Projects financed by National Funds

Triboelectric nanogenerators for raindrop renewable energy harvesting


Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación- Unión Europea

Code: TED2021
130916B I00

Acronym: DropEner

Principal Investigator: Ana Isabel Borrás Martos y Carmen López Santos 

01-12-2022 / 01-12-2024

Research team: Antonio Jose Gines Arteaga (IMSE-CNM), Luis Alberto Angurel Lamban (INMA), Jose Cotrino Bautista (ICMSE), Juan Pedro Espinos Manzorro (ICMSE), Victor Joaquin Rico Gavira (ICMSE), Jorge Gil Rostra (ICMSE), Gildas Leger (IMSE-CNM), Xerman De La Fuente Leis (INMA), Ricardo Molina Mansilla (iQac), Agustin Rodriguez Gonzalez-Elipe (ICMSE), Juan Ramon Sanchez Valencia (ICMSE) y Angel Barranco Quero (ICMSE).



DropEner aims to the development of rain panels, i.e. drop energy harvesters compatible with functioning under outdoor conditions, based on triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) concepts and employing scalable and high yield production technologies. The project will demonstrate the application of an innovative concept recently patented by the NanotechOnSurfaces & Plasma Lab (CSIC-US)1 on the harvesting of the kinetic energy coming from liquid drops in the sudden and instantaneous contact with a triboelectric surface embedded in a capacitor-like architecture. Because of the parallelism with the architecture of a CCD image sensor pixel, we have entitled this invention as “Tixel”. Hence, this is the first TENG undoubtedly relaying on nano and microstructured architectures with the potential to generate high-density power by the implementation of Tixel arrays. Moreover, in a further step forward in the state-of-the-art in the exploitation of solid-liquid contact energy harvesters, DropEner pursues the development of durable and transparent Tixels. Such a challenge opens new scenarios for the exploitation of drop energy harvesters, among others, making them fully compatible with solar cells, including Silicon and Third Generation technologies (as Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSCs) and Perovskite Solar Cells (PVs)).

Development of intermittent plasmas ignited by renewable electricity for the CO2 splitting and revalorization processes

Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Agencia Estatal de Investigación. Proyectos de I+D+i Retos Investigación

Code: TED2021-130124A-I00

Acronym: RENOVACO2

Research Supervisor: Ana María Gómez Ramírez

Principal Investigator: Ana María Gómez Ramírez, Manuel Oliva  Ramírez

01-12-2022 / 30-11-2024

Research team: Alberto Palmero Acebedo, María del Carmen García Martínez, Agustín R. González-Elipe, José Cotrino Bautista, Rafael Álvarez Molina.

Work team: Guillermo Regodón Harkness, Antonio Márquez Alcaide, Servando Marín Meana

RENOVACO2 aims at developing atmospheric plasma technologies to induce chemical processes that are currently carried out through catalytic techniques (i.e., at high pressures and temperatures, using harmful and non-recyclable catalysts). Specifically, RENOVACO2 pursues the development of a Dielectric Barrier Discharge Reactor (DBD) to induce two processes of great environmental impact, such as the splitting of the CO2 molecule and its revalorization in high-valued products. RENOVACO2 proposes, in a first stage, to develop the DBD technology through the design, construction, modelling, and commissioning of a disruptive new plasma reactor. In a second stage, it is proposed to build a second prototype reactor powered with renewable energy sources through the connection to a solar panel.


Projects financed by National Funds

NIR Optofluidic device for liquid analysis


Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

Code: PDC2021-121379-I00

Acronym: NIRFLOW

Principal Investigator:  Francisco Yubero 

01-12-2021 / 1-12-2023

Research team: Francisco Yubero, Jorge Gil-Rostra, Manuel Oliva, Victor Rico, Juan Pedro Espinós, R. Gonzalez, Javier Lloreda, Agustín Rodríguez Gonzalez-Elipe

