Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, CSIC

Direct sublimation of metal-organic cluster for growing new nanostructures

marzo 24th, 2015 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

One of the most extended approaches in order to growth metal-organic nanostructures on surfaces consists in recombine small organic molecules with a carefully controlled quantity of metallic atoms on a surface. As an example, our group followed this strategy in previous works for obtaining a rich variety of nanostructures by combining PTCDA molecules with Fe atoms on Au(111). On the contrary, in this work we explored a different approach. We directly sublimated under UHV conditions a large metal-organic cluster [Cu4(m3-Cl)4(m-pym2S2)4](pym2S2 = dipyrimidinedisulfide) which spontaneously self-organize on the Cu(110) surface. We showed that the Cu4Cl4 metallic core maintains its molecular integrity during the process. Furthermore, the obtained structures are laterally stabilized by a p-p intermolecular interaction. The methodology described in this work opens the door for the synthesis of new (multi-)functional nanostructures based on large metal-organic precursors.




It has been published in the journal Chem. Commun. 51, 3243-3246 (2015)

Anti-phase boundaries forming a new C60 phase on TiO2(110)

enero 16th, 2015 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

One of the most important research lines carried out by the ESISNA group is devoted to the characterization by the most advanced Surface Science techniques of the deposition of organic molecules on metal and metal oxide surfaces towards the formation of new molecular nanoassemblies and other hierarchical nanostructures. Following this line, our group already shown that the deposition of C60 on the rutile TiO2(110)-(1 × 1) surface presents a well-ordered p(5 × 2) surface phase. Very recently, and motivated by this latest work, a step forward has been given and we have identified another crystallographic phase on this surface characterized by a large unit cell containing four C60 molecules. This phase, which exhibits four inequivalent C60 adsorption sites with just two different molecular orientations, is herein explained in terms of an accumulation of the so-called antiphase boundaries. Among the a priori ten possible antiphase boundary domains, only three of them can result in possible long-range structures attending to geometrical and energetic considerations. In order to fully characterize the structure and energetics of this new C60/TiO2(110)-(1 × 1) phase, an adequate combination of STM and accurate density functional theory based calculations, including an efficient self-consistent implementation of the vdW interaction, has been used. Results suggest that this new phase is the most stable among all the possible antiphase boundary domains. On the other hand, this work rationalizes and enforces the idea of the prevalence of the intermolecular vdW over the molecule–substrate interactions in this particular organic–inorganic interface, which sets TiO2 as an ideal substrate for decoupled systems.


The results have been published in J. Phys. Chem. C, 118, 27318 (2014)

Electronic contacts at the atomic scale for future graphene-based electronics

junio 20th, 2014 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Due to its exceptional conduction properties, graphene has been proposed as a candidate to replace silicon in future electronics. However, several problems need to be overcome prior to its implantation in the production chain. Among these difficulties, one of the most fundamental unknown aspects is how to contact graphene with the macroscopic leads made of metal – typically copper- in a clean and reliable methodology. Understanding the properties of nanoscale electric contacts of graphene with metals is therefore a necessary step towards these atomically precise future devices. Graphene-metal contacts are, by definition,  1-dimensional as graphene itself is a 2D material, and thus new quantum phenomena arising from this low dimensionality can be expected altering the conductance far from the usual ohmic laws.

In the paper appearing in ACS Nano, our group, in collaboration with the group of Prof. Perez of UAM, has performed a combined experimental-theoretical characterization of an atomically precise graphene-metal edge-boundary. In our work we have used the surface of Pt(111) as a model for metal contacts and grown epitaxial graphene onto it. We found that the edge between graphene and Pt(111) follows an ordered reconstruction and that the electronic structure of the interface exhibits unusual phenomena. Unexpected 1-dimensional states appearing in one of the two hexagonal sublattices of carbon atoms within graphene appear when contacting graphene to Pt(111) and maybe will appear on other metals as well. This electronic structure can, in principle, be used in future electronic devices to run two independent currents on the same graphene wire opening new paradigms in the design of future graphene-based electronic circuits.



