Research is supported by the Scientific Equipment Platforms that provide shared access to specialized and cross cutting equipment, services and expertise for the advanced technological preparation and characterization for all kinds of materials at different levels. Nine technical facilities run by specialized technicians form the Scientific Equipment Platforms, together with the Nanoquim Platform, a 10,000 Clean Room. These are open to external uses either from academia and industry, with conditions tailored to meet customer technology demands. During 2018, the Scientific Coordinator of the Services is Prof. M. Rosa Palacín, also Deputy Director of the Institute.
The Cell growth Laboratory, a shared facility between the ICN2 and the ICMAB, was still under construction, and the HRTEM facility, to be built at ALBA Synchrotron, and shared between ALBA Synchrotron, BIST, CSIC, ICN2 and ICMAB is still pending of confirmation.
The Nanoquim Platform during 2018 performed a total of 1946 experiments, 3 % more respect to 2017. A total of 143 are active users, 119 from the ICMAB, 19 from the PRUAB, and 1 from an external company. During 2018 the platform acquired two new equipment, both located in Laboratory 1: a Plasma cleaner, and an Optical microscope. The Nanoquim Platform, on behalf of the ICMAB, participated in the Ramón Tobar Prize offered by the CSIC in the field of Health and Safety. In addition, the service receives multiple school visits (ESCOLAB, Bachelor and Master Students, summer schools) and from secondary school teachers.
The laboratory has given service for a total of 10,037 hours, which are distributed quite equitably between the different equipment: 2,605 hours for PPMS (P2), 2,549 hours for PPMS (P3), 2,495 hours for MPMS XL-7 (S1), and 2,388 hours for MPMS XL-7 (S2). Nearly 50 % of the service is devoted to samples from the Superconducting and Large Scale Nanostructures (SUMAN) group, followed by the Advanced Characterization and Nanostructured Materials (ACNM) group (13.5 %) and external users (7.8 %), including the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). The users of the service belong to 22 PI (principal investigators). The laboratory has also given access to users within the NFFA Europe project (580 hours).
A recent feature of this lab is the new Helium liquefaction equipment, which allows recycling the Helium used to carry out the measurements at low temperatures. In total, during 2018, 63 % of the Helium used was recycled Helium, and only 37 % had to be bought.
The service has participated in many science education activities, including the 15th edition of the Argó programme, the ESCOLAB school visits, and the Kids’ Day. The service has participated in many scientific publications.
The XRD lab has been used for a total of 4,927 hours in 2018, corresponding to 4,863 samples and 93 users from 32 PI. The equipment used are the diffractometers Siemens D-5000, GADDS and D8 Discover. The service has participated in many science education activities, including the 15th edition of the Argó programme, the ESCOLAB school visits, the Kids’ day, and the activity “Converteix-te en un detectiu de minerals” for primary school students.
The thin films laboratory has produced a total of 496 thin films deposits: 349 samples using Pulsed Laser Depositon (PLD) and 147 samples using Sputtering. 61 % of the samples are for the Laboratory of Multifunctional Thin Films and Complex Structures (MULFOX), 37 % for the Superconducting and Large Scale Nanostructures (SUMAN) group and 2 % for the Crystallography of Magnetic and Electronic Oxides and Surfaces (CMEOS) group. The laboratory has also given service to NFFA Europe users (59 samples). The service also participates in some outreach activities, especially school visits and secondary school teachers visits who love to see the PLD equipment.
The Spectroscopic Techniques Laboratory includes the FT-IR equipment, the UV-Vis-NIR instrument, the optical microscopy and the EPR (Electron Paramagnetic Resonance) equipment. All the equipment have a high internal use. The external users represent the 5 % of the total users. Specifically, 26 PI have used the FT-IR service, 23 the UV-Vis-NIR service, 16 the optical microscopy and 8 the EPR. The UV-Vis-NIR service has been the most used, with a total of 727 hours.
