Projects financed by National Funds

Plasma technology for efficient and DURAble waterproof perovskite SOLar cells

Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

Code: PID2019-109603RA-I00

Acronym: DuraSol

Principal Investigator:
Juan Ramón Sánchez Valencia / Maria del Carmen López Santos

Period:
01-06-2020 / 31-05-2023

Research team: Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro

Work team: Xabier García Casas, Víctor López Flores, Javier Castillo Seoane

Solar cells – devices that transform sunlight into electricity – are of vital interest for the sustainable future of the planet. During the last years and aware of this fact, the scientific community has made a great effort to improve the efficiency of these devices. A particular example of a solar cell that contains an organometallic halide perovskite as light absorber has focused the attention of the scientific community during the last decade due, above all, to its high efficiency and low cost. This solar cell technology is a promising alternative to currently existing ones (based on Si and chalcogenides), although they face a scientific and technological challenge that has not been solved in 10 years since its discovery: for the commercial realization of the perovskite cells possible, they need to achieve higher stability, durability and reproducibility. The main problem lies in the high sensitivity of these perovskites to oxygen and environmental humidity, which produce a rapid degradation of the cell’s behaviour in an extremely short time, making commercialization unfeasible.

DuraSol seeks to address this great scientific and technological challenge by manufacturing cell components using vacuum and plasma technology. These methodologies are industrially scalable and present great advantages over solution methods (the most used), among which are: their high versatility, control of composition and microstructure, low cost, environmentally friendly since they do not require solvents, do not produce pollutant emissions and are compatible with current semiconductor technology.
The main objective of DuraSol is the fabrication of waterproof perovskite solar cells by integrating components manufactured by vacuum and plasma methodologies in the form of thin films and nanostructures, which act as hydrophobic sealants. The viability of DuraSol is based on recent results that demonstrate that plasma-assisted synthesis of different components of the solar cell can be one of the most promising ways to increase its stability and durability, which is today the bottleneck that prevents their commercialization. It is worth to highlight that there is no example in the literature about this synthetic approach, and this opportunity is expected to demonstrate the advantages and versatility of this innovative methodology in a field of very high impact. The research proposed in DuraSol falls within the priority areas of the European Union Horizon 2021-2027 program and responds to several of the challenges proposed in this call for “Energía segura, eficiente y limpia” (Challenge 3) and “Cambio climático y utilización de recursos y materias primas” (Challenge 5).

 

 

NanoDevices3D (NanoD3D): Nanowires and Nanotrees for a new generation of self-powered nanodevices.

Financial source: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. Acciones de Dinamización «Europa Investigación 2017»

Code: EUIN2017-89059

Acronym: NanoD3D

Principal Investigator:
Ana Borrás

Period:
01-11-2017 / 31-12-2019

Research team: Juan R. Ramón Sánchez-Valencia, M.C. López-Santos.

Nanostructured multilayered architectures for the development of optofluidic responsive devices, smart labels, and advanced surface functionalization

Financial source: Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI) y Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER)

Code:           MAT2016-79866-R

Acronym: NANOFLOW

 

Principal Investigator:
Ángel Barranco, Francisco Yubero

Period:
01-01-2017 / 31-12-2019

Research team: Agustin R. Gonzalez-Elipe (ICMS-CSIC), José Cotrino (ICMS-US), Juan Pedro Espinós (ICMS-CSIC), Fabián Frutos (US), Ana I. Borrás (ICMS-CSIC), Alberto Palmero (ICMS-CSIC), Victor Rico (ICMS-CSIC), Angel Barranco (ICMS-CSIC), F. Yubero (ICMS-CSIC),  Ricardo Molina (IQAC-CSIC), Fernando Lahoz (ULL), Xerman de la Fuente (ICMA-CSIC), Jesús Cuevas (US), Mª Fe Laguna (UPM), Antonio Rodero (UCO), Mª Carmen García (UCO)

Work team doctors: Juan R. Sánchez-Valencia, Francisco J. Aparicio, Jorge Gil-Rostra, Victor López, Rafael Alvarez, M.C. López-Santos, Francisco J. García, Ana M. Gómez, María Alcaire

NANOFlow is a multidisciplinary Project that aims the development of novel optofluidics sensing devices integrating advanced multifunctional nanostructured materials. The project is solidly grounded in the research group experience in the synthesis of nanoestructured functional thin films, advance surface treatments and development of planar photonic structures The main objective of the project is to combine and integrate the available synthetic and processing methodologies in the fabrication of optofluidic components capable of modifying their physical behavior when they are exposed to liquids. The integration of these optofluidic components together with accessory technologies based on new principles of photonic detection, large surface area microplasmas discharge as light sources or flexible substrates for the fabrication of sensing tags define an ambitious landscape of applications that will be explored in the project. Besides, the modeling of thin film growth in combination with advanced deposition diagnosis methodologies will be combined to adjust the thin film deposition processes to the desired functionalities.Therefore, NANOFlow aims to cover all the scientific-technological chain from the materials development to the final applications including advanced characterization, flexible synthetic routes, alternative low-cost and high throughput process (e.g. atmospheric plasma synthesis), device integration and testing of devices in real conditions.

