Nanostructured Functional Materials

Group Leader: Daniel Ruiz-Molina

Main Research Lines

  • Nanoscale functional polymers for health and social welfare:
      Catechol-based polymers for functional coatings and drug delivery systems
      Engineering polymers for optimal micro/nanoencapsulation
      Coordination polymers for therapy and clinical imaging

  • Chromogenic and emissive materials for energy efficient devices:
      Photochromism
      Thermochromism
      Fluorescence
      Upconversion
      Smart Windows
      Optical Sensors

  • Hybrid devices and 2D materials for emerging technologies:
      2D coordinatoin polymers
      Active molecular nanostructures on surfaces

The goal of the Nanostructured Functional Materials or NANOSFUN group is to develop new routes to molecular nanostructures with properties inspired by nature and smart responses to external stimuli. During 2020, the group continued working on novel catechol-based coatings and wet adhesives that reproduce the sticking power of marine mussels, as well as the development of nanoencapsulation strategies for photoactive species with potential photophysical and chemical applications. We also carry out a strong research line in photo- and thermochromism. Other research lines are devoted to the development of coordination polymers for theranostic applications and to the synthesis of 2D coordination flakes for electronic applications.

In 2020, we have developed and patented a novel technology based on chromogenic materials that respond to both temperature and near-infrared irradiation. Two valorisation projects have been granted from the Generalitat de Catalunya to increase the TRL of the technology in printable security inks and durable smart windows.

Group Leader

Daniel Ruiz-Molina

CSIC Tenured Scientist

Daniel Ruiz-Molina got his PhD in Chemistry with a thesis on polyradical dendrimers at the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) under Prof. Jaume Veciana’s tutorship. Then he obtained a postdoctoral position at the University of California San Diego (USA), where he spent three years working on single molecule magnets and molecular switches.

Since 2001 he has held a permanent position as a Spanish National Research Council researcher, most recently at the ICN2, where he is the leader of the Nanostructured Functional Materials Group. His main research areas include the fabrication of hybrid colloids and surfaces, biomimetic functional nanostructures, and micro- or nanoparticles for smart applications and encapsulation and delivery systems.

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