Research Projects

By the end of 2016, eight researchers of the ICMAB had been granted with nine projects of the European Research Council (ERC), although four of them started officially in 2017. The ERC operates according to a "curiosity-driven", or "bottom-up", approach, allowing researchers to identify new opportunities in any field of research. Accordingly the portfolio ERC funded projects spans a wide range of topics and research questions

Advanced Grants

ERC Advanced Grants are for established, leading principal investigators who want long-term funding to pursue a ground-breaking, high-risk project.

Teresa Puig

Ultrafast growth of ultrahigh performance superconducting tapes (ULTRASUPERTAPE)
The ULTRASUPERTAPE project is an unprecedented approach for low cost/high throughput/high performance high temperature superconducting tapes for the new clean, efficient and smart energy paradigm. A transient liquid assisted growth (TLAG) in chemical solution deposited layers is used to reach ultrafast growth of thick superconducting tapes. An integrated system based on additive manufacturing and digital printing is devised to address a competitive manufacturing process with very high throughput and low cost, where combinatorial chemistry is selectively used for fast screening. Ultra-high tapes performances at high and ultrahigh magnetic fields are envisioned by maximizing the superconducting condensation energy with local strain and electronic state engineering.

Consolidator Grants

ERC Consolidator Grants are for scientists who want to consolidate their independence by establishing or strengthening a research team and continuing to develop a success career in Europe.

Mariano Campoy-Quiles

Finding a needle in a haystack: efficient identification of high performing organic energy materials (FOREMAT)
With the aim of achieving breakthrough advances in the performance of organic photovoltaic and thermoelectric applications, the FOREMAT project will develop a high throughput platform that will enable the ultrafast identification of promising organic materials, simultaneously producing design rules for improved compounds and composites and efficiently optimizing device performance.

The goal is to deliver organic material systems with a step-change in performance, bringing them close to the expected market turn point, including panchromatic organic photovoltaics with ca 15% efficiencies and thermoelectric devices that could revolutionize waste heat recovery by their flexibility, lightweight and high power factor. The development of multicomponent materials promises to dramatically improve the cost, efficiency and stability of organic energy devices.

Gerard Tobias

Nanoengineering of Radioactive Seeds for Cancer Therapy and Diagnosis (NEST)
The NEST project that focuses on the preparation of radioactive nanomaterials, smaller than the size of human body cells, for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Depending on the nature of the employed radioactive materials, it is expected that the nanomaterials prepared will allow both an early diagnosis of tumors and their treatment in a localized manner, thus minimizing damage to healthy tissue.

Núria Aliaga-Alcalde

Efficient electronic transport at room temperature by T-shaped molecules in graphene based chemically modified three-terminal nanodevices (Tmol4TRANS) 
The project Tmol4TRANS is dedicated to the design of molecules, which inserted in nano-transistors based on graphene, will produce efficient conductance at room temperature. It is also expected to optimize the device and production since the hybrid between the molecule and the device will have a high reproducibility. This is a project that wants to encourage the use of molecules in electronic devices that we use every day to improve their performance. Tmol4TRANS would have a direct impact in Molecular Electronics and Spintronics, as well as in the broader scope of nanoelectronics.

Massiliano Stengel

Hierarchical multiscale modeling of flexoelectricity and related materials properties from first principles (MULTIFLEXO) 
The MULTIFLEXO project objective is to advance decisively in the theoretical understanding of flexoelectricity (a phenomenon whereby a material generates electricity by suffering a non-homogeneous deformation, for example by bending) and more generally, of material properties that emerge from a non-uniform distortion. The theoretical study of these properties presents a great challenge that Max Stengel has assumed as a pioneer in the simulation of the first principles of flexoelectricity and he approaches it with an innovative multiscale strategy that integrates quantum-mechanical calculations with a description of solids and nanostructures on a larger scale. The tools that will provide will allow in the future, the design of innovative devices for energy harvesting, innovative transducers and photovoltaic materials with improved properties.

Starting Grants

ERC Starting Grants are for talented early-career scientists who have already produced excellent supervised work, and are ready to work independently and show potential to be a research leader.