The NANOFlow research activities will culminate in the development of three innovative devices, namely smart labels for sensing, traceability and anticounterfeiting applications (e.g. smart labels incorporated in food-packaging), a versatile optofluidic multisensing device and an optofluidic photocatalytic cleaning system that will integrate a large area microplasma source, liquid actuated UV/Visible optical switches and a photocatalytic nanostructured surface. All of these devices will operate under the basis of an optofluidic actuation and/or response and are designed to present clear potentialities for direct application in liquid sensing, manipulation and monitoring.

The NANOFlow research activities in the different work-packages and, particularly, the final devices are intended to have a direct impact in the Theme 2 (Seguridad and Calidad Alimentaria) of the “RETOS” defined in the call covering this project proposal.. Besides, some of the activities proposed, in particular the third device are also connected with the Theme 3 (Energía segura eficiente y limpia) of the call. It is very interesting to stress that these activities are of particular relevance in the geographical context of Andalucia where Agriculture,  Food production and Energy are three of the most relevant strategic sectors.

 

Keywords: Nanostructured thin films, photonic planar devices, optofluidics, smart labels, liquid handling, liquid monitoring

 

 

New multifunctional 1D hybrid nanostructures for selfpowered nanosystems

minecof_7Financial source:
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: MAT2013-42900-P

Research head:
Ana Isabel Borrás Martos

Period:
1-01-2014 / 31-12-2016

Research group:
José Cotrino Bautista, Ricardo Molina Mansilla, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Ana Isabel Borrás Martos, Angel Barranco Quero

HYBR(1)D is a multidisciplinary Project that aims the development of novel multifunctional nanostructured materials for applications as renewable energy devices, photonics and device miniaturization. The main objective of the project is the development of original synthetic strategies for nanostructured 1D materials like organic and inorganic nanowires and other hybrid hetero-structured systems. Special attention will be paid to the development of coaxial “core@shell/multi-shell” structures integrating organic, metallic and oxide nanostructured components. These materials will be synthesized using an innovative methodology compatible with processable substrates of different nature that will be fully scalable to industrial production. In addition, the project also included exploratory studies about self-supported composite membranes where the nanostructured 1D materials will be embedded. A second project objective is to probe the functionality of the novel 1D nanostructures in different applications under the global strategy that we defined as development of “selfpowered nanosystems”. These applications are: energy power generation devices (solar cells and piezoelectric nanogenerators) and nanosensors. It is worthy to notice that although the materials under study are relatively diverse, from semiconducting inorganic nanotubes (TiO2, ZnO) to organic single-crystal nanowires (“small molecules”) or hybrid heterostructures, the synthetic vacuum methodologies are, in all the cases, very similar and easily adaptable. These methodologies are physical vapor deposition (organic molecules), plasma assisted vacuum deposition (organic molecules and inorganic oxides), metal dc-sputtering and oxygen plasma etching. All of them can be used sequentially or in combination and are integrated in the same reactors. The project PI and the Nanotechnology on Surface group from the ICMS-CSIC have a solid background in the use of plasma and vacuum technology for the study of functional thin films and devices that is being extended to the field of 1D supported nanostructures in the recent years. HYBR(1)D project intend to cover all the scientific-technological chain from the materials development to the final applications including advanced characterization, flexible synthetic routes, device integration and testing at laboratory scale.