It has been published in the journal  ACS Nano, 2014, 8 (4), pp 3590–3596

More information in this link

Mars Mimicking Chamber Explores Habitability of Other Planets

abril 11th, 2014 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Researchers in Spain have designed a vacuum chamber capable of mimicking conditions on Mars to test gear for use in future missions

SOURCE: WASHINGTON, March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire

red planet

A research team in Spain has the enviable job of testing out new electromechanical gear for potential use in future missions to the “Red Planet.” They do it within their Mars environmental simulation chamber, which is specially designed to mimic conditions on the fourth planet from the sun — right down to its infamous Martian dust. Mars is a key target for future space exploration, thanks to indications that the planet may have either been capable of supporting life in the past or is possibly even supporting it right now within its subsurface. To answer the many questions about the habitability of Mars, it’s critical to first develop new sensors and instruments capable of detecting the planet’s atmospheric and surface characteristics. In the journal Review of Scientific Instruments, which is produced by AIP Publishing, researchers from Centro de Astrobiología, INTA-CSIC, and Instituto de Ciencias de Materials deMadrid describe their work mimicking conditions on Mars. “Mars is a good place to learn about planets similar to ours and, as such, is the target of many NASA and European Space Agency missions,” explained José Ángel Martín-Gago, a research professor at the Instituto de Ciencias de Materials de Madrid. “Our group is primarily involved in the Mars Science Laboratory mission to construct a meteorological station intended for future use on a rover to further explore Mars’ surface.” By building here on Earth state-of-the-art vacuum chambers capable of reproducing the physical conditions of Mars — including temperature, pressure, gas composition, and radiation — the researchers can experimentally mimic these conditions to test instrumentation in “real” environmental operation conditions. Vacuum chambers have already enabled the researchers to test some of the meteorological sensors currently used onboard the Curiosity rover, which is exploring the surface of Mars. But they are now turning their attention to other challenges, such as Martian dust. “We’re simulating the effect of the Martian dust — one of the primary problems for planetary exploration — to gain a better understanding of how instruments behave when covered in dust,” said Jesus Sobrado, the scientist in charge of the machine’s technical development. As part of its research effort, the team has designed and built vacuum chambers devoted to simulating spatial environments, such as the surface of other planets like Mars’ surface or even Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, the interstellar medium, and interplanetary regions. Vacuum chambers can “answer many questions about Mars or other related planetary bodies — both from scientific and technology points of view,” he added. Martín-Gago and colleagues are currently collaborating with NASA on its mission to test the new meteorological station “Temperature and Wind for Insight,” associated with the Insight mission, and are also expected to test the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer and Sign of Life Detector instruments proposed for the next mission to Mars in 2020. The article, “Mimicking Mars: A vacuum simulation chamber for testing environmental instrumentation for Mars” is authored by J.M. Sobrado, J. Martín-Soler, and J.A. Martín-Gago.

It has been published in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments 85, 035111 (2014)

More information in this link

The use of appropriately functionalized molecular building blocks to form novel nano-architectures with tailored structure and electronic properties has recently been brought under the spotlight. Recently, the ESISNA group has developed an effective way of exploiting on-surface chemistry to grow different nanostructures in sequential steps from the same molecular precursor. We have used different activation temperatures to control the on-surface C–H bond breaking and C–C bond making processes in the paradigmatic case of the nomplanar helically chiral pyridil-disubstituted dibenzo[5]helicene (1 in figure) deposited on Pt(111).

This molecule experiences dehydrogenation from different groups at different temperatures.

At 440 K it cyclodehydrogenates, by cleaving some internal C–H bonds, which subsequently close to form additional carbocycles, giving rise to N-doped nanohelicenes (2 in figure). Further annealing at 650 K cyclodehydrogenates the aza-aromatic groups to form N-d oped nanographenes (3 in figure), and finally, at 770 K rim-dehydrogenation leads to N-doped nanodomes (4 in figure) covalently bound to the metal surface. By an efficient combination of the most advanced room temperature (RT) ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling calculations based on improved density functional theory (DFT), the sequential development microscopy (UHV-STM) technique with state-of-the-art first-principles of the different resultant structures has been monitored.

Importantly, we have found significant agreement between experimental and calculated STM images of key intermediates, which allows a detailed mapping of the individual steps of this complex on-surface transformation.

This adequate combination of experiments and theory will permit shed some light in any other thermo-induced on-surface reaction of this kind.

The results have been published in Chemical Communication 50, 1555-1557 (2014).

More information in this link


Looking for people

febrero 26th, 2014 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Now we are looking for people to work with us:

ERC-synergy is a call of the European Union for promoting new ideas at the cutting edge of science and technology using challenging approaches.

NANOCOSMOS is an ERC-Synergy grant devoted to study the origin of chemical complexity in space using new strategies.  These protocols involve radio-astronomy observations feeding surface-science experiments, and providing ideas and concepts for constructing advanced simulation ultrahigh-vacuum machines, and developing theoretical methodologies. More information about the project in this link.

