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Friday, 22 November 2019

The SCN2 celebrates its First Annual Congress of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

The Societat Catalana de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia held its First Annual Congress of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology last Saturday 16 November. It counted with the participation of several ICN2 researchers as organisers and as speakers. Discussing the role of nanotechnology in the ecological challenges was the central axis of the event.

The Societat Catalana de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia held its First Annual Congress of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology last Saturday 16 November. The event took place at Casa Elizalde in Barcelona and focused on Energy harvesting, Environment and Sustainable Development. It consisted of a series of talks given by experts, a poster contest and a round table discussing the role of nanotechnology in the ecological challenges.

The event was conducted by the ICN2 PhD students María Tenorio (Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group) and Marta Delgà (Advanced Electronic Materials and Devices Group), along with Elena Fernández (Hospital Clínic).

The first speaker was Dr Salvador Pueyo Puntí (Universitat de Barcelona), who discussed about the limits of green growth and the need of degrowth to achieve a sustainable economic model. He was followed by Group Leader Prof. Pedro Gómez (ICN2 Novel Energy-Oriented Materials Group), who not only focused on the topic of his talk (hybrid nanomaterials for energy storage), but also had time to tackle related issues such as the fashion or phobia about everything “nano”. Next, Dr Eva Pellicer (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) explained her research on nanoengineered iron-based materials for biomedical applications, particularly focusing on biodegradable implants.

Dr Elisabet Romero (ICIQ) continued with the presentations discussing the challenges involved in generating artificial photosynthesis. After that, Dr Mariano Campoy-Quiles (ICMAB) talked about organic solar cells. Finally, Prof. Narcís Homs (IN2UB and IREC) talked about energy systems based on water and hydrogen.

Once all the presentations had finished, the attendees went for a well-deserved coffee break, although some of them didn’t rest that much, as they had to present their posters to the public. Anyway, time went by fast and the last part of the event was waiting.

Dr Neus Gómez (ICN2 Inorganic Nanoparticles Group) joined Dr Salvador Pueyo and Prof. Pedro Gómez in the round table, which was moderated by Dr Eva Pellicer. Several topics concerning the role of science in the environmental challenge were raised by both the speakers and the audience. For instance, the speakers defended the elaboration of safe by design products, stressing that nanoparticles or nanofibres should not be developed massively and carelessly, as chemicals in the 20th century. Flying was also under discussion, as researchers usually travel by plane a lot. Other ways of participation in meetings should be encouraged, such as videoconference. Individual actions such as avoiding a flight may be exemplary, but we must look for collective complicities to make a real change in the way things work.

The event continued with the announcement of the winner of the poster contest, Martí Gibert (ICMAB), who had presented his work on “Near Infrared Organic Photodetectors based on Enhanced Charge Transfer State Absorption by Photonic Architectures”. Finally, Roger Ponce (ICFO), the president of the SCN2, closed the act celebrating the success of the congress and encouraging us to see each other at future events.