Agustín Mihi

Photonic electrodes for enhanced light management in Optoelectronic devices (ENLIGHTMENT)
The ENLIGHTMENT project is aimed at the fabrication of different types of low cost and large area photonic architectures to improve the performance of solar cells, sensors, photodetectors and many other devices. Nanostructured dielectric and metallic photonic architectures can concentrate the electric field through resonances, increase the light optical path by strong diffraction and exhibit many other interesting optical phenomena that cannot be achieved with traditional lenses and mirrors. This research plan is aimed to develop photonic electrodes that will enhance light matter interaction based on wave optics phenomena while being fabricated with techniques fully compatible with today’s mass production approaches, allowing seamless integration of wave optics components in current devices.

Marta Mas-Torrent

Surface self-assembled molecular electronic devices: logic gates, memories and sensors (e-GAMES)
The ERC Starting Grant e-GAMES is dedicated to organic electronic devices, such as molecular logic gates for the storage and transmission of magnetic and optical information and for locally controlling surface wettability; ambipolar organic field-effect transistors with donor-acceptor systems and their exploitation in light, temperature or pressure sensors, and/or memory devices; and organic/inorganic hybrid devices based on field-effect transistors for sensing environmentally hazardous carbon nanoparticles.

Alexandre Ponrouch

Calcium and Magnesium metal anode based batteries (CAMBAT)
CAMBAT addresses important challenges in the quest for a sustainable future, since batteries are essential components in a wide range of “everyday” technologies. It aims at developing new sustainable battery chemistries based Ca or Mg metal anodes which would bring a breakthrough in terms of energy density, while relying on much more abundant elements as compared to today’s state of the art Li-ion technology. A milestone of this project is the formulation of new non-corrosive electrolytes with enhanced ionic transport that would promote the formation of a stable electrolyte/electrode interface. This should enable building laboratory prototype cells with enhanced energy density and lower cost than commercially available Li-ion batteries.

The European Research Council (ERC) has a number of funding schemes amongst which the Starting Grant is a very prestigious one that aims at encouraging young talented research leaders to gain independence in Europe and to build their own careers.

Proof of Concept

ERC Proof of Concept Grants are for researchers who already received an ERC grant for their frontier research project and now want to explore the commercial or societal potential of their work

Marta Mas-Torrent

Large Area Organic Devices with Bar-Assisted Meniscus Shearing Technology (LAB-TECH)
This Proof-of-concept ERC grant is devoted to organic electronic devices, such as organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), which are raising an increasing interest for their potential in large area coverage and low cost applications.

ERC Grants in Spanish Research Centers and Universities

Current Host Institutions (data as of 19/09/2016)

Other Funded Projects

  • 2016


    • Xavier Obradors. NFFA-EUROPE. The NFFA-EUROPE project allows free access to European infrastructures for cutting-edge research in nanoscience. There are 20 partners distributed in different nodes, and 6 installations. ICMAB belongs to the Bellaterra node, together with CNM, ICN2, UAB and PRUAB.
    • Gerard Tobias. Graphene Reinforce Composites for 3D Printing Technology (3D – PRINTGRAPH). H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
    • Gerard Tobias. Development of ultra-sensitive nanotherapeutic anticancer agents for boron neutron capture therapy (NANOTER). H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
    • Xavier Obradors. Cost effective FCL using advanced superconducting tapes for future HVDC grids (FASTGRID) Coord. G2Elab (CNRS). France. H2020-NMBP-2016-2017.
    • Mariano Campoy, Esther Barrena and Carmen Ocal. Spins for Efficient Photovoltaic Devices based on Organic Molecules (SEPOMO) Coord. Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016.
    • Nora Ventosa Smart multifunctional GLA-nanoformulation for treating Fabry disease (Smart-4-Fabry) Coord. CIBER-BBN CSIC third party. H2020-NMBP-2016-2017.
    • Rosa Palacín. "Batteries based on Calcium: from electrolyte development to full cell proof-of-concept" (BATCA). H2020-MSCA-IF-2016 (Standard EF)
    • Gervasi Herranz. "Enabling Multifunctional Plasmonics on Hybrid Artificial Scale-Integrated Systems" (EMPHASIS). H2020-MSCA-IF-2016 (Standard EF)
    • Clara Viñas. Tuning COPs. H2020-MSCA-IF-2016 (Standard EF)


