Projects financed by Regional Funds

New generation of conformal dielectric nanocoatings for emerging electronic devices by plasma technology


Financial source: Junta de Andalucía



Principal Investigator: Francisco Javier Aparicio

01-01-2022 / 01-06-2023

Research team: Francisco Javier Aparicio, Ana Isabel Borrás y Lidia Contreras

Due to its physical and mechanical characteristics, current flexible electronic device technology combines thin-film organic transistors with 2D conductors or is based on coaxial architectures that use 1D conductors such as carbon nanotubes and nanowires as electrodes. In this context, the project pursues the development of plasma deposition processes for the synthesis of dielectric materials. Given the versatility of the proposed deposition technique, high and low permittivity dielectric materials will be synthesized to optimize the performance and stability of the flexible transistors that are manufactured. In addition, it is a dry process (absence of solvents) and at room temperature, which ensures its complete

Dielectric Nanocoatings for Flexible Electronic Devices by Plasma Technology


Financial source: Junta de Andalucía

Code: EMERGIA20_00346


Principal Investigator: Francisco Javier Aparicio

01-09-2021 / 01-08-2025

Research team: Triana Czermak

Due to its physical and mechanical characteristics, the emerging technology of flexible electronic devices combines multilayer structures of flexible thin films, 2D nanomaterials, or 1D nanoconductors, such as carbon nanotubes and nanowires. However, these present different limitations related to their degradation against environmental agents and incompatibility with the conventional manufacturing techniques. FLEXDIELEC pursues the development of a new generation of dielectric materials for the development of advanced flexible electronic devices, overcoming these limitations. To this end, a pioneering remote plasma technique will be used, developed by the IP, which regulates the composition and properties of functional organic nanocomposites over a wide range, will be used. This is a dry and room temperature method that ensures complete compatibility with sensitive substrates, such as those with high prospects for implementation in the field of flexible electronics (polymeric materials, fabrics , paper, 2D nanomaterials, organic nanofibers…).

Surface functionalization and diffusion models of germination factors in plasma-treated seeds


Financial source: Junta de Andalucía

Code: US-1381045


Principal Investigator: María del Carmen López Santos y Antonio Prados 

01-01-2021 / 31-12-2022

Research team: Agustín Rodríguez González-Elipe, Francisco Yubero Valencia

PLASMASEED addresses the inclusion of vacuum and plasma technology for the surface functionalization of seeds as an effective and clean strategy to make crops less dependent on environmental changes. The aim is to analyze the basic factors and mechanisms that affect the improvement of germination by treating the seeds from a multidisciplinary approach that combines basic concepts of biophysics, advanced characterization and vacuum and plasma processing. The effect of electric fields associated with plasmas and their physical-chemical features, the influence of the diffusion of other germination factors besides water (oxygen, light, etc.), the diffusion of nutrients such as nitrates or other species of interest for germination, etc., are experimental factors that are simulated using Monte Carlo procedures and statistical mechanics to propose holistic models of diffusion of germination factors through seed membranes and the influence of surface treatments by plasma techniques to modify and/or control such processes.

Plasma technology for the development of a new generation of hole transport layers in perovskite solar cells


Financial source: Junta de Andalucía

Code: US-1263142


Principal Investigator: Juan Ramón Sánchez Valencia

01-02-2020 / 31-12-2022

Research team: Ángel Barranco Quero, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Cristina Rojas Ruiz, José Cotrino Bautista 

