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions, which is taking place in Tianjin, People’s Republic of China, on 18-20 September. Together with other Thirty-five brilliant researchers, he will participate in sessions and workshops alongside leaders from government, business, civil society and other stakeholder groups and contribute ideas for solving complex challenges within and outside their core areas of interest. Rubén Costa is developing the next-generation of bio-LEDs, aiming to eliminate the need for toxic, polluting and finite rare-earth metals in the world’s artificial lighting.

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Large surface area lends superpowers to ultra-porous materials

Some materials are special not for what they contain, but for what they don’t contain. Such is the case with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) – ultra-porous structures that are being developed for a variety of future applications from fire-proofing to drug-delivery. Read the whole article in HORIZON magazine

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Gas Natural Fenosa bestows a special mention on Rubén Costa for his pioneering contributions to the energy sector

Rubén Costa, head of the research group on hybrid optoelectronic materials and devices at IMDEA Materials, has been awarded with a special mention by Gas Natural Fenosa. This Spanish company is one of the biggest promotors of innovation, research, and development of technologies devoted to the energy sector. They recognize Rubén Costa as one of the pioneers working on the forefront of hybrid solar cells and light-emitting diodes. The mention was delivered during the Innovators Under 35 Europe: Spain Gathering event of MIT Technology Review in Barcelona.

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Modelling superalloy behaviour to improve aircraft engine design

The MICROMECH project, part of the Sustainable and Green Engines (SAGE) Integrated Technology Demonstrators (ITD) of Clean Sky, has successfully developed a multi-scale computational tool to predict the mechanical behaviour of the Ni-based superalloys used in the hottest parts of aircraft engines. This model will help optimising the performance of new component designs. You can read more about the results of the MICROMECH project in this recent article published by Madri+d (in Spanish only).

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Future bulbs will be made of proteins

LED lights are the true heir to Edison’s electric bulb. They are a major breakthrough in lightning, but still require advances related to their manufacture using cheaper sustainable materials. In this interview (in Spanish), Rubén Costa (senior researher at IMDEA Materials) explains his vision of future light bulbs made of proteins.

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Quantum Dots, Fluorescent Proteins Vie for Supremacy

Since the mid-50s the full-color display technology began its rise to success. The origins of this technology was the old-fashioned cathode ray tubes, which were displaced from the top about a decade ago by liquid crystal displays (LCDs) using a back-lighting system based on white inorganic light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Nowadays, two approaches are the front runners of this display field, namely i) the development of micropatterned films with color down-converters that partially transform the high-energy emission of the back-lighting system into the desired color, and ii) the fabrication of displays based on the so-called electroluminescence concept. In this article, Dr. Costa highlighted the new trends for color down-converters used for display applications. Here, cadmium-based QDs and fluorescent proteins are the leading examples of the future advances. Rubén D. Costa, IMDEA Materials Institute Full article

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Rubén Costa selected top Spanish talent by the MIT

Rubén Costa, head of the research group on hybrid optoelectronic materials and devices at IMDEA Materials, has been selected as one of the Top Spanish Talents by the MIT Technology Review. He will be competing for a spot among the final list of Innovators Under 35 Europe 2017. Rubén Costa is leveraging his educational background to guide his work developing a lower-cost, more eco-friendly alternative to current lighting systems. This bio-hybrid technology, known as bio-WLED, also aims to prevent the many health risks associated with using more traditional WLED light sources. Through these advancements, Costa hopes to change the face (and future) of illumination systems and displays for millions around the world. Left: Pictures of the fluoresecent protein-based gels and rubber-like materials upon excitation at 310 nm. Right: Picture of a working Bio-HLED featuring a bottom-up energy transfer cascade protein coating placed  onto a blue inorganic LED.

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A yarn like sensor for composites

J. Carlos Fernández-Toribio There is a clear evidence that composites are an increasing field of interest. Thus, the demand for composites end products has reached 22.2$ billion in 2015 . This is due to their low weight and high mechanical resistance. Therefore, lighter structural parts can be manufactured. For that reason, 50 % of the weight of the last generation of planes, such as Boeing 787 or Airbus A382 and A350, are made of composites. However, this high market size does not fit an industry which is not properly automatized and whose fabrication methods are highly inefficient. Moreover, composites show complex failure mechanisms. Those lead to the use of expensive and time consuming inspection methods. This is very inconvenient in areas where safety is a key, such as aeronautics. Read more

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Promoting Spanish science in the UK

Prof. Ignacio Romero, Deputy Director of IMDEA Materials, showcased the Institute’s scientific activity, our most well-known scientists and the available job positions for the coming months in the event “Science in Spain 2016 – Science Jobs Opportunities”, which took place past September 15th at the Spanish Embassy in London. Prof. Ignacio Romero, Deputy Director of IMDEA Materials, presenting the Institute activity at “Science in Spain 2016 – Science Jobs Opportunities” Check the complete news at FECYT website

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Carbon nanotube “stitches” strengthen composites

The newest Airbus and Boeing passenger jets flying today are made primarily from advanced composite materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic (extremely light, durable materials that reduce the overall weight of the plane by as much as 20 percent compared to aluminum-bodied planes). Such lightweight airframes translate directly to fuel savings, which is a major point in advanced composites’ favor. But composite materials are also surprisingly vulnerable: While aluminum can withstand relatively large impacts before cracking, the many layers in composites can break apart due to relatively small impacts — a drawback that is considered the material’s Achilles’ heel. Now MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) aerospace engineers led by Dr. Roberto Guzmán de Villoria (Junior Researcher at IMDEA Materials since January 2012) have found a way to bond composite layers in such a way that the resulting material is substantially stronger and more resistant to damage than other advanced composites. Their results have just been published in the journal Composites Science and Technology. Check the whole article at MIT news

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2016 ESCM young investigator award for Dr. Juan José Vilatela

Dr. Juan José Vilatela, leader of the research program on “Nanomaterials for Multifunctional Applications” at IMDEA Materials, has received the young investigator award from the European Society of Composite Materials (ESCM). This award recognizes the accomplishments of a young researcher who has made significant contributions in the field of composite materials and is presented every two years in the European Conference of Composite Materials (ECCM). Dr. Vilatela will officially receive the award in the seventeenth European Conference on Composite Materials (ECCM17), which will be held in Munich, June 26-30. Dr. Vilatela will present his latest research in a plenary lecture during the conference.

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Interview with Juan José Vilatela, Head Researcher of the Multifunctional Nanocomposites group of IMDEA Materials

"I am convinced that the carbon nanotube fibre will revolutionize the composite materials field". Juan José Vilatela has a BSc in Engineering Physics (Hons) from Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico, and a PhD from Cambridge University, obtained in 2009. Before joining IMDEA Materials Institute he worked as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at Cambridge University. His research focused mainly on the development of a new high-performance fibre made of carbon nanotubes. The fibre spinning process is currently under industrial scale-up; Dr. Vilatela being an active consultant in this development. Link to the complete text: Madri+d.

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