The ESISNA group is committed to construct the called: STARDUST machine to simulate the production of nanoparticles and molecules in the photosphere of a dying start.

We are looking for people interested in working in this project at all levels:

* Research groups and scientists (including Ramón y Cajal or Marie Curie proposals) interested in join us for specific parts of the project.

*Post-docs and phD students in the fields of surface science modelling for astrochemistry, theoretical modeling,  nanoparticle production in UHV, sputtering,  synchrotron radiation…

* UHV-Engineering (designing  and/or exploiting stardust machine)

*Vacuum technician (formation provided)


The grant will start in july-2014, and it will last for 6 years.

Interested people, please write a motivation letter indicating us which could be your contribution of the project


For application or more information, please contact: nanocosmos at

On the origin of interstellar aromatic molecules

febrero 13th, 2014 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Despite their abundance and ubiquity in space, the origin of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is still a mystery for astronomers. Gas phase chemistry models, this is, simple collisions between C atoms and C-containing molecules, and soot formation mechanisms can not easily account for the observed amount of PAHs, as they contain around 20% of all carbon observed in the photodissociation regions.
In a recent paper, our group propose a new possible mechanism based on surface science results. In our work, appearing in Nature Communications, top-down PAH synthesis is experimentally proven using nanotechnology tools.This can be seen as a sign indicating that the results obtained within the nanoscience framework might be essential in the modern understanding of astrochemistry.
Using advanced in-situ instrumentation we found that high temperature hydrogen etching on graphitized silicon carbide (SiC) surfaces is an efficient path to the formation of PAHs and other related species of hydrocarbons in conditions analogous to those occurring in the circumstellar envelopes of C-rich AGB stars.
Interstellar dust grain SiC crystallites have been found appearing  in the chondritic meteorites falling to earth and hydrogen accounts for 70% of all matter in the universe. The abundance of the materials used in the laboratory experiments in different regions of the space renders the newly proposed mechanism as one possible explanation to the PAHs mysterious origin.

The results have been published in Nature Communications 5, 3054 (2014).

More information in this link

ESISNA group awarded with a synergy grant

enero 15th, 2014 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

The European Research Council (ERC) announced the winners of 13 Synergy Grants, who will share a total of €150 million. The projects, at the crossroads of many disciplines, will receive funding of up to €15 million each for the coming six years. Amongst those projects, we can highlight the “Gas and Dust from the Stars to the Laboratory:  Exploring the NANOCOSMOS” project, which involves the ESISNA group.


más información
press release from ERC-council

Reactivity of the TiO2(110) surface: deshydrogenating PAH’s by thermal activation

diciembre 16th, 2013 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Our research group has shown the catalytic properties of the TiO2(110)-(1×1) surface towards dehydrogenation of large organic molecules. We have deposited C60H30 molecules on this surface and we have proven that high temperature annealing leads to partial cyclodehydrogenation, which allows the use of the activated PAH’s as building blocks for larger nanostructures. In this way, the formation of fullerene-like nanodomes on this dielectric surface was observed by STM. The different stages of this on-surface chemistry were followed by different experimental techniques (STM, XPS and NEXAFS) and theoretical methods.


More information about this work


octubre 2nd, 2013 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Functionalizing epitaxial graphene

We are currently looking for a postdoc in the framework of the EC-Flagship program. The candidate should have proven experience in ultra high vacuum (UHV) and in some of the surface science characterization techniques (STM, LEED, XPS, synchrotron radiation…). IR experience in UHV will be advantageous.

Your application should include a CV and brief motivation letter.

We would like to fill the position soon, to start beginning 2014.

For application or more information, please contact:

Jose A. Martín-Gago;


More information about the group activities available at:

More information about the research institute at:


Diffusion controlled on-surface reactions: formation of N-doped nanoarchitectures

mayo 17th, 2013 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

The bottom-up approach aims at forming tailored nanoarchitectures by manipulating organic molecules at atomic level and it is one of the most effective strategies used in nanotechnology. Catalytic surfaces are often used to prompt a particular reaction as they are very successful in modifying a particular molecule in selected ways. For example, transition metal surfaces are very efficient catalysers of dehydrogenation reactions in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH), usually upon thermal activation. They can act in different ways, depending on the strength of the interaction between the surface and the adsorbate. When a PAH is deposited on a reactive surface, such as Pt(111), the molecule does not diffuse, so the as-deposited molecule sticks where it lands. When this system is annealed, the molecule dehydrogenates which results in an intramolecular transformation, as no intermolecular interaction is allowed as the molecules do not ‘see’ each other. However, when deposited on a weakly reactive surface the precursors diffuse. In this case, the thermal activation allows dehydrogenation and an intramolecular structural transformation; however, as the molecules diffuse they interact with each other, causing also intermolecular covalent bonding. So by simply changing the nature of the surface, we can obtain two completely different outcomes.