Third generation solar cells (SCs) are nanotechnological devices that directly convert sunlight into electricity and represent the paradigm of research in renewable energies, the use of which will depend on the energy future of the planet. Recently, a particular example of SCs containing an organometallic halide perovskite as a light absorber have attracted the attention of the scientific community due, above all, to their high efficiency and low cost. These characteristics make them a promising alternative to current cells (Si and chalcogenides). However, for the commercial realization of perovskite cells, it is necessary to achieve greater stability, durability and reproducibility. The most important advances have been achieved due to the intense research on the elements that integrate a SC: electron transport layer, perovskite and hole transport layer. Specifically, this latter element has been crucial for its evolution after the implementation of solid state hole conductors.
PlasmaCells pursuits to address for the first time the synthesis of a new family of hole transporters by vacuum and plasma techniques. These methodologies are industrially scalable and have great advantages over solution methodologies (the most used), among which stand out: their high versatility, composition and microstructural control, low cost, are environmental friendly since they do not require solvents, do not produce polluting emissions and are compatible with current semiconductor technology.
The main objective of PlasmaCells is the integration of these new plasma-processed hole transport layers into perovskite SCs. The importance of the project is based on recent results obtained by the Principal Investigator (PI) that demonstrate that the proposed approach may be one of the most promising ways to increase the stability, durability and reproducibility of these SCs, which currently represent the bottleneck that prevents their industrialization. It should be noted that there is no example in the literature of this synthetic approach for the development of hole transporters. It is expected that this opportunity will allow to demonstrate the advantages and versatility of this innovative methodology in a high-impact field, which is framed within the priority areas RIS3 Andalucía and in the PAIDI 2020 of sustainable growth, energy efficiency and renewable energies.

Smart thermochromic coatings for smart windows and environmental control


Financial source: Junta de Andalucía

Code: P18-RT-2641


Principal Investigator: Ángel Barranco Quero y Alberto Palmero Acebedo

01-01-2020 / 31-12-2022

Research team: Ana María Gómez Ramírez, Juan Ramón Sánchez Valencia, Víctor J. Rico Gavira, Rafael Álvarez Molina, Francisco Yubero Valencia, Juan Pedro Espinós Manzorro, Ana Isabel Borrás Martos, Agustín R. González-Elipe

The International Energy Agency considers that the systematic use of autonomous procedures for environmental control is one of the best technological approaches to minimize the energy employed to cool down buildings and other urban structures (it represents more than 40% of the global energy use in developed countries, much above the use in transportation, for instance), thus reducing the environmental impact and improving human comfort. TOLERANCE aims at introducing and developing a technology based on thermochromic materials in Andalusia as a smart and autonomous element to control the penetration of solar radiation in buildings. This project focusses on various applications such as smart windows in buildings and urban furniture, improvement of sanitary water systems or environmental control in greenhouses. While at low temperatures, a thermochromic coating transmits most solar spectrum, it selectively filters out the infrared region of this spectrum at high temperatures. In this research, TOLERANCE proposes several R+D actions to grow thin films with composition VO2, a thermochromic oxide with transition temperature near room temperature, on glass and plastic by means of industrial scalable techniques, as well as its nanostructuration, doping and integration in multilayer systems to improve its features and multifunctional properties.

Tecnología de plasma para el desarrollo de una nueva generación de conductores de huecos en celdas solares de perovskita.


Financial source:  Junta de Andalucía / Fondos FEDER

Code:  FEDER-US-1263142 

Acronym:  PlasmaCells


Principal Investigator:
Juan Ramón Sánchez Valencia

01-02-2020 / 31-01-2022

Research team: José Cotrino, Angel Barranco , Juan Pedro Espinós, T. Cristina Rojas.  

Las celdas solares (CSs) de tercera generación son dispositivos nanotecnológicos que convierten directamente la luz solar en electricidad y suponen el paradigma de la investigación en energías renovables de cuyo aprovechamiento dependerá el futuro energético del planeta. Recientemente, un ejemplo particular de CSs que contienen una perovskita de haluro organometálico como absorbedor de luz han centrado la atención de la comunidad científica debido, ante todo, a su alta eficiencia y bajo coste. Estas características las convierten en una alternativa prometedora a las celdas actuales (de Si y calcogenuros). Sin embargo, para que la realización final y comercial de las celdas de perovskita sea posible es necesario que alcancen una mayor estabilidad, durabilidad y reproducibilidad. Los avances más importantes alcanzados se han debido a la intensa investigación sobre los elementos que integran esta CS: conductor de electrones, perovskita y conductor de huecos. En concreto, este último elemento ha tenido una importancia crucial en su evolución tras la implementación de los conductores de huecos en estado sólido.