Environmental and process monitoring with responsive devices integrating nanostructured thin films grown by innovative vacuum and plasma technologies

minecof_7Financial source:
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: MAT2013-40852-R

Research head:
Agustín R. González-Elipe

Period:
01-01-2014 / 31-12-2016

Research group:
José Cotrino Bautista, Ricardo Molina Mansilla, Victor Rico Gavira, Francisco Yubero Valencia, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Alberto Palmero Acebedo, Angel Barranco Quero, Fernando Lahoz Zamarro

This project aims at the development of a new generation of low dimensional responsive systems and sensors that integrate nanostructured layers with well-controlled electrical and optical properties which, prepared by innovative vacuum and plasma methods, present a tunable and high porosity and are able to actively interact with the environment. The basic principles of the oblique angle approach (OAD) during the physical vapor deposition (PVD) of evaporated thin films will be extended to the fabrication of similar layers by plasma and magnetron sputtering techniques. Combination of these techniques along with other innovative plasma technologies, including atmospheric pressure plasma deposition or plasma-evaporation polymerization will be employed to achieve a strict control over the nanostructure and properties of final films and complex systems . Supported metal and oxide nanostructured thin films, stacked multilayers and hybrid and composite suported nanostructures will be prepared and thereafter characterized by advanced electron and proximity microscopies and other techniques. Process-control strategies will be implemented in order to understand the fundamental mechanisms governing the film structurations and to propose new synthetic routes scalable to industrial production so as to achieve tailored morphologies and properties for these porous thin film materials. Highly ordered and homogenous arrays of these nanostructures will be used as ambient temperature gas and liquid sensors, microfluidic responsive devices and intelligent labelling tags. For these applications the supported porous thin films will be suitably functionalized with metal nanoparticles, grafted molecular chains or layers of other polymeric materials. They will be also stacked in the form of vertically ordered photonic structures. Innovative device integration approaches including the water removal of evaporated sacrificial layers of NaCl and their integration in the form of microdevices will be carried out to fabricate advanced sensors, microreactors and responsive systems. Photonic, electrical and/or electrochemical principles of transduction will be implemented into the devices for detecting and/or fabricating i) oxygen and chlorine in solutions, ii) glucose and organic matter in water iii) gas and vapor sensors or iv) inteligent labels. Specific applications are foressen for the control of the outside environment (air and waters), industrial and greenhouse locations, agroindustrial processes such as fermentation and the tracking and trazability of different kinds of goods and foods.

Purification of air in greenhouses and food processing centers

minecof_7Financial source:
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: RECUPERA2020 – 2.2.3

Research head:
José Cotrino Bautista

Period:
2-12-2013 / 31-12-2015

Research group:
Ana María Gómez Ramírez, Antonio Méndez Montoro de Damas

This project is related with a technology to generate a cold plasma at atmospheric pressure with air flowing through a reactor. The specific objective of this activity is the development of a prototype air purification system for greenhouses, food processing centers, livestock enclosures, or other similar types of markets or enclosures where the concentration of gases harmful to the health of the workers can be very significant by the use of insecticides, fungicides, disinfectants or other compounds. The developed system should be able to purify the air in closed installations and where a large number of chemicals, mainly volatile organic compounds, accumulate in the air that is handled. The cold plasma reactor technology design follows the characteristics of packed-bed dielectric barrier discharge by using ferroelectric dielectric.

Microfluidic integrated sensors for the control of fermentation

minecof_7Financial source:
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Code: RECUPERA2020 – 1.4.1

Research head:
Agustín R. González-Elipe

Period:
2-12-2013 / 31-12-2015

Research group:
Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, José Cotrnio Bautista, Francisco Yubero Valencia, Alberto Palmero Acebedo, Angel Barranco Quero, Ana I. Borrás Martos, Victor J. Rico Gavira, Rafael Alvarez Molina, Pedro Angel Salazar Carballo

The objective of this Project is the development of new integrated and robust micro/nano- fluidic systems that enable the reliable incorporation of control tests, sensorization and rapid analysis of agrofood products, mainly liquids or soluble. The technology to be developed should be applied to final products, as well as during their different elaboration steps. IN particular, a niche of application that will be directly addressed in the project is the control of fermentation process with the development of new integrated fluidic transductors that permit the quantitative detection of glucose and/or other sugars by means of electrochemical and photonic developments integrated in microfluidic and similar devices.

Plasma CVD synthesis of novel organic nanostructured materials integrated in planar devices for photonic sensing and security applications NANOPLASMA

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Financial source:
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: MAT2010-21228

Research head:
Angel Barranco Quero

Period:
01-01-2011 / 31-12-2013

Research group:
Ana Borrás Martos, Agustín R. González-Elipe, Carmen Ruiz, M. Carmen López-Santos