NIRFLOW is a R+D+i Project for the realization of a Proof of Concept in which it is aimed to develop a pre-commercial prototype for the optical analysis in the near infrared of fluids in flow conditions in relevant industrial environments. The project is based on several innovations that are not implemented in conventional NIR apparatus in the market so far. First, to substitute the conventional NIR optics mainly operated by spectrometers based on diffraction gratings or Fourier optics by a selection of the wavelength of analysis based on combinations of continuously variable short and long pass filters designed to tune a NIR passband (regarding center and width). Second, to develop an optofluidic cell, operated in transflectance mode, characterized by a tunable optical pathlength to optimize the info obtained by the different overtones of the characteristic molecules present in the fluid under analysis. This innovation will offer the possibility of more robust statistical analysis than conventional NIR spectroscopy operated with single optical pathlength. Finally, the prototype will be developed within a microfluidic approach with automate analysis concept, for its operation within a wireless remote technology. These three innovations make NIRFLOW a R&D+i project in which part of the knowledge and one of the developments done in previous research project from the Spanish Plan Estatal (MAT2016-79866-R), partially protected by a patent claim, is aimed to be transferred to the society through the development of a precommercial prototype that showed ability of analysis in industrial operational environments, in particular to follow the evolution of fermentation processes linked to wine production.

Nucleation and growth mechanisms on piezoelectric surfaces under acoustic excitation in plasma/vacuum environments


Financial source: Miniesterio de Ciencia e Innovación

Code: PID2020-112620GB


Principal Investigator: Alberto Palmero

01-09-2021 / 31-08-2024

Research team: Rafael Álvarez Molina, Víctor J. Rico Gavira, Agustín R. González-Elipe

This project aims at studying atomic nucleation and thin film growth phenomena on piezoelectric surfaces under acoustic excitation in vacuum/plasma environments. Piezoelectric materials are characterized by a non-zero polarization vector when subjected to mechanical deformation and the reverse, a mechanical deformation when subjected to an electrical excitation. While piezoelectric surfaces under acoustic excitation are being used for numerous applications, e.g. raindrop sensors, touch-sensitive screens, or handling of liquids at the microscale, among others, a systematic survey of the literature reveals that only a seminal work published by the research team addresses the effect of acoustic waves in nucleation and growth processes in a plasma environment. There, we demonstrated a strong correlation between the features of the acoustic wave, the associated polarization pattern on the piezoelectric material and the structural features of a surface grown in the presence of a plasma, suggesting that this interaction can be employed as a new methodology to tailor the film nanostructure.

Two main sources of interaction are analyzed in this project: i) the mechanical influence of the propagating acoustic wave on the surface-induced mobility processes of ad-atoms, ii) the interaction between the polarization wave on the piezoelectric and the plasma electric field lines, that may affect the transport of charged species and their impingement on the piezoelectric material during growth. In this way, this project focusses on the description, development and understanding of a new phenomenology, and on the provision of the fundamental and theoretical framework to describe this interaction. It is expected that acoustic waves activation and its effect on surrounding plasmas represents a radically new procedure to activate thin film growth and nuclei formation and that the proposed methodology goes beyond any present paradigm in the field of surface physics, envisaging new routes of nanostructuration. Similarly, in the field of plasma dynamics, the possibility of modulating the plasma/surface interaction by acoustic waves is an option that may open alternative procedures for the operation of advanced microplasmas devices or flat plasma displays.

Adaptive multiresponsive nanostructures for integrated photonics, piezo/tribotronics and optofluidic monitoring


Financial source: Miniesterio de Ciencia e Innovación

Code: PID2019-110430GB-C21

Acronym: AdFunc

Principal Investigator: Ángel Barranco Quero y Ana Isabel Borrás Martos

01-06-2020 / 31-05-2023

Research team: José Cotrino Bautista, Victor J. Rico Gavira, Francisco Yubero Valencia, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Agustín R. González-Elipe

AdFunc is a highly interdisciplinary project whose main objective is to achieve significant progress in two areas at the frontier of Materials Science: the development of multi-response sensors and light-activated energy systems. The common denominators of AdFunc are the intelligent design of complex architectures at the nanoscale and the development of laboratory scale demonstrators.