PlasmaCells persigue abordar por primera vez la síntesis de una nueva familia de conductores de huecos por técnicas de vacío y plasma. Estas metodologías son escalables industrialmente y presentan grandes ventajas con respecto a las metodologías en disolución (las más usadas), entre las que destacan: su alta versatilidad, control de composición y microestructura, bajo coste, que son respetuosas con el medio ambiente ya que no precisan disolventes, no producen emisiones contaminantes y son compatibles con la tecnología actual de semiconductores.

El objetivo principal de PlasmaCells es la integración de estos nuevos conductores de huecos procesados por plasma en CSs de perovskita. La importancia del proyecto se basa en resultados recientes obtenidos por el Investigador Principal (IP) que demuestran que la aproximación propuesta puede ser una de las vías más prometedoras para el aumento de la estabilidad, durabilidad y reproducibilidad de estas CSs, que actualmente suponen el cuello de botella que impide su industrialización. Cabe destacar que no existe en la bibliografía ningún ejemplo sobre esta aproximación sintética para el desarrollo de conductores de huecos. Se espera que esta oportunidad permita demostrar las ventajas y versatilidad de esta metodología innovadora en un campo de alto impacto, que se enmarca dentro de las áreas prioritarias RIS3 Andalucía y en el PAIDI 2020 de crecimiento sostenible, eficiencia energética y energías renovables.



Purely organic and hybrid organic-inorganic spin valves on supported nanowires produced by advanced vacuum and plasma-assisted deposition techniques

Financial source:

Agencia Andaluza del Conocimiento
Consejería de Economía, Innovación, Ciencia y Empleo
Junta de Andalucía

Andalucía Talent-Hub

Research Supervisor:
Ana Borrás

Principal Investigator:
Víctor López-Flores

01-10-2015 / 30-09-2017

Research group:
ICMS: Ángel Barranco, Francisco Aparicio, Juan Ramón Sánchez


The transition to organic electronics requires new devices on the nanometer scale composed only by organic materials, providing small, flexible, transparent and cheap devices. Among electronic devices, the spin valves have stood out for their rapid transfer from the experimental phase to the general public products, but a reliable organic spin valve nanometric device is yet to be developed.
The scientific objective of this project is to fill that gap. By using advanced, industrially scalable nanotechnology methods, we intend to produce a hybrid organic-inorganic and a fully organic spin valve in the form of a supported nanowire of ~200 nm width and several microns length, with a concentric spin valve stack. Three main fabrication techniques will be used: organic Physical Vapor Deposition (O-PVD), plasma-enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (PE-CVD) and remote plasma assisted vacuum deposition (RPAVD). Magnetoresistance measurements will be performed on single nanowires by conducting-probe atomic force microscopy (CP-AFM), and will give the definite measurement of quality of the samples produced
This project will be developed within the Nanotechnology on Surfaces research group (NanoOnSurf), at the Institute of Materials Science of Seville (CSIC – University of Seville), located in the multidisciplinary CicCartuja research centre (Seville, Spain). State-of-the-art synthesis and characterisation techniques developed in the host research group will be the key for the success of this proposal.
This project is directly related with Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014-2015, chapter 5.i, action ICT 3 – 2014: Advanced Thin, Organic and Large Area Electronics (TOLAE) technologies, and thus is expected to have a strong impact in the future European electronic industry.



