Inorganic Nanoparticles

Group Leader: Víctor F. Puntes

Main Research Lines

  • Design and development of synthetic strategies for the production of complex nanoparticles

  • Surface functionalisation of nanoparticles with specific relevant (bio)molecules

  • Study of their physicochemical and fundamental properties and reactivity

  • Applicability of inorganic nanoparticles in biomedicine, energy harvesting and catalysis

The Inorganic Nanoparticles team focuses on the production and application of advanced inorganic nanoparticles, with a strong emphasis on multi-component and hollow systems comprising different families of metals, metal oxides, semiconductor oxides and semiconductors. Nanoparticles are engineered and designed following Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) principles given their applicability in catalysis, energy harvesting, environmental remediation and nanobiomedicine, among others. This is achieved by controlling the size, shape and structure of their inorganic core, and selectively linking active molecules to the nanoparticle surface, thereby allowing them to selectively interact with specific targets. We also focus on the precise characterisation of the obtained nanoparticles in terms of their reactivity (aggregation, corrosion and dissolution) and physicochemical properties as prepared, during and after use.


Group Leader

Víctor F. Puntes

ICREA Research Professor

ICREA Research Prof. Víctor F. Puntes’ work spans the full breadth of research on nanoparticles: synthesis, conjugation and characterisation of inorganic nanoparticles; study of their physicochemical properties; nanotoxicology and nanosafety; and a wide range of applications in different fields, including energy harvesting, catalysis, medicine and environment.

Prof. Puntes completed his undergraduate studies in chemical engineering and materials science at the Université Louis Pasteur Strasbourg (France) and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB). In 1998, he earned his PhD in physics from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), working with Prof. Xavier Batlle and Prof. Amilcar Labarta on giant magnetoresistance in granular alloys. He then spent over three years at the University of California, Berkeley (USA) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL, USA) in the groups led by Prof. Paul Alivisatos and Prof. Kannan Krishnan, working on the synthesis and control of nanostructures. In 2003 he returned to Catalonia with a Ramon y Cajal research grant at the UB. In 2005 he obtained an ICREA professorship at the then ICN (now ICN2) to create the Inorganic Nanoparticles Group, which he currently leads.

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