Tailoring through Colloidal Processing


25th of January. Interview to Oxel Urra. Our colleague have been interviewed as a Young Researcher in energy devices for the speccial issue for Energy of the magazine "CSIC Investiga. Oxel is performing his pHD in the processing of electrochemical devices by colloidal processing and Additive Manufacturing methods. He has developed conductive filaments with high contents of graphite and graphene for printing 3D structures by FFF. He prints complex structures that later are electrochemically activated by coating with Ni oxides and hydroxides by EPD.

Use this LINK to acces de issue of "CSIC Investiga"


24th of December. Season's Greetings. We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Year 2022. [Enlarge image].
10th of December. Thesis Defense. Macarena García defended her PhD Thesis entitled: "Aqueous colloidal processing of W and WC-based composites, sintering and mechanical properties at high temperature".

The international evaluation committee was composed by Prof. Ana Senos (CICECO, Univ. of Aveiro, Portugal), Dr. Ana Ferrandez (Univ. Cergy-Paris), Dr. Luis Fernando García (Hyperion M&T), Prof. Elena Tejado (Univ. Politech. Madrid) and prof. Luis Llanes (Univ. Politech Catalunya) who granted thesis report and exposition with the higher score and International mention. Congratulations!!


24th November. Workshop for Young Researchers at the ICV. Six of our students and visitors are presenting today their work at the IX workshop for Young Researchers.

Dafne García-Gilmartín is presenting "3D Printing by Digital Light Processing (DLP) of fotoactive electrodes with mixture of ceramic semiconductors."

Ana Serrano-Cebrián is presenting "3D printing of ceramic parts of alumina and zirconia from slurries

Oxel Urra is presenting “Colloidal feedstock with a high content of graphite particles for self-
supporting 3D conductive electrodes by FFF”.

Alvaro Eguiluz is presenting “Processing of ceramic 3D parts by fused filament fabrication (FFF) by colloidal methods

Pablo Ortega is presenting “Additive manufacturing of self-supported fotoactive electrodes based on ceramic semiconductors mixtures"

and Marco Mariani, from the Polytechnic University of Milan, is presenting “Binder jetting of lead-zirconium titanate”


19th November. Farewell Party. We said goodbye to our recent guest celebrating an Italian dinner. It has been a productive time for Elisa processing nanoparticles, for Siham measuring supercaps, for Marco studying granulation techniques and Elena learning the FFF, that for sure will produce results. We expect to see all of you again, better if sooner than later. Have a safe trip back to Torino, Besançon, Milano and Córdoba.


17th November. Chaired Webminar. Our colleague Begoña Ferrari has co-chaired the ECI Webinar: "Electrophoretic Deposition: Fundamentals and Applications" with the participation of some of the most relevant researches in the area.

As the in-person international conference "Electrophoretic Deposition VII: Fundamentals and Applications" (EPD 2022) has been rescheduled to October 30 – November 3, 2022 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. the webminar is to highlight the vast research activities in EPD and the continuous and increasing interest in the field.

Webminar has been chaired by Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini and other co-chairs have been Dr. Andrew Pascall and Dr. Tetsuo Uchikoshi


17th November. Accepted Manuscript. J. Yus, Z. Gonzalez, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, A. Sangiorgi, A. Sanson, C. Galassi and B. Ferrari, "High photocatalytic efficiency of inkjet printed patterns by formulation of eco-friendly TiO2-based inks", Open Ceramics (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.oceram.2021.100197

In this paper it is described the high photocatalytic performances of inkjet printed patterns by a green formulation of water-based suspension that includes commercial TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs). Optimized conditions of the colloidal dispersion and stabilization of TiO2 NPs using diethylene glycol as cosolvent, allowed a constant and homogeneous jetting flow, fitting the surface tension and viscosity values suitable for the piezo-driven technology selected. The nanostructure-based pattern printed with micro-resolution achieved the 90% methyl orange degradation after 9h of light exposition and the 100% after 13h in a stirred tank reactor. Moreover, the reusability of printed patterns has been also proved since they preserve their photocatalytic activity and microstructure after sequential tests. Manufactured patterns presented competitive photoresponses in comparison with others complex formulations based on sol-gel process. This new finding is expected to be particularly useful to industrial fabrication of microdesign and immobilized patters onto different substrates-types.


20th October. Student Contest. Our colleague Álvaro Eguiluz has represented Spain in the Student Contest of ECERS. The contest joins PhD from all the Ceramic Societies that compose ECERS. He qualified as reprentant when he won the Student Contest in the last biennal meeting of the Spanish Ceramic Society.

He is presenting the recent advances on rheology of ceramic pastes and metal ceramics to fabricate filaments of PLA/Ti(CN)+Ni that could be printed in 3D printers by Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF or FDM).


20th September. Invited Conference. Our colleague Begoña Ferrari has presented an invited lecture about Additive Manufacturing of Ceramics in the Workshop on Additive Manufacturing: Applications and Innovations, chaired by Prof. Paula Vilarinho. The Workshop was organized by the Portuguese Society of Materials and supported by JECS Trust. The aim of this workshop was "sharing knowledge on AM to educate and cross-pollinate ideas to feed the industrial implementation of AM in the ceramics sector". In our Channel of Youtube you can access to this presentation.

Our Spin-off COLFEED4Print sponsored the Workshop and the co-funder Ana Ferrandez presented the patented technology for the fabrication of printable filaments with inorganic loads and the products that COLFEED4Print have developed.

22nd August. Paper published. A. J. Sanchez-Herencia, Z. Gonzalez, A. Rodriguez, E. Molero and B. Ferrari, "Operational Variables on the Processing of Porous Titanium Bodies by Gelation of Slurries with an Expansive Porogen", Materials, 14 (16) 4744 (2021). DOI: 10.3390/ma14164744

In this work disperse and stable titanium aqueous slurries has been formulated in order to process porous materials by the incorporation of methylcellulose (MC) as a gelation agent and ammonium bicarbonate as an expansive porogen. After casting the slurries and heating at mild temperatures (60–80 °C) the methylcellulose gels and traps the gas bubbles generated by the ammonium bicarbonate decomposition to finally obtain stiff porous green structures. Using an experimental design method, the influence of the temperature as well as the concentration of gelation agent and porogen on the viscosity, apparent density and pore size distribution is analyzed by a second-order polynomial function in order to identifying the influence of the operating variables in the green titanium porous compact. After sintering at 1100 °C under high vacuum, titanium sponges with 39% of open porosity and almost no close porosity were obtained.


1st & 27th July. Congratulations to Ania Rodrígue and Sara Temiño for the outstanding results they have got defending their Final Degree Projects at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Ania has been working in desing of multilayered functional ceramics by EPD mixing semiconductors of the p and n type. She has studied the processing of ZnO and NiO. Under the generic title of "Desing of Ceramic Multilayers by EPD", she have characterized the UV bandgap of multilayers deposited onto ITO substrates.

Sara has studied the deposition kinetics of polyelectrolites onto a surface by the quartz crytal microbalance. She have also determined the deposition of a BMP-2 protein betwenn layers. It´s work has been has been entitled "Polymeric multilayers formation onto implants to the release of bilogical compounds that stimule the celular response" and has been in colaboration with the Center for Biological Investigations. She has been our first final degree on biotechnology.


30th June. Paper published. N. Alinejadian, F. Nasirpouri, J. Yus and B. Ferrari, "Reduction-based engineering of three-dimensional morphology of Ni-rGO nanocomposite", Materials Science and Engineering: B. 271, 115259 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.mseb.2021.115259

Relying on the reduction of oxygenated functional groups of graphene oxide, the engineering of the morphology of Ni-based reduced graphene oxide (Ni-rGO) nanocomposite was carried out via galvanostatic electrochemical co-deposition by changing the current density in a range of 0.001–0.01 A.cm−2 and loading of 2 g.L−1 of graphene oxide. The morphology has been converted to a porous, rough, and three-dimensional (3D) form by significant incorporation and simultaneous reduction of GO into the structure of Ni-rGO nanocomposite film. Study on 3D morphology by SEM, FT-IR, XRD, and Raman confocal spectroscopy approved simultaneously reduction of oxygenated functional groups. Moreover, we have discussed the impact of rGO incorporated in the structure of Ni-rGO nanocomposite onto the creation of porous 3D-morphology and the enhancement of the electroactive specific surface. This new fascinating mechanism and structure can lead to the enhancement of electroactive components in electrochemical sensors and energy conversion-storage systems.



3rd & 16th June. Congratulations to Javier López and Victoria González for the excelent marks they have got defending their Final Degree Projects at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. During the last six months they have being involved in highly innovative research ideas and we have to thanks the amaizing work they made.

Javier has faced the fabrication of MXenes from comertial MAX phases as well as the further stabilization in slurries and processing in layers by electrophoretic deposition (EPD). The title of his work has been "The new graphene: Sinthesis and electrochemical applications of MXenes"

Victoria has being working in characterization of slurries to develop bioceramic materials with complex and small shapes by Additive Manufacturing Techniques. It´s work has been has been entitled "3D Priting by SLA of biomaterials to the manufacture of functional prothesis of small dimensions".

5th May. Paper online . E.M. Garcia-Ayala, S. Tarancon, B. Ferrari, J.Y. Pastor, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, "Thermomechanical behaviour of WC-W2C composites at first wall in fusion conditions", Int. J. Refract Metal. Hard Mater.. online (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2021.105565

The microstructural and high temperature mechanical characterization of WC matrices with additions of 10, 20 and 50 vol% of W, dispersed by colloidal processing routes and sintered by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS), is presented. Microstructural analysis shows that sintering process is able to stabilize high temperature W2C phases as a consequence of the additional energy provided. Mechanical resistance of all materials increases as the operating temperature increases. Remarkably great results are obtained for the composition with 30 and 50 vol% of W2C. This macroscopic behaviour has been associated to the microstructural decomposition of the metastable W2C, to WC and W, as temperature for the bending tests approach to the equilibrium temperature (1250 °C). It was found that the presence of metallic tungsten in the final microstructure could be the responsible of the plastic behaviour of the tested pieces at 1200 °C and the doubled value of the toughness.

28th April. Farewell to Joaquín Yus who is leaving our group to join the The Wagoner Johnson lab @University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to make exciting and impactful research in coral reef restoration. He has to combine the research at Illinois´laboratory with in-field restorations diving in the Curacao. Good luck Joaco and if you need help any for diving in Curasao, please call us.....

20th April. New Picture. After our weekly group meeting we have taken a picture of all the people working with us today, including visitors and undergraduate students. This will be the picture we will use in our twitter and presentations of the group until the next update.

28th March. Published Manuscript . A. Ferrández-Montero, A. Eguiluz, E. Vazquez, J. D. Guerrero, Z. Gonzalez, A.J. Sánchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari, "Controlled SrR Delivery by the Incorporation of Mg Particles on Biodegradable PLA-Based Composites" Polymers. 13 (7) 1061 (2021). DOI: 10.3390/polym13071061

Polylactic acid (PLA)/Mg composites are emerging as a promising family of biomaterials. In these composites, polymer and bio-metal have a synergetic effect—while the PLA inhibits the Mg fast reactivity, Mg provides bioactivity to the inert polymer buffering the medium pH during degradation. Meanwhile, the typical form of administrating Sr2+ to patients is through the medication strontium ranelate (SrR), which increases the bone mineral density. A new group of composites, which integrates Mg particles and SrR charged onto halloysite nanotubes (HNT) in a polymeric matrix, is here proposed. PLA/Mg/SrR–HNT composites have been processed following a colloidal route, obtaining homogenous composites granulated and film-shaped....


15th March. Editorial Board. Our colleague A. Javier Sanchez-Herencia has Joined the Editorial Board of the MDPI Journal "Materials" in the section of "Advanced and Functional Ceramics and Glasses".

Materials (ISSN 1996-1944) is an open access journal providing a forum for publishing papers which advance the in-depth understanding of the relationship between the structure, the properties or the functions of all kinds of materials. Chemical syntheses, chemical structures and mechanical, chemical, electronic, magnetic and optical properties and various applications are considered into the scope of the journal.


8th February. Use of a singular scientific infrastructure Joaquín Yus and Guillermo Frias has been at the Spanish Sycrotron ALBA to performe the synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) over NiO and Ni(OH) samples sinthesized in our laboratory and processed by EPD. These studies are to light on the crystallographic characteristics of these materials to better optimize their performance as Battery-like materials for supercapacitor devices. It has been an intese weekend of non-stop measurements. Now it is time to analyze the huge amount of data recorded.

6th February. Accepted Manuscript . A. Eguiluz, A. Ferrández-Montero, J. Yus, A.J. Sánchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari"Dispersion of Ni nanoparticles into Ti(C,N) colloidal filaments for 3D printing by FFF" Open Ceram. online (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.oceram.2021.100064

This work propose the preparation of filaments for Fused Filament Fabrication with high solid loadings of Ti(C, N), and the incorporation of Ni as nano-binder (nNi) to facilitate the final cermet sintering. With the control of the colloidal dispersion of Ti(C, N) and nNi, only a 3 vol.% of nNi is needed to achieve the adequate sintering effect, providing the consolidated cermet structure with metallic conduction. The colloidal approach to FFF enhances the dispersion of the two inorganic phases within the polymer matrix, allowing high solid contents of the colloidal feedstock.