Dielectric Barrier Discharge plasma for the developing of industrial process at atmospheric pressure (DBD-Tech)

juntafi_19Financial source:
Junta de Andalucía
Code: P12-FQM-2265 (Proyecto de Excelencia)

Research head:
José Cotrino Bautista

30-01-2014 / 29-01-2017

Research group:
Francisco José García García, Jorge Gil Rostra, Richard M. Lambert, Manuel Macías Montero, Alberto Palmero Acebedo, Victor Rico Gavira

This research project aims first the study of different unknown basic aspects of the construction of the dielectric barrier discharge, better design conditions for: barrier electrodes, the design of the metallic electrodes and dielectrics and to know the best working conditions (size and operation frequency) for the plasma. One goal is to control the lateral functionalization of advanced materials and other objective, is the discovering of new plasma catalysis processes that can increase selectivity and the reduction of energy consumption by plasma chemical reactions in controlled industrial processes of high added value and/or impact. It is expected for both applications, a clear advance in optimization of the industrial process.

Process-control in plasmas for the synthesis of nanostructured thin films (PLASMATER)

juntafi_19Financial source:
Junta de Andalucía
Code: P09-FQM-6900 (Proyecto de Excelencia)

Research head:
Alberto Palmero Acebedo

15-03-2011 / 14-03-2014

Research group:
José Cotrino Bautista, Ana Borrás Martos, Francisco Yubero Valencia, Rafael Alvarez Molina, Juan Carlos González González, Carmen López Santos

Project PLASMATER aims at developing new plasma-based procedures to control the nanostructure, porosity and morphology of deposited thin films, and optimize the material functionalities and applications. From an experimental point of view, plasma-assisted thin film deposition techniques make use of various quantities to define the deposition conditions, such as the electromagnetic power, pressure in the reactor, etc. These quantities controls the plasma properties, which at the same time conditions the growth mechanism of the films. The complexity of the relation between experimentally controllable quantities and growth processes has produced the existence of empirical relations between experimental conditions and final film structure and composition, whose justification from a fundamental point of view is unclear.
In PLASMATER we propose to analyze three related aspects of the deposition of TiO2 and ZnO thin films assisted by plasmas: i) complete diagnosis of the plasma bulk and sheath in connection with the material microstructure, ii) functionality of the material, and iii) the de-velopment of predictive numerical codes that calculate the final film microstructure as a func-tion of experimentally controllable quantities. This last part is of relevance because to our knowledge, i) it is the first time in the literature the deposition is fully characterized from a fundamental point of view, ii) this knowledge can be applied to suggest modifications in the deposition reactor in order to enhance different structural properties of the films.
In order to carry out the PLASMATER project, we aim at following at mixed theoretical and experimental strategy in order to interactively develop numerical codes of the thin film growth in multiple conditions. All the spatial scales involved in the description must be studied, from the plasma bulk itself (typically of few tens cm), the plasma sheath (below 1 mm), and the surface of the material (tens nm). Advanced diagnosis techniques will be employed to understand the plasma behavior and the film growth. Finally, PLASMATER will focus on the experimental conditions that lead to an optimized performance of the studied materials for advance applications in technology and industry.

Projects financed by Regional Funds

Atmospheric Pressure Gliding-arc Plasmas for the Sustainable Production of Ammonia and Hydrogen

Financial source:  European Union

Code:  US‐1380977

Acronym: ARCPLAS

Principal Investigator:
Ana Mª Gómez Ramírez, José Cotrino Bautista

01-01-2020/ 31-05-2023

Research team: Ana Borrás, Victor Rico. 


Work team doctors: Agustín R. González-Elipe, Joël Francois Tsoplefack, Paula de Navascués Garvín

Research team: Javier Brey Sánchez, Juan Rodríguez Archilla, Jesús Cuevas Maraver, Alberto Palmero Acevedo, Rafael Álvarez Molina

This project aims at developing gas chemical transformation processes through atmospheric pressure plasma technologies that use electricity as a direct energy vector. Specifically, the objective is to fine-tune a Plasma Atmospheric Gliding Arc Reactor (PAAD) to induce two processes of great industrial and environmental impact, such as the synthesis of ammonia (NH3) and the production of hydrogen (H2) from hydrocarbons and alcohols.