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AL-NANOFUNC — Result In Brief

Project ID: 285895
Funded under: FP7-REGPOT
Country: Spain

A well-positioned nanomaterials laboratory in Southern Spain

Tailoring the structure of materials at the nanoscale is fostering innovation in the strategic sectors of renewable energy and multifunctional coatings. Recent investments at the Materials Science Institute of Sevilla (ICMS) are fundamental in this research by expanding the Institute’s capacities for analysing materials at the nano-scale.
A well-positioned nanomaterials laboratory in Southern Spain
Electron microscopy is one of the techniques that have made advances in nanotechnology and nanomaterials development possible. The ability of scientists to tailor the structure and characterize the materials at the nanometre scale paves the way for manufacturing novel multifunctional nanomaterials with better properties.

Continuous improvements in electron microscopy facilities have been critical to making further progress in this field. To realise this, the EU-funded project AL-NANOFUNC (Advanced laboratory for the nano-analysis of novel functional materials) upgraded the ICMS research facilities with last generation electron microscopy equipment.

Major infrastructure upgrades included the acquisition and installation of an analytical high-resolution transmission electron microscope with auxiliary hardware and software. Researchers could now resolve materials' characteristics at the nanoscale for both inorganic and organic solids. The new equipment strengthened the outreach and impact of research and also enhanced the attractiveness of the Institute to world-class investigators.

Furthermore, a research manager with extensive scientific background in nanomaterials was hired who improved relations with companies. An early-stage researcher and an engineer with expertise in advanced microscopy techniques were also hired along with an experienced technician to maintain the new facilities.

During the course of the AL-NANOFUNC project, numerous short visits for exchange of know-how and expertise were realised with outstanding research partners both in the EU and the Maghreb region. External researchers have visited the ICMS, thus, further strengthening European and international partnerships.

The researchers used EU funding to spur innovation in three fields of research. Specifically, they worked on the possibility of tailoring the properties of composite materials for sustainable energy applications, multifunctional nano-structured coatings, and nanostructured photonic materials.

Outcomes of the core research programme were published in 28 scientific articles in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. More than 100 articles have also been produced thanks to progress made with the use of newly acquired equipment at the ICMS. As a result, the visibility and reputation of the Institute has increased tremendously.

AL-NANOFUNC activities have led to the full operation of the new advanced laboratory for Nanoscopies and Spectroscopies LANE at the ICMS, and also have provided innovative results regarding nanomaterials for alternative energy applications and nano-structured coatings. These results should positively impact EU economy including also strong cooperation with local companies.

Related information


Nanomaterials laboratory, electron microscopy, nanomanufacturing, functional nanostructured materials
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