The I+D+I activity of the research groups is currently divided in three research lines and one transversal action. The research groups work in an interdisciplinary environment, and most of them contribute to several research lines. These strategic lines are to remain at the forefront of the ICMM research in the coming years, as they are recognized by the European commission as priority lines and they are pivotal in our new strategic plan for 2023-2027.  Each line encompasses two more focused sub-lines. In the sublines

Materials for a Sustainable World

Materials for Energy

This line of research seeks new materials for a range of energy storage and harvesting devices, from solid-state batteries to fuel cells and high-energy, safe supercapacitors or piezo-magneto-electric devices, as well as materials to minimize the energy-intensive processes. The participating groups offer their expertise in the design and development of high-performance materials that constitute these devices (electrodes, electrolytes, light absorbers, catalysts, materials with hierarchical porosity) and in the evaluation and advanced (nano) characterization (electrochemistry, spectroscopies, in situ and in operando neutron and synchrotron techniques). The activities of this line also include the production of clean fuels through thermal and photochemical water splitting.

Materials for Environmental Remediation and Green Processes

This line of research pursues a cross-cutting approach to synthetic and applied targets from a chemical perspective. Considering the ultimate goal of achieving circular economy challenges, the line focuses on the development of environmentally friendly synthetic approaches (e.g., low-temperature synthesis or solvents-free and more efficient catalysts), the development of new materials for environmental remediation (CO2 capture and conversion, pollutant removal...), the search for environmentally friendly material compositions (e.g., lead-free perovskites), as well as the exploitation of natural resources and agricultural waste (e.g., lignin and cellulose-based materials) for the production of functional materials.

Materials for Health 

Nanoplatforms for Therapy and Diagnosis

This research subline focuses on the design of nanomaterials and functional hybrid materials, biocompatible organic-inorganic interfaces, and sensing and actuation devices. Our scientific expertise lies in the synthesis and characterization of nanoparticles and nanostructures with design properties tailored for specific applications, scaling up synthesis processes, and controlling the interactions of these nanoplatforms with biological systems. We have also developed new experimental techniques for their detection and quantification in biological systems. Our research also involves the evaluation of these nanosystems in in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models, contributing to the study of their toxicity and functionality as therapeutic and/or diagnostic platforms. To bring our developments closer to clinical translation, we have close interaction with various biological research centers and hospitals in the region, such as La Paz Hospital and the National Hospital for Paraplegics. A testament to the marked leadership of our researchers in the field is the creation and coordination of the CSIC Nanomedicine Connection. We also participate in the Interdisciplinary Global Health Platform.

Technologies and Instrumentation for Nanomedicine

This research subline focuses on the design and applicability of new advanced instrumentation and characterization tools. Our scientific expertise lies in the development of force microscopes for the quantitative characterization of the properties of biomolecules, polymers, and biomedical materials. This activity has generated several patents that are being commercially explored and were pioneers in the development of nanomechanical mapping. These methods have found considerable application in industry (e.g., polymer manufacturing) and are currently being applied in mechanobiology to elucidate the correlations between the mechanical properties of cells and tissues and their physiology. We also have considerable experience in the development of a variety of functional tips for applications in force microscopy (AFM) and nanosensing, laying the foundation for the creation of two spin-offs in our center (NextTip S.L. and Nanostine S.L.).

Materials for Digital Information

Materials for Advanced Electronics and Photonics

We have expertise in the synthesis, processing, characterization, modeling, and applications of intelligent functional materials for integration into devices for detection, storage, processing, and communication of information, as well as for producing light sources. We work on a wide range of current topics: magnetic nanostructures for advanced sensors and memories; magnonic circuits; new two-dimensional materials and van der Waals heterostructures; spintronics (spin dynamics, skyrmions); ferroelectric and multiferrroic materials for flexible electronics; or nanostructured materials with enhanced light-matter interaction for optimized photonics (optical sensors, tunable stochastic lasers, photonic metamaterials).

Quantum Materials and Technologies

Quantum materials are materials in which quantum physics gives rise to emerging phenomena such as superconductivity and topological phases, leading to applications in quantum technologies. We have expertise in different theoretical and numerical techniques to study strongly correlated systems and superconductivity, magnetism, van der Waals heterostructures, topological materials, and Berry phase-related phenomena, non-electronic analogs of topological materials (chiral optics), semiconductor qubits and hybrid nanostructures with semiconductors and superconductors for solid-state quantum computing, quantum transport, quantum thermoelectricity in nanodevices, heat and energy transfer, and quantum machines, among others. Experimentally, we have experience in the structural, morphological, magnetic, electronic, and optoelectronic characterization of materials, nanostructures, and devices. We provide advanced characterization techniques both at the macro and microscale. This activity is supported by the CSIC Interdisciplinary Platform in Quantum Technologies.