The Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM) is an institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) (Spanish National Research Council) founded in December 1986, that belongs to the Area of Science and Technology of Materials, one of the eight Areas in which the CSIC divides its research activities.


Our mission is to create new fundamental and applied knowledge in materials of high technological impact, their processing and their transfer to the productive sectors at local, national and European scales (the true value of materials is in their use), the training of new professionals, and the dissemination of the scientific knowledge.

How to arrive

Forthcoming Events


Celebrating the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017
“Cryoelectron microscopy: the coming of age of a structural biology technique”

José María Valpuesta  read more


Alta-Integración en la Red Eléctrica de las Energías Renovables Intermitentes (eólica, solar-FV y solar CSP)
José Manuel Martínez-Duart   read more


¿Por qué es necesario el 11 de febrero?
Pilar López Sancho  read more

Self-assembly of polyhedral metal–organic framework particles into three-dimensional ordered superstructures

Civan Avci, Inhar Imaz, Arnau Carné-Sánchez, Jose Angel Pariente, Nikos Tasios, Javier Pérez-Carvajal, Maria Isabel Alonso, Alvaro Blanco, Marjolein Dijkstra, Cefe López and Daniel Maspoch

Self-assembly of particles into long-range, three-dimensional, ordered superstructures is crucial for the design of a variety of materials, including plasmonic sensing materials, energy or gas storage systems, catalysts and photonic crystals. Here, we have combined experimental and simulation data to show that truncated rhombic dodecahedral particles of the metal–organic framework (MOF) ZIF-8 can self-assemble into millimetre-sized superstructures with an underlying three-dimensional rhombohedral lattice that behave as photonic crystals. Those superstructures feature a photonic bandgap that can be tuned by controlling the size of the ZIF-8 particles and is also responsive to the adsorption of guest substances in the micropores of the ZIF-8 particles. In addition, superstructures with different lattices can also be assembled by tuning the truncation of ZIF-8 particles, or by using octahedral UiO-66 MOF particles instead. These well-ordered, sub-micrometre-sized superstructures might ultimately facilitate the design of three-dimensional photonic materials for applications in sensing.

Nature Chemistry, 2017

Representation of the crystal structure of ZIF-8 showing that it is formed by the connection of tetrahedral Zn(II) ions (in green) through 2-methylimidazolate (2-MiM) linkers (in grey, top left). Bottom left: environment around one zinc centre. Atom colour code: Zn, green; C, grey; N, blue. Right: schematic illustrations of the ZIF-8 TRD particles, showing the {110} and {100} facets (top) and highlighting: particle size φ; edge length x of the {100} square facets; and chamfer w (bottom). b, Representative FE-SEM image of a single TRD ZIF-8 particle. c, Representative FE-SEM images of TRD ZIF-8 particles of different sizes. From left to right: 178±8nm, 193±8nm, 210±10nm and 227±10nm. d, Size-distribution histograms of TRD ZIF-8 particles of different sizes: red, 178±8nm; blue, 193±8nm; green, 210±10nm; and purple, 227±10nm. Scale bars: 200nm (b) and 1 μm (c).

Publications Highlights

ICMM-2017 - Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 3, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain. Tel: +34 91 334 9000. info@icmm.csic.es