The research activities at INAM for the period 2016-2019 have been established by an Strategic Plan that includes the following lines of action.
A. Thematic lines of research indicate the generic field of research into which the specific research advance can be classified.
Advanced materials for energy conversion focuses on the development of materials for photovoltaic conversion in which the absorbed light is transformed into electricity or chemical fuel efficiently. The use of organic and inorganic materials will be studied and hybrids beyond the materials present in the current photovoltaic market in order to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Special attention to the physical processes that allow this energy conversion will be paid as the special properties of each family of materials affect this conversion.
This line includes activities related to the synthesis and characterization of molecular and solid materials with catalytic applications, for the production of organic molecules with high added value. This research front fulfills the requirements for the chemical industry from waste products or from raw chemical without any value. Today the world faces a variety of challenges in creating alternative fuels, reducing harmful by-products in manufacturing, cleaning up the environmental and preventing future pollution, protecting the citizens from the release of toxic substances and creating pharmaceuticals. Catalysts are needed to meet all these challenges, but their complexity and diversity demand a new way to approach the way that catalysts are used and designed.
Advanced materials for light emission includes the study of materials with luminescent properties, both photoluminescence and electroluminescence. A special interest in the light emission is to tune over a wide range of wavelengths from ultraviolet to infrared, visible through all be provided. The combination of materials for white light emission will also be studied. On the other hand, materials that allow light converting long wavelength and small energy photons short wavelength and higher energy (upconversion) will also be developed.
Advanced materials for energy storage will guide the design, synthesis, characterization and modeling of materials for batteries and supercapacitors. More specifically, will attempt to elucidate the role of synthesized nanostructures in the functional behavior of these devices in order to provide the clues that lead to greater capacity and cyclability. A different approach to energy storage in cooperation with solar energy is to realize the reduction of carbon dioxide to suitable chemical fuels.
Advanced materials for sensors will pursue the design, synthesis, characterization and modeling of materials for sensors and receptors, with particular emphasis on biosensors and selective recognition molecules in contact with aqueous solution.
B. Advances research methods and tools indicate the specific advance or original contribution that is the main component of the new research.
One of the main activities of the institute is the preparation of materials using original synthesis or deposition methods, in the form of molecules, thin films and others.
Studies will be carried out from first principles to establish the physical properties of materials and interfaces. Moreover, modeling and simulation of processes involved in the function of the devices will be addressed: optical absorption, freight, cargo transfer, electrochemical reactions, etc.
Design and optimization of interfaces, morphologies, nanostructures consists of the combination and morphologies of materials that can lead to the desired functionality. Study encompasses deposition methods and compatibility, contact formation, the study of load transfer interfaces, forming porous structures to increase the specific area, the functionalization and / or nanostructures sensitivization.
Structural characterization of materials, interfaces and devices will allow a complete structural characterization of materials and interfaces. This characterization allows us to relate the parameters of these processes with the methods of synthesis. Includes the extensive application of microscopies.
Optoelectronic characterization of materials, interfaces and devices will develop a complete electrical, optical and physical-chemical characterization of materials and devices. This characterization is twofold, to understand the physico-chemical, photonic and electronic processes occurring in materials and devices, and relate the parameters of these processes with the synthesis methods, allowing optimization of materials ahead of their employment devices.
The Institute will dedicate efforts to interact with local entities and economic agents with a double aim:
- Approaching scientific culture and INAM developments to all statements of society.
- Promoting a knowledge industry able of generating recurrent incomes that benefit our local economy and employment.