Research teams

Theory and new concepts

Team Leader: Juan Bisquert

Nanoscale materials and devices for energy production and storage, are characterized by a great complexity of morphologies, interfaces and processes. Theory and modeling bring us some guidelines for the progress towards new effective systems, and for the understanding and optimization of the existing ones. Our research program grows out of traditional characterization techniques, but also aims to invent new ones, adapted to the varied specific situations, and to produce general concepts that show strong descriptive power across different materials, systems, and even across disciplines. Our Objectives also encompasses the preparation of devices and materials to test new concepts and ideas that can bring light to the difficult field of disordered and nanostructured organic, inorganic, and biomolecular devices with a range of applications as sensors, LEDS, and others.

Nanoscale effects in electronic and ionic devices

Team Leader: Germà Garcia-Belmonte

Mechanisms at the Nanoscale have fostered cutting age investigations in a wide variety of electrical devices. Organic and molecular functional semiconductors used in thin film transistors, photovoltaic cells and light-emitting diodes exhibit a high degree of charge localization confining relevant operating processes as transport and recombination within the Nanoscale. Interfaces and interlayers of nanometer size at device contacts play a central role in establishing contact energy level alignment and charge transfer injection and extraction in optoelectronic devices and sensors. Nanosize-related phenomena in energy storage materials are a key issue orienting current research in higher capacity and cycling performance of batteries.This research program focuses on understanding connections between structural, thermodynamic, and kinetic aspects at the Nanoscale, and electrical behavior and new functionalities of novel materials and interfaces. We are particularly interested in the nano-effects incorporated into complete electrical devices for optoelectronics, photovoltaics, energy storage, and sensoring.

Nanostructured systems for artificial photosynthesis and solar fuels

Team Leader: Sixto Giménez

The development of semiconductor materials and devices aimed at the efficient conversion of light into chemical fuels constitutes one of the most dynamic current research topics. Particularly, the use of nanostructured and hybrid materials to drive the relevant photoelectrochemical reactions at the interface represents a fascinating approach, which has attracted a great deal of attention in the last years. Our research program is focused on the development of novel systems, aiming at exploiting fascinating concepts like nanoscale design, quantum confinement and band energetic engineering. As a core value of our activities, optoelectronic and electrochemical characterization and device modeling represent a valuable tool to understand the carrier dynamics and catalytic mechanisms and to provide relevant guidelines for materials and device optimization.

Perovskite, quantum dots and advanced semiconductors

Team Leader: Iván Mora-Seró

Semiconductor materials are in the basis of the technological development without precedents experienced by mankind from the second half of the 20th century. The development of these materials has allowed the production of multiple devices optoelectronic devices, transistors, LED., laser, solar cells..., that has changed dramatically our interaction with the world. In the last years, new and advanced semiconductors have this technological development has permitted to prepare and manipulate, under controlled conditions, materials in the nanoscale, where new and fascinating properties arising from the quantum confinement, are observed. Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite semiconductors or semiconductor Quantum Dots (quantum confinement in 3D), or Quantum Rods or Wires (quantum confinement in 2D), offer a tremendous potential for the development of a new generation of optoelectronic devices with enhanced properties. Our team, focus its research in the development of nanostructured devices in order to take advantage of the properties of advanced semiconductor materials. Our current work point to the preparation and optimization of devices new configurations, especially for photovoltaic devices and LEDs, study of new semiconductor materials or nanostructured configurations, systematic characterization of the devices and a final modeling of the device performance identifying the different physical processes responsible of the final performance, and unveiling the limiting processes in order to focus the optimization effort.

Energy and bio-devices

Team Leader: Francisco Fabregat Santiago

The progress in the understanding of the electric and optoelectronic properties of materials and their influence on the overall performance of devices is determined by the development of adequate models and tools for their characterization. This team is dedicated to the study of the origin of the electro-optical behavior and the description of the physico-chemical properties of nanostructured materials, highly functionalized electrodes and devices through the intensive use of impedance spectroscopy analysis and other electrical and optical techniques. We are particularly focused in materials, bio-functionalized electrodes and devices for their application in sensors and energy production systems such dye solar cells, microbial and bio-fuel cells.

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Team Leader: Eva M. Barea

The conversion of solar energy using devices based on nanostructured semiconductors is well advanced, but more efforts are still required for more efficient and cheaper large scale production. New materials and processes require a detailed understanding of charge transfer processes that occur in the interfaces of the DSC to optimize the design of dyes and improve efficiency. We have great expertise in the application of Impedance spectroscopy and a range of electrooptical techniques to determine the charge transfer phenomena which are essential for the optimization of the individual DSCs components. In addition, the DSC group also develops research and technical activity on manufacturing, optimization of nanomaterials, redox electrolytes and scale up of DSC.