NANOPLASMA proposes the development of novel techniques based on plasma for the synthesis and processing of new organic functional materials. In contrast with the established plasma technology used in plasma enhanced CVD and plasma polymerization that implies the complete fragmentation of volatile precursor molecules, NANOPLASMA processes achieve the synthesis of new families of fluorescent thin films and supported 1D nanomaterials by controlling the chemistry and fragmentation degree at the boundaries of plasma discharge. The research focuses in the synthesis of organic matrices with a well controlled nanometric microstructure incorporating luminescent dye molecules (i.e. perylenes, rhodamines, phtalocyanines y porphirins) and 1D luminescent organic nanowires formed by similar molecules. The project also contemplates the development of methodologies based on the plas-ma etching and laser ablation for the production of 2D lithographic patterns of the lumines-cent thin films and nanostructures. The research in this line will be completed with basic stud-ies aiming the development of a “chemical patterning” process based on the plasma surface functionalization and chemical derivatization of self-assembled monolayers. Both the synthetic methodologies and the patterning strategies of NANOPLASMA are fully compatible with the present optoelectronic and silicon technologies and can be adapted to wafer scale integration for mass scale production. These materials and processes will be used for the fabrication of two types of proto-type devices: photonic gas sensors and luminescent microstructures for intelligent labelling applications. The gas sensing devices consist of a luminescence film and/or structure integrat-ed onto a 1D photonic crystal with a stacking defect designed and constructed to couple the luminescent signal of the sensor layer. The intelligent labelling devices are patterned litho-graphic structures made on single or multilayer structures of luminescence films with specific functionalities and environmental responses not achieved by any available technology.

Functional porous thin films and 1D supported oxide nanostructures for the development of thin film microfluidics, photonic, valves, and microplasmas (POROUSFILMS)

novofiFinancial source:
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Code: MAT2010-18447

Research head:
Francisco Yubero Valencia

Period:
01-01-2011 / 31-12-2013
Research group:
Agustín R. González-Elipe, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Alberto Palmero Acebedo, Rafael Alvarez Molina, Juan Carlos González González, Victor J. Rico Gavira, Jorge Gil Rostra, Ana Isabel Borrás Martos, Lola González García, José Cotrino Bautista

Functional TiO2, ZnO, SiO2 and doped SnO2 in the form of porous thin films and other supported fiber-like nanostructures will be prepared by plasma deposition and evaporation at glancing angles (GLAD). Precise control of the nano and microstructure of the films and fibers will be attained by selecting appropriate GLAD deposition conditions and, in the case of plasma deposition, by adjusting the principal plasma parameters after modelling the plasma processes and sheath-related phenomena that control the development of the film/fibers nanostructure. The primary objective of the project is to successfully tailor the porosity and other key properties (optical, electrical conductivity, wetting behaviour etc.) of the synthetized materials to enable novel methods of fluid handling (liquids and gases) at the micro and, possibly, nanoscales so as to invent and develop applications in the fields of microfluidic and microplasmas.
A further objective is the processing of these structures in both 2D (i.e., lithographic processsing) and 3D by use of laser-based techniques, multilayer stacking of different porous thin film structures and/or selected plasma deposition of hydrophobic patches of other materials such as polymers, silicones, etc. Microfluidic thin film-based devices controlled by light (i.e., photonic valves) will then be developed by employing appropriately designed TiO2 and ZnO porous structures. These materials become superhydrophilic when illuminated with light of <390 nm which will be used to selectively illuminate very small areas (channels, micrometer circuits, etc.) by either a suitable lamp or a laser. Light-controlled microfiltration is envisaged as another new application in this field, whereby preferential diffusion/filtration of polar liquids through the illuminated zones may be induced (i.e. valve open). Achieving prompt reversal of this process (i.e. valve closed) is another challenge that will be addressed by the project.
A final, exploratory objective is the modelling, design and development of microplas-mas based on the most promising thin film porous structures developed during the earlier phases of the work. These prototype microplasma devices will consist of porous doped SnO2 thin film electrodes permeable to gases with porous insulator layers (SiO2) acting as separation barriers. Evaluation of the plasma characteristics of these prototype devices will be another distinct task undertaken by the project.

Systems for the detection of explosives in publlic infrastructures

Logotipo_del_Ministerio_de_Industria,_Turismo_y_Comercio
Financial source:
Ministerio de Industria (Contrato: ARQUIMEA)
Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (Programa CENIT)

Research head:
Angel Barranco Quero

Period:
1-09-2010 / 31-10-2011

Research group:
José Cotrino Bautista, Ricardo Molina Mansilla, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Ana Isabel Borrás Martos, Angel Barranco Quero

The objective of the project is the development of thin films with adequate optical properties for their use as active elements in optical gas sensors capable of responding to the presence of gases and/or volatile products produced by the partial decomposition of explosives.