    • Nora Ventosa. Nanocápsulas conteniendo activos para el tratamiento tópico de enfermedades dermatológicas (NANO4DERM). Empresa: Almirall. MINECO. Retos Colaboración 2016.
    • Jaume Veciana. Compra e instalación y puesta a punto de equipamiento y laboratorios de producción y caracterización para complementar las Unidades U2-Producción de Anticuerpos, U4- Biodeposición y Biodetección, U6- Procesado de Biomateriales y U8- micro, nanotecnología. Fondos FEDER. Programa Operativo Crecimiento Inteligente 2014-2020
    • Benjamín Martínez. Adquisición de una plataforma de medidas físicas con temperatura y campo magnético variables. MINECO Infraestructura Científico-Tecnológica 2015. Infraestrucuras CSIC15-EE-3200
    • Jaume Veciana. Materiales moleculares y organizaciones supramoleculares para terapia, diagnosis i ingeniería tisular. MINECO Pla Estatal I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad. MAT2016-80826-R
    • Esther Barrena. Nuevas intercaras optimizadas para dispositivos responsivos basados en moléculas. MINECO Pla Estatal I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad. MAT2016-77852-C2-1-R
    • Lourdes Fàbrega. Desarrollo de detectores criogenicos basados en TES ESP2016-76683-C3-2-R. MINECO Pla Estatal I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad.
    • Marta Mas. Materiales orgánicos funcionales para la fabricación de sensores y dispositivos (ESPIN) electrónicos y de memoria. MINECO Pla Estatal I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad. CTQ2016-80030-R
    • Clara Viñas. Materiales basados en clusteres de boro para energía sostenible y aplicaciones medioambientales. MINECO Pla Estatal I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad. CTQ2016-75150-R
    • Agustín Mihi. Sustratos basados en cristales plasmónicos para la detección de la dispersión Raman amplificada en superficies . MINECO Subprograma Estatal Generación del Conocimiento. MAT2016-79053-P
    • Massimiliano Stengel. Paredes de dominio, interfases y dominios de antifase en antiferroeléctricos. MINECO Subprograma Estatal Generación del Conocimiento. MAT2016-77100-C2-2-P


    • Nora Ventosa. New fluorescent water-dispersable colloidal nanoparticles for advanced bio-imaging and theranostic applications. FLOWERS. Projectes Interns: FIP Severo Ochoa
    • Dino Tonti. Development of semisolid electrolytes for Zn/O2 flow cells based on suspended graphene nanohybrids. FLOWGRAPH. FIP Severo Ochoa
    • Núria Crivillers. Switchable orGAnic molecules for the fabricatIoN of electronic devices and memories. GAIN. FIP Severo Ochoa
    • Núria Aliaga. Curcuminoid-MOF-based systems to control the electronic response by reliable microscaled hybrid transistors obtained using sustainable CO2 MOFTrans. FIP Severo Ochoa
    • Mariona Coll. NANOengineering of perovskite ferroelectric oxides for next generation SOLar cElls. NANOSOLE. FIP Severo Ochoa
    • Ferran Macià. Functional Magnonic Crystals: Manipulating Dynamical Magnetic States in Nanostructures with Surface Acoustic Waves. SPINSURF. FIP Severo Ochoa


    • Teresa Puig. HTS Coated Conductors for Future Circular Collider (FCC). Beam Screen ICMAB / CERN / ALBA / IFAE. CERN – FCC project.
    • Elies Molins, Berta Domènech. in collaboration with Krijn Paaijmans from ISGlobal (Barcelona) and Andreas Rose from Biogents AG (Regensburg): “Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge” from USAID. Mosquito Mist Nets for the Surveillance of Disease Vectors project funded by the Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. 