The picture shows how the two selected molecular precursor can either transform into N-doped fullerenes or nanographene on a highly reactive surface, where diffusion is prevented (left hand side), or they can react with each other to form covalent chains on a weakly reactive surface (right hand side).


This work has been performed by combining different experimental techniques, such as STM, XPS, NEXAFS (synchrotron radiation based) and DFT theoretical methods.

The results have been published in: ACS Nano 7 (2013) 3676.

More information in this link

TiO2(110)- 1 x 2 reconstructed surface: valence band electronic structure

mayo 17th, 2013 | Posted by paqui in News - (Comentarios desactivados)


Full text in this link:

Valence band electronic structure characterization of the rutile TiO2(110)-(1×2) reconstructed surface, Sanchez-Sanchez, C; Garnier, MG; Aebi, P; Blanco-Rey, M; de Andres, PL; Martin-Gago, JA; Lopez, MF; Surf. Sci., 608, 92 (2013). DOI: 10.1016/j.susc.2012.09.019


Full text in this link:

Small Pt nanoparticles on the TiO2(110)-(1×2) surface, Sanchez-Sanchez, C; Martin-Gago, JA; Lopez, MF;
Surf. Sci., 607, 159 (2013). DOI: 10.1016/j.susc.2012.08.028

New UHV machine at ESISNA

diciembre 10th, 2012 | Posted by joseangel in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Combined LEED-STM-IR in UHV machine

A new UHV machine has been installed in the main laboratory of ESISNA’s Group. The machine combines three powerful techniques: STM at room temperature (the STM apparatus recycled from old machine); LEED (with multichannel-plate especially suitable for studying molecular structures); and Infrared spectroscopy in reflexion combined with PEM spectroscopy. The system is divided in two independent chambers, one for evaporating and STM and the other for LEED and IR. The former one includes a sample manipulator cryostat (we expect to perform LEED and IR at 50 K).

Last experiment performed in November 2012

The old equipment, which was working from 1991 has been dismounted. The last experiment was performed by P. Merino on the growth of epitaxial graphene on Pt(111).


This is a video of the mounting

The project for the construction of the machine has lasted for 5 years. On 5th November we starting the mounting, and on 11th dicember we are working again on the new machine. Some important Credits: Jesus Sobrado: Global UHV design; Gary Ellis: design of the IR set-up. Gonzalo Otero, Irene Palacio and Paqui Lopez: Main mounting of the new machine. Javier Méndez: New crysostat manufactured by PREVAC; Maques: Mounting of the structure; Vacom: construction of the vacuum chambers.

Following the Chemistry of graphene

octubre 22nd, 2012 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Graphene and Graphene derivatives are promising nanostructures to create new atomically precise materials. However, to this goal, it is important to functionalize and manipulate the graphene network in order to include specific species that confer new functionalities to the layer. We have used X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy in order to determine the chemical species included into the graphene network in two different approaches:

First we have studied reduced graphene oxide derivatives in collaboration with the Polymer Science and Technology Institute of Madrid (ICTP-CSIC).We have followed Clik-chemistry for functionalizing graphene with a Conjugated Poly (fluorine).

Here is a summary of the results published in Chem.-Eur. J. 18, 4965 (2012)

click-chemistry on-graphene

click-chemistry on-graphene

Second, we have studiedtheoxidized graphene species grown by using a new CVD based methodology at the University of Aveiro (Portugal).

Here is a summary of the results published in Scientific Reports 2, 00682 (2012)

Submonolayer Growth of Organic Molecules on the Dielectric TiO2(110)-1×1 Surface

octubre 22nd, 2012 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

The possibility to select molecules with different shapes is one of the most intriguing issues of organic electronics, since it lets us envisage the exploitation of the anisotropy parameter for the design of hybrid archetypal devices. For this reason, we have studied the growth of two organic molecules, whose shape is completely different, on the dielectric TiO2(110)-1×1 surface.

TiO2(110) substrate

TiO2(110) substrate

Most of the organic molecules do not interact with the TiO2 surface. Here after we report on two different molecules which are weakly interacting with the surface, forming a physisorbed overlayer.