The Soft Lab counts with 50 % of external users, 33 % of the users come from the CIBER-BBN, and 17 % are internal users from the ICMAB (from 8 PI). The external users during 2018 include: Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina (IBB), Vall d´Hebron Research Institute (VHRI), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdicas de Barcelona (IIBB-CSIC), Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2), Universidad de Salamanca, Instituto de Ciencias Fotónicas (ICFO), Instituto de Investigaciones Biomedicas de Bellvitge (IDIBELL), Hospital de Salamanca, Centro Investigación Cáncer (CIC), Hospital de Sant Joan de Déu, Pragmatics Diagnostics, Nanomol Technologies, BCN-Peptide, Carburos Metálicos, Leitat and Spherium Biomed.
The service has participated in many science education activities, including the ESCOLAB school visits, and the Kids’ Day, and has participated in many scientific publications (6 in 2018).
This service, which counts with two Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) equipment, has given service to 63 users, giving a total of 4,770 images, corresponding to 12 PI. The service has also actively participated at the NFFA Europe project. The users of the NFFA Europe project and the SPM service have collaborated in many scientific projects.
The service has participated in many science education activities, including the ESCOLAB school visits, and the Kids’ Day, and has participated in many scientific publications (7 in 2018).
The Electron Microscopy service is formed by the Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), which are run by two technicians. The TEM in 2018 gave service for a total of 489.5 hours. 42 % of the hours were for the Nanoparticles and Nanocomposites group (206 hours), 28 % for the Solid State Chemistry Group, 11 % for the Inorganic Materials and Catalysis Laboratory, 6.3 % for the Superconducting Materials and Large Scale Nanostructures, and the rest distributed between the Crystallography, Functional Nanomaterials Surfaces, Advanced Characterization and Nanostructure Materials, Nanostructured Optoelectronic Materials, Molecular Nanoscience and Organic Materials, and only 9 hours for external users. During 2018, 15 publications of the Institute used the TEM service.
The service has participated in many science education activities, including the 15th edition of the Argó programme, the ESCOLAB school visits, the Kids’ Day, the activity “Converteix-te en un detectiu de minerals” for primary school students, and Master Students visit from the UAB.
The SEM in 2018 gave service for a total of 1,181 hours, a 42.9 % with technician, and 57.1 % self user, with an average of 107.4 hours per month. Of these hours, 1,166 hours have been for internal users, and 21 hours for external users (Kostal and Carburos Metálicos) and users from the NFFA Europe Project. A total of 115 users have used the SEM, belonging to all the experimental groups at ICMAB: CMEOS, Crystallography, LMI, NN, FunNanoSurf, Nanomol, MULFOX (16.1 %), ACNM, Surfaces, Nanoptener (16.5 %), LASER, Solid State Chemistry (13.6 %) and SUMAN (23.5 %).
The service has participated in many science education activities, including the 15th edition of the Argó programme, the ESCOLAB school visits, and the Kids’ Day.
The Thermal Analysis Lab is formed by two equipment: the TGA (thermogravimetric analysis) and DSC (differential scanning calorimetry). Regarding the TGA, of a total of 225 samples (450 experiments, because each sample is done twice), 81 % of them belong to internal users from the ICMAB, and 19 % from external users. Among the internal users, the samples belong to 12 PI and 7 research groups, 30 % from the LMI group, 25 % from Solid State Chemistry, 23 % from the NN group, and the rest distributed between the Crystallography group, the FunNanoSurf, the MULFOX and the SUMAN group. The external users during 2018 were the ICN2, the Universidad del País Vasco, APPLUS, and the UAB.
The DSC equipment has been used to analyse 55 samples, 45 % belong to internal users and 55 % to external users. The internal samples correspond to 6 PI and 3 research groups: 52 % from the Nanomol group, 28 % from the Solid State Chemistry group and 20 % from the LMI group. The external users during 2018 were the ICN2, Laboratorios Maverick, APPLUS and the UAB.
The service has participated in he ESCOLAB school visits during the year.
The MBE service in 2018 was stopped for some time due to a problem in the vacuum system. All its activity was related to one project: MAT2015-70859-P (HIBRI2) in particular on thermoelectric phenomena in type IV semiconductors (Si, Ge, and SiGe alloys) from 2 PI. The service is used by self-users since no technical personnel is associated to it. In 2018, two papers directly related to work done in the service were published.