    • Judith Guasch. “Max Plank Partner Group”

    • Nora Ventosa. Estudis preclínics i clínics aplicació nanovesícules (quatsomes) amb EGF úlceres venoses cròniques (NANONAFRES). RIS3CAT Coordinat per EAP Osona Sud. COMUNITAT RIS3CAT. Tecnologías de la Salud.
  • 2015


    • Concepció Rovira. Integrated self-assembled SWITCHable systems and materials: towards responsive organic electronics. A multi-site innovative training action. Marie-Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN (I-SWITCH)
    • Alberto Pomar. Designing Advanced Functionalities through controlled NanoElement integration in OXide thin films (DAFNEOX). H2020-MSCA-2015
    • Maria Rosa Palacin. Na-Ion bAttery Demonstration for Electric Storage (NAIADES). H2020-LCE-2014-3
    • Lourdes Fábrega. Integrated Activities for the High Energy Astrophysics Domain (AHEAD). H2020-INFRAIA-2014-2015
    • Xavier Obradors. P-SPHERE. Coordinated by UAB. H2020-MSCA-COFUND.


    • Alejandro Goñi. Híbridos de materiales orgánicos e inorgánicos para aplicaciones híbridas fotovoltaica y termoeléctrica (HIBRI2). MINECO. Plan Estatal 2015. Excelencia. Individual
    • Jordi Rius. Nuevos desarrollos en la solución estructural de micro/nanodominios cristalinos por difracción sincrotrónica a través del sustrato (TTS_DIFFRACTION). MINECO. Plan Estatal 2015. Excelencia. Individual
    • Alberto García. SIESTA and the Theory of Instabilities and Transport in Functional and Low-Dimensional Materials-ICMAB (SIESTA-ICMAB). Plan Estatal 2015. Excelencia. Subprojecte del CIC NANOGUNE
    • José Luis García. Investigación del orden interno, cristalografía y magnetismo de materiales multiferroicos y magnetoeléctricos (OXOMAGELEC). MINECO. Plan Estatal 2015. Excelencia. Subprojecte del ICMAB-CSIC
    • Nieves Casañ. Desarrollo de materiales electroactivos nanostructurados y recubrimientos: Electrodos y Estimulación eléctrica in vitro and in vivo (ENERBIO). MINECO. Plan Estatal 2015. Retos de la sociedad. Individual
    • Benjamín Martínez. Heteroestructuras de óxidos complejos para electrónica de espín (HETEROCS). MINECO. Plan Estatal 2015. Retos de la sociedad. Individual
    • Anna Roig. Desarrollo de Materiales Nanocompuestos de Celulosa Bacteriana (E-BCN). MINECO. Plan Estatal 2015. Retos de la sociedad. Individual
    • Elies Molins. Liogeles nanocompuestos con actividad catalítica para la producción de hidrógeno (LIONANOCAT). MINECO. Plan Estatal 2015. Retos de la sociedad. Subprojecte de la UPC
    • Dino Tonti. Nanofluidos basados en Carbones con microestructura optimizada para almacenamiento de energía en celdas de flujo (NaCarFLOW).
  • 2012-2014


    • Xavier Granados. Multi-physics simulation of high temperature superconducting devices (FORTISSIMO). FP7 (2014)
    • Núria Crivillers. Electrical spin manipulation in electroACtive MOLecules (ACMOL) (2014)
    • Jaume Veciana. Nanochemistry of molecular materials for 2-photon functional applications (Nano2Fun) (2013)
    • Jaume Veciana. Cost-effective sensors, interoperable with international existing ocean observing systems, to meet EU policies requirements (COMMONSENSE). FP7 Environment, Ocean 2013.2 (2013)
    • Francesc Teixidor. Real time monitoring of SEA contaminants by an autonomous Lab-on-a-CHIP biosensor (SEA-ON-A-CHIP). (2013)
    • Xavier Obradors. superconductors to improve energy efficiency in Europe (EUROTAPES). (2012)
    • Gerard Tobias. Nanocapsules for Targeted Delivery of Radioactivity (RADDEL). ITN FP7 PEOPLE (2012)
    • Carles Miravitlles. EULA NETWORK IN CERAMIC MATERIALS with environmental and industrial applications (EULA-NETCERMAT). FP7-PEOPLE (2012).
    • Anna Roig. Interactions in Three-dimensional (3D) in vitro environments of Nanoparticles and Cells (3DinvitroNPC). FP7-PEOPLE-2012
    • Jaume Veciana. Benznidazol and Triazol REsearch group for Nanomedicine and Innovation on Chagas disease (BERENICE). FP7-HEALTH-2012-INNOVATION-1-305937.

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