A summary of the results on pentacene (J. Phys. Chem. C 115, 4664-4672 (2011) )

A summary of the results on fullerenes (Chem.-Eur. J. 18, 7382 (2012))

Congreso Fuerzas y Tunel 2012

mayo 4th, 2012 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

El congreso de Microscopías de Fuerzas y de Efecto Túenl FyT2012 tendrá lugar en San Lorenzo de El Escorial los días 12, 13 y 14 de Septiembre.

Visita la página

Registrate y manda tu abstract antes del 30 de Junio.

Congreso Fuerzas y Tunel 2012

Congreso Fuerzas y Tunel 2012

Nanotecnología para explicar el origen de la vida

diciembre 20th, 2011 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Entrevista a Jose Angel Martin Gago publicada en “El Mundo digital”. Por Mónica Luna.

Nanotecnología para explicar el origen de la vida

Ph.D. Grant offered

noviembre 29th, 2011 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)


Financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology

Rolling grant MAT2011-26534 (Reactivity of Organic Molecules on Surfaces, REOMS)

Funding to develop research work in the ESISNA group (ICMM-CSIC) is offered for a person holding a physics/chemistry degree. The successful candidate is expected to work towards his/her PhD around the general subject of reactivity of organic molecules on surfaces, in particular the formation of fullerenes and graphene layers on metals and metal-oxides. The PhD will combine experimental and theoretical work, performing experiments in Ultra-High Vacuum with different Surface Science Techniques (e.g., Variable-Temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy), and using ab-initio Density Functional Theory to interpret the experiments.

Interested candidates should send a CV to

- Dr. Javier Mendez (, and/or

- Dr. Pedro de Andres (

stating their interests and previous formation. Reference letters will be appreciated.

Deadline: February 2012

Post-doc Scholarship of the I.U.S.V.T.A.

noviembre 2nd, 2011 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

IUVSTA World Transfer Programme (WTC) rules:

General objectives:

To aid a recently qualified post doctoral scientist to transfer to another laboratory in another country in order to gain access to instruments (experiments, computers, large infrastructures) and/or to a special expertise, in order to progress more quickly her/his research project. The scientific stay will be of 3 to 12 months duration.
For a short stay, the grant consists of a travel grant but for a longer stay it may also cover some consumables or other discretionary expenses, upon the submission of a detailed budget plan.

Candidate eligibility:

Up to 3 years after the award of a PhD (or equivalent)

Financial support:

1) up to 1000 € for covering the cost of one return flight or train ticket (economy class only)

2) up to 2500€, according to the financial plan of the applicant for purchase of consumables, or small scientific equipment (excluding computers or accessories), conference fees and local costs, with a limit of / at a rate of max 250 € per month of stay

3) a special bonus of 500 €, paid to the scientist after acceptance – within 12 months of the stay – of a paper published in a recognized international peer reviewed scientific journal

More information:

I.U.S.V.T.A.  web site or

STM videos of “dancing atoms”

octubre 26th, 2011 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Here you have the link to the Monica Luna’s blog in Nanotecnology appeared in “El Mundo”, with STM videos and comments by Javier Méndez.

“Bailando con átomos”

and the videos in other formats:

videos in youtube

Strain-Driven Moiré Superstructures of Epitaxial Graphene on Transition Metal Surfaces

agosto 23rd, 2011 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

A simple model to explain graphene Moirés on single crystal metal surfaces

Graphene revealed to be the most outstanding material of the decade. Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) images have proved the existence of Moiré superstructures on epitaxial graphene due to the spatial coincidence of the atomic periodicity of the graphene lattice with that of the supporting metal. Formation of Moiré superstructures has been reported on many metals, e.g. Ru, Ir , Rh , Pt , and recently Cu , Pd , Co and Ni . Surprisingly, albeit the huge, recent and still increasing number of papers devoted to this topic, the most fundamental questions about the formation, structure and stability of these Moirés have not been deeply addressed and is still a matter of scientific dispute.

We have addressed this topic by combining a geometrical model with STM images of multidomain epitaxial graphene on Pt(111). Our model predicts the formation of 22 stable superstructures for Pt(111). We have experimentally found 19 of them, which are all predicted by the model. Moreover, by applying this method to published data we can reproduce the Moiré superstructures found for other single crystal metal surfaces and we foresee the existence of other periodicities, which have not been reported yet.