We are convinced that the project opens a window of opportunity for us to carry out research that can be classified into four areas: i) Applications and devices: We will develop the recently discovered tribotronic and piezotronic effects to manufacture self-powered sensor devices. With these materials, in combination with several advanced photonic sensing and spectro-electrochemical technologies, we will expand the efficiency, multiactuation and multiresponse of optofluidic adaptive systems. These systems, maintaining a common architecture, will present a differentiated response to diverse and complex real scenarios, which will be simulated in the project (environmental alterations such as spills, accidents, chemical or explosive threats).
Another fundamental aspect of the project are the photovoltaic devices, which will be optimized to be able to work in low light conditions, and mechanical energy collectors and devices that are capable of coupling light and movement to the activation of the water electrochemical decomposition. ii) Nanomaterials: AdFunc is a project where a team of specialists in the development of supported nanostructures by different technologies come together. This will allow us, for the first time, to implement a set of 3D nanoarchitectures (nanowires, nanotubes, core@shell) and the design of materials with controlled nanoporous structures (sculptural layers, nanochannels, porosity associated in several scales, porous optical multilayers, pioneering developments of metalloorganic networks (MOFs) in porous photonic structures) directly to the improvement of the active components of the project devices. Iii) Strategy: The project gives us the opportunity to work simultaneously on new synthetic routes, advanced characterization of materials and properties, integration of materials into devices, and this while simultaneously obtaining modeling and simulation information. iv) Perspective of scalability: In all cases, methods and techniques compatible with established industrial processes will be used, such as plasma and vacuum, typical of the optoelectronic and microelectronic industry, and synthesis processes in solution. Another interesting aspect is the possibility of introducing plastics and polymers to manufacture devices, which may allow the valorization of waste from the plastic industry, in an effort of circular economy in which researchers of the project are committed.
AdFunc is only possible thanks to the joint effort of a large number of researchers, mostly from ICMS-CSIC and the Pablo de Olavide University, which is completed by a group of researchers from other national and international institutions with complementary experience and interest. It is precisely the coordination of such a large number of specialists (25 doctors in the two subprojects) that allows us to propose the development of such a complete and ambitious set of activities.

Atmospheric Pressure Glinding-Arc Plasmas for Sustainable Applications

Financial source: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Agencia Estatal de Investigación. Proyectos de I+D+i Retos Investigación

Code: PID2020-114270RA-I00

Acronym: FIREBOW

Principal Investigator:
Ana María Gómez Ramírez

01-09-2021 / 31-08-2024

Research team: José Cotrino Bautista, Maria del Carmen García Martínez, Antonio Rodero Serrano, José Javier Brey Sánchez

Work team: Paula de Navascués, Manuel Oliva Ramírez

The need to promote an effective transition from an economy based on the intensive use of fossil fuels to another where the development criteria are based on sustainable processes that do not involve the generation of CO2 makes it necessary to develop new processes using the electricity generated from renewable sources as primary source of energy. This project, aims at developing atmospheric plasma technologies to induce chemical processes that are currently carried out through catalytic techniques. Specifically, FIREBOW pursues the development of a Gliding Arc Atmospheric Plasma reactor (GA) to induce three processes: (i) the synthesis of ammonia (NH3), (i) the production of hydrogen (H2) from NH3, and (iii) the decontamination of water. Both the experimental and theoretical characterization of the reactor, the latter carried out using computational methods, will be crucial for its correct operation and for the optimization of the proposed processes.


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

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

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



Principal Investigator:
Ángel Barranco, Francisco Yubero

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



Projects financed by National Funds

Manufacture, characterization and efficiency analysis of electrocatalysts for anion exchange electrolyzers


Financial source: H2B2 Electrolysis Technologies, S.L.



Principal Investigator: Francisco Yubero
01-09-2021 / 01-08-2025

Research team: Francisco Yubero, Jorge Gil-Rostra, Juan Pedro Espinós, Javier Lloreda, Agustín Rodríguez Gonzalez-Elipe

Contrato con H2B2, dentro de Proyecto ECLOSION I+D+i “Líneas Estratégicas” MISIONES del Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación