Research Team / Research Group Name (if any)
Preparation, characterization and properties of non-molecular solids (PCPNMS)
Brief description of the Research Team / Research Group / Department
The group established by Prof. Alario-Franco back in 1973 has been qualified as "excellent" in 2018 by the Spanish Research Agency. Along this period, the focus has been the synthesis, structure and microstructure of materials in the search of outstanding physical-chemical properties. The main research lines include: study of magnetic/magnetocaloric compounds, superconductors, multiferroics, electrodes and electrolytes of batteries, supercaps and SOFCs. The group benefits from visits of scientists and actively collaborates with other prestigious national/international researchers. Regarding experimental aspects such as the synthesis, the group has expertise in alternative methods, being pioneer in high pressure/high temperature methods, also called "extreme conditions" through the unique "High-Pressure UCM Lab". The group has also pioneered in Spain the microstructural characterization of solids by means of Transmission Electron Microscopy and ancillary techniques along with late Atomic Resolution HRTEM and STEM having the instrumental facilities at the UCM. The group has expertise in transport measurements and frequent access to neutron diffraction and synchrotron facilities is granted. Currently, the group is composed by 21 researchers, including the permanent staff, postdocs and PhD students. The scientific output of the group in the last 5 years includes more than 120 research papers in indexed journals, 3 patents over 500 communications at conferences and 10 PhD Theses.
Research lines / projects proposed
<br />"Development of Li/Na/K ion battery electrodes based on metal organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic (COFs)<br /><br />The development of extended solids with controlled porosity has the potential to enable fast ion transport pathways in the solid state. MOFs and COFs are an emerging class of crystalline materials that are constructed by linking either organic-inorganic or only organic building blocks via covalent bonds, respectively. Recently, these materials have shown potential properties as electrode materials in Li/Na ion batteries. The aim of this research line is:<br />- to synthesize selected existing MOFs and COFs containing active and reversible redox centres, yielding improved electrochemical performance for the Li and Na ion insertion to achieve low cost, high power rechargeable batteries.<br />- to understand their mechanisms of reaction via ex-situ and in-situ characterization techniques such as powder X-ray diffraction during electrochemical cycling<br /><br />"Development of carbon nanomaterials for application in supercapacitors<br /><br />In this research line, several precursors ranging from metal carbides to organometallic compounds and lignocellulosic materials are used for the preparation of new carbon architectures for electrodes in supercapacitor devices. Synthetic methods such us chlorination of metal carbides and organometallics, carbonization/activation of lignocellulosic precursors are employed to prepare new materials with improved electrochemical performances. A deep structural, textural and electrochemical study over the materials is performed in order to understand how the material"s crystallinity, porosity, pore size and tortuosity affects its electrochemical performance and how the architecture can be tuned to improve its performance