More information about this work

On-surface synthesis of cyclic organic molecules

agosto 23rd, 2011 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

A tutorial  Chemical Society Review

On-surface synthesis can be regarded as an efficient means to build new molecular species by using bottom-up strategies. Recently, a collection of different reactions leading to large tailor-made organic molecules on single-crystal metal surfaces has been reported. The fundamental mechanisms controlling these reactions can be investigated from a surface science perspective. This discipline skilfully combines the use of characterization techniques at the nanoscale, with single-crystal metallic surfaces able to catalyse these reactions.

Full text in this link: J.Mendez, M. F. Lopez  and J. A. Martín-Gago; Chem. Soc. Rev., 2011, 40, 4578–4590

Schematic and simplified representation of an on-surface synthesis process. The deposited molecular precursors arrive to the surface and diffuse on it. In some cases, they could form an ordered SAM, which provides a pre-organization of the system. After a thermal treatment activated species can be formed. These species could lead either to surface organic frameworks (SOF) or being individually transformed into other different molecular species (nano-object), after for example, a surface assisted cyclodehydrogenation (SACDH) reaction.

The Welch Scholarship of the I.U.S.V.T.A.

abril 4th, 2011 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Scholarship Application Deadline Extended to April 30th 2011

The Welch Scholarship provides $15000 support once per year to a promising scholar who wishes to study vacuum science, techniques or their application in any field, and wants to spend a year in a research lab in another country.

This is an excellent opportunity to help offset some costs that may not be covered by other sources of funding, and this year the application deadline has been extended to April 30th. If you know promising candidates or are looking to host such a researcher, please refer to the detailed description and application forms and process on the IUVSTA web site at:

Please post of forward this to your colleagues, as appropriate. For any further questions, please contact the

Surfaces: Magic wands for molecular transformations

febrero 24th, 2011 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

New bottom-up strategies for molecular assembly to tailor-build new molecules

The appearance on the technological scene of new electronic devices based on organic molecules is awaited with much expectation since they promise to be inexpensive, flexible, faster and smaller than those based on silicon technology. However, molecular electronics faces important challenges before the jump from the research laboratory to the technological centre can be made. To make this jump one of the new trends in the field aims to assemble organic molecules at specific locations on nanostructured surfaces, where they can subsequently be used as building-blocks for fabricating the active or passive electronic elements of a circuit. Rather than using the current top-down techniques, successfully applied in solid-state electronics, it seems clear that the groundwork for building molecular devices should start with a bottom-up strategy, presently lacking in the molecular engineer’s toolkit…

Roman Fasel and co-workers  have shown that is possible to synthesize nanographene, a highly strategic molecule, from less complex polyphenyls, demonstrating the capabilities of this new strategy for bottom-up fabrication, which can be easily extended to the assembly of nanographenes of varying dimensions

Read our complete opinion article in nature chemistry 3,11,2011

Recently published in Chemistry, a European Journal. Vacuum deposition of a planarized PAH, as C60H30 , on a single-crystal surface, as Pt(111), leads to surface induced chirality caused by the different landing side of the molecule, as depicted by in-situ STM images.

We show that the surface discriminate the landing side of an individual molecule. Molecules adsorbed “right” or “left”-hand present different structural geometries, shifted by about 35º between them. Large-scale DFT calculations explain the atomistic mechanism behind the enantiomeric recognition process.

Ordered Vacancy Network Induced by the Growth of Epitaxial Graphene on Pt(111)

noviembre 30th, 2010 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Published in Phys. Rev. Lett. by ESISNA

Graphene is one of the most outstanding materials of the decade. Among all the different proposed applications and protocols to growth it, epitaxial graphene on single-crystal metal surfaces have acquired a significant relevance as a model system where to rationalize their atomic structure, interaction with the support and excellent electronic properties. However, there are still many fundamental incertitudes about their interaction with the supporting substrate.

sub-monolayer coverage epitaxial graphene

sub-monolayer coverage epitaxial graphene

Here we present a full atomic determination of a new graphene phase with low crystallographic ratio with the substrate. The Pt substrate “adjusts” the position of their surface atoms to accommodate the graphene layer.

more information in this link

How are the STM images influenced by structural changes in the tip?

noviembre 24th, 2010 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

What you see it is not what it is! Chemical and morphological changes in the tip are frequent during an experimental STM session. We have shown the effect of different tip apexes on the appearance of atomic features of STM images by relating experimental STM images with DFT calculations. The work, which focuses on the particular case of the TiO2(110)-(1×1) surface, also identifies typical point-defects of this surface, as oxygen vacancies and hydroxyl groups.

