← Back

News

Thursday, 08 July 2021

Four projects selected in the second call of the ICN2 SO Seed Funding

The awardees of this call are Dr Juan Sierra, Dr Jose Hugo García, Dr Alexander Block, Dr Sara Martí, Dr Salvio Suarez, Dr Giulio Rosati, Dr Mónica Lira and Dr Klaas-Jan Tielrooij.

The ICN2 Severo Ochoa Seed (SOS) Funding Programme was designed to support the development of novel and exploratory concepts that take excellence in new, emerging directions in research and/or original applications that bring value to European industry.

The selection committee of the SO Seed Funding Programme this year has selected 4 projects, which will be funded with up to 20.000€. They are aimed to generate preliminary data or take first steps to proving the interest/validity of an idea while contributing to institutional Severo Ochoa objectives of the ICN2.

The awarded projects are (in alphabetical order):

ESPIN2D - Exciton Mediated Spin‐Charge Conversion in 2D van der Waals Heterostructures

PIs: Dr Juan Sierra (Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices) Dr Jose Hugo García (Theoretical and Computational Nanoscience), Dr Alexander Block (Ultrafast Dynamics in Nanoscale Systems)

Van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures, comprising 2D materials, provide unprecedented opportunities for material design and for combining spin, charge and optical functionalities. The extended variety of available 2D materials (from metallic to semiconducting to magnetic) underscores their versatility, while their atomically thin nature opens a radically new path for band‐structure engineering by proximity effects. In this project, we propose to take full advantage of these properties by designing and implementing novel graphene‐transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) devices that harness i) the spin transport properties of graphene, ii) the modified band-structure of graphene by the TMD proximity, and iii) the optical properties of TMDs. The project will help to launch the field of vdW opto‐spintronics and to develop a new toolset to investigate ultrafast spin dynamics, exciton dissociation and excitonic entanglement in hybrid vdW systems.

ExEM - Spatially Resolved Excitonic Response in Quantum Semiconductor Systems based on Monochromated Electron Microscopy

PI: Dr Sara Martí (Advanced Electron Nanoscopy)

This project aims to develop protocols for the study of low energy electronic excitations in quantum semiconductor systems based on Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS), which enables simultaneous spatial and energetic accuracy not accessible through other analytical techniques. In particular, we will focus on the determination of the excitonic absorption of semiconductor heterostructures based on van der Waals 2D quantum dots deposited on 2D MoS2 monolayers, whose response is expected to depend on the twisting angle between the 2D-2D van der Waals heteroepitaxial system.

MlaSkin - Mussel-inspired free-standing films as artificial biosensing skin for tissue regeneration

PIs: Dr Salvio Suarez (Nanostructured Functional Materials), Dr Giulio Rosati (Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors)

Skin regeneration has become a big challenge, with the most significant effort to develop effective therapies. The challenge is twofold, not only must the damaged tissue be restored, but it must have the functionalities of healthy tissue. This project aims to integrate functional sensors by printing methods into bioadhesive mussel-inspired membranes as artificial skin for tissue regeneration. The integrated sensors will allow the regeneration process monitoring, resulting in outstanding regenerative platforms for effective skin regeneration.

PhotoFunc - Functionalised MXene-based Halide Perovskite Solar Cells for Self-Power Mxetronics

PIs: Dr Mónica Lira (Nanostructured Materials for Photovoltaic Energy), Dr Klaas-Jan Tielrooij (Ultrafast Dynamics in Nanoscale Systems)

PhotoFunc aims at the synthesis and functionalization of 2D transition metal carbides (MXenes) with various termination groups to tune MXene conductivity, work function and properties. The as-prepared materials will be integrated into a halide perovskite solar cell at the perovskite absorber, at the barrier layers or both, to develop self-power MXetronics. We expect our results to be the first step on the development of a plethora of novel optoelectronic and spintronic devices for the future Internet of Things.