TiO2(110)-(1×1) surface seen with a “contaminated” tip

The left panel shows an experimental STM image of the TiO2(110)-(1×1) surface. As we show by DFT calculations, in this case the W tip is terminated in a single O atom adsorbed replacing the W-apex. The right panel shows a) the STM experimental image of the same surface. A double tip formed by two O atoms adsorbed at the apex is the responsible of the image, as inferred from the theoretical calculations (image b). The presence of defects has also been simulated theoretically (images c and d).

These results have been published on “Nanotechnology”.

More information

2D metal-organic layer covers gold substrate

octubre 30th, 2010 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Molecular networks provide new surface functionality and could enable the formation of more complex structures

Nanoporous molecular systems have become an interesting field. They are well reported as templates for positioning nano-objects and for having remarkable applications in catalysis. Now metal-organic monolayers can be grown in a controlled way using PTCDA molecules and iron, which form stable coordination-based structures over extended areas.

Further information can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.

or an extended summary here

Fullerene on Google Homepage

septiembre 4th, 2010 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Twenty-five years ago today, on September 4, 1985, the buckyball was discovered at Rice University, and Google is commemorating that scientific discovery with an interactive doodle logo on its homepage

El sábado 4 de Septiembre, Google ha colocado en su página de inicio un nuevo logotipo -mejor conocido como “doodle”-, el cual es una representación animada de la buckyball, fullereno o buckminsterfullereno, el cual hoy se encuentra celebrando el 25º aniversario del su descubrimiento.


mayo 28th, 2010 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Nanociencia y su impacto social


Se celebró el curso Nanociencia y su impacto social.  Participaron los siguientes ponentes:

Nazario Martín León; Mª Ángeles Herranz Astudillo;Eugenio Coronado Miralles; Jean M. Lehn;  José López Carrascosa; José Ángel Martín Gago;  José Manuel Pingarrón Carrazón; Fernando Briones; José Manuel Pingarrrón Carrazón; Nazario Martín León; Mª Eugenia Anta;  Eiichi Nakamura;   Nicolás Agrait de la Puente y Rodolfo Miranda Soriano

consulta el programa completo en su pag. web

fiesta ESISNA-2010

mayo 28th, 2010 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Como ya viene siendo habitual, cada año, antes del verano, nos reunimos los integrantes del grupo junto con nuestros colegas del CAB y antiguos miembros en el campo para hacer una barbacoa a la hora de comer y luego, por la tarde,  una fiesta en la que están invitados todos los amigos y colegas. ¡¡ Hay cerveza y sangría para todos!!. Este es el programa previsto.

Este año será el día 11 de JUNIO-VIERNES.

Aqui puedes ver como llegar

Estas fotos corresponden a momentos estelares del año pasado

Fast diffusing cysteine molecules on the Au surface can be regarded as a 2D molecular gas. Molecular “evaporation” and “condensation” from the gas on the surface morphological features takes place continuously. This process leads progressively to the formation of a number of stable arrangements, not previously reported, like single-molecular rows, trimmers and 2D islands. The long-range order process of the single amino-acid on gold surface is driven by the formation of stable electrostatic interactions between adjacent molecules.

This work is the result of a collaboration between the Centro de Astrobiología and ESiSNA group. These results have been published in Langmuir.

More information

el Azul de Prusia y el origen de la vida

diciembre 19th, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

A partir de esta sal se pudieron originar sustancias esenciales para la vida. Foto: Nagem R.

Un equipo de investigadores del Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC) ha comprobado que a partir de la sal Azul de Prusia se pueden obtener cianuro de hidrógeno, urea y otras sustancias consideradas esenciales en la formación de las primeras moléculas biológicas. Para realizar el estudio, publicado en la revista Chemistry & Biodiversity, los científicos han recreado las condiciones químicas de la Tierra primitiva.

link a la noticia oríginal.

More information about the work.

Single-molecule wires out of single-molecule magnets

octubre 22nd, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

A single molecular magnet (SMM) is a large molecule exhibiting superparamagnetic properties, and therefore it behaves like a magnet. One of the challenges attracting more attention over the last few years has been the development of new techniques that allow their nanostructuration and addressing on surfaces,  to promote their potential use for high-density information storage devices and quantum computing applications.

In a collaboration with the ICMAB  and CIN2 research institutes we have been able to shown that these

Mn12: single-molecule magnet

Mn12: single-molecule magnet

molecules self-assemble on a Au surface from liquid environment forming single molecular wires.  These results have been published in the journal:  Langmuir.

For more details about the relevance of the work: click here

Alhambra in ACSIN-10

octubre 21st, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Most of the people of the ESISNA group have attended to the international conference: “Atomic controlled surfaces and interfaces- ACSIN” held in Granada (September-2009).

The conference was mainly devoted to discuss about epitaxial graphene layers and organic molecules on surfaces.After the long scientific sessions we found also time for visiting the “Alhambra by night”, together with some friends.

Here you can see a photo gallery


junio 9th, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Cada año, antes del verano, nos reunimos los integrantes del grupo junto con nuestros colegas del CAB en el campo para hacer una barbacoa a la hora de comer y luego, por la tarde,  una fiesta en la que están invitados todos los amigos y colegas. ¡¡ Hay cerveza y sangría para todos!!. Este es el programa previsto.

Este año será el día 10 de Julio.

Aqui puedes ver como llegar

TiO2: How to prepare a good surface.

junio 9th, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Surface Science studies use to prepare flat and clean surfaces by combining cycles of sputtering and annealing under Ultra-High Vacuum conditions. This procedure leads to large and ordered atomic terraces, as the shown in the image.

However, there are other simple methods to have single-atom  separated terraces. These could be an starting point previous to the introduction of the sample in an UHV system.  Here follows one of those.

How do you prepare your STM tip?

mayo 6th, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

The STM technique presents a clear drawback: the uncontrolled shape and chemical termination of the tip.  This is particularly important in UHV, where atomic resolution is wanted.  Tip preparation methods are therefore essential for obtaining good STM images. Here follows our optimized recipe. If you find it useful, please, let us know. Also we would appreciate if you send us yours. We will publish them here.

Press releases on our Nature paper:

febrero 20th, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

The paper entitled: Fullerenes from aromatic precursors by surface catalysed cyclodehydrogenation.
by G. Otero,et al.  Nature 454, 865-868 (2008) has been commented on different journals and magazines. Here you could find a list of some of the links.

Forthcoming conferences

febrero 20th, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Here follows a list of some forthcoming conferences related to our research topics:

STM imagen of a chain made of PTCDA molecules linked with iron atoms.


please, fell free to send us information about other non-listed conferences!

New DNA biosensor based on micro-cantilevers

febrero 9th, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

The group leaded by  J. Tamayo y M. Calleja in “Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid-CSIC”, together with the ESISNA group and the “centro de Astrobiología”  have developped a  new nucleic acid biosensor based on the immobilization of self-assembled monolayers of DNA and PNA on micro-cantilevers.

These results have been published on “Nature Nanotechnology”

nota de prensa CSIC: El recortable más pequeño del mundo

febrero 6th, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

Nota de prensa publicada por el CSIC en referencia al artículo publicado en NATURE.

The cyclation process

The cyclation process

Nuevo libro: nanociencia y nanotecnología.

febrero 3rd, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

La FECYT (fundación Española para la ciencia y la Tecnología) ha publicado la obra titulada: “Nanociencia y nanotecnología: entre la ciencia ficción del presente y la tecnología del futuro”.

El grupo ESISNA ha colaborado con la mayor parte de las ilustraciones de microscopía de campo cercano de este libro.

NASA and Google Launch Virtual Exploration of Mars

febrero 3rd, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

NASA and Google announced  the release
of a new Mars mode in Google Earth that brings to everyone’s desktop
a high-resolution, three-dimensional view of the Red Planet.

Mars planet

Mars planet

Origami at the nanoscale, or fullerenes “à la carte”.Nature Vol 454- 07193

enero 27th, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

How to make fullerenes “a la carte”:  recently published in NATURE by ESISNA.

SIMULACIÓN DE AMBIENTES PLANETARIOS: Nuevo laboratorio en el Centro de Astrobiología

enero 23rd, 2009 | Posted by admin in News - (Comentarios desactivados)

El centro de Astrobiología dispone de  una nueva unidad de simulación de ambientes planetarios e interestelares dedicada a reproducir en un laboratorio las condiciones de presión, atmosfera y temperatura de diferentes planetas.

Marte en la Tierra

Marte en la Tierra


diciembre 1st, 2008 | Posted by admin in News - (0 Comments)
En esta sección pretendemos mostrar diferentes noticias que vayan pasando o resultandonos interesantes. Si quieres enviarnos alguna noticia interesante o comentar alguna, por favor, envianosla. GRACIAS.
This section is devoted to scientific news related with our research line.  If you would like to publish something here or comment  previous news:  please, send us the information and we will upload for you.
thank you!