10th February. New Paper published. Z. Gonzalez, J. Yus, R. Moratalla and B. Ferrari, "Electrophoretic deposition of binder-free TiN nanoparticles to design 3D microstructures. The role of sintering in the microstructural robustness of supercapacitor electrodes", Electrochim. Acta, 369, 137654 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2020.137654

TiN is herein used as an example to elucidate that a sintering treatment should be considered as a relevant variable to discuss charge storage mechanisms, charge transfer resistances and others important electrochemical aspects of the non-oxidic supercapacitor electrodes. Binder-free TiN nanocoatings with low charge transfer resistance (<2Ω), rapid response with diminutive τ0 (10 ms) and high electrochemical stability displayed competitive capacitance values (120F‧g−1 at 2A‧g−1) as high-performance supercapacitor electrodes. The sintered electrodes finally improve the nanostructure connectivity and preserves the microstructural integrity, reinforcing the adhesion and joining between the collector and the electroactive material. A gradual degradation was observed for as-deposited coatings, leading to capacitance losses during cycling due to the chemical instability of the pre-sintered TiN coatings, while the full-connected electroactive nanostructure resulting from the thermal treatment leads to an enhancement of the electrochemical response. ....


1st February. New Paper published. C. Vega Maeso, G. Gallello, S. Palmero, B. Ferrari, M.A. Sánchez Carro, M.R. González Morales, I. Gutiérrez Zugasti, M. Ramacciotti, A. Pastor, "Ceramic productions and human interactions during the Early Bronze Age in northern Iberia" Archaeometry, 63 (1) 68-87 (2021). DOI: 10.1111/arcm.12605

IThe Early Bronze Age ceramic collection found into the caves of La Llana and El Toral III in Asturias (Spain) presents common decoration such as that found in the centre of Cantabrian Spain from the same period, which resembles others found in the Ebro Valley and Atlantic Europe. Therefore, the main objective of this study it is to identify the raw material origin and understand the pottery production process during the Early Bronze Age in the Cantabrian region. A methodological approach based on the chemical and mineralogical analysis of vessels and experimentally fired clay samples collected all over the centre of this region was developed. Furthermore, the post‐depositional processes affecting the sherds’ composition was evaluated by employing the rare earth elements as markers.


1st February. New Paper published. D. Tovar-Vargas, B. Ferrari, A. J. Sanchez-Herencia, M. Anglada, E. Jimenez-Pique "Low Temperature Degradation and Mechanical Properties of Alumina Reinforced Ceria-Zirconia by Colloidal Processing", J. Eur. Ceram. Soc, 41 (2) 1459-1470 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2020.09.031

In this paper the colloidal processing of alumina particles using modification of the surface charge to avoid agglomerates proved to be a robust route to the obtention of dense alumina reinforced 10Ce-TZP ceramics. Composites of 10Ce-TZP with 2.5, 5, 10 and 15 wt% of alumina were fabricated from slurries with 41 vol% solid load in order to investigate the effects of alumina in the final composites aging and mechanical properties. Grain size reduction for all the composites leads to enhanced mechanical properties in comparison with pure 10Ce-TZP.

The low temperature degradation resistance increases with the alumina additions between 0-15 wt%. Spherical indentations with different loads are presented to investigate the effects of alumina additions into the transformability of the material.....


23rd January. New Paper published. Z. Gonzalez, J. Yus, Y.Bravo, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia and B. Ferrari, "Exploitation of Lignocellulose Fiber-Based Biotemplates to Improve the Performance of an Immobilized TiO2 Photocatalyst" Catalysts, 11 (2), 156 (2021). DOI: 10.3390/catal11020156

The performance of an immobilized photocatalyst has been successfully improved by colloidal processing of a heterostructure composed by TiO2 nanoparticles and lignocellulose nanofibers (LCNFs) obtained from biomass residues. The incorporation of 4 wt.% of biotemplate to the formulation increased the degradation rate and reduced the operating time to remove the 100% of methyl orange of a liquid solution. The reaction rate constant (k = 0.29–0.45 h−1) of the prepared photocatalytic coatings (using commercial particles and templates obtained from natural-derived resources) are competitive with other pure TiO2 materials (no composites), which were prepared through more complex methodologies. The optimization stages of deposition and sintering processes allowed us to obtain homogeneous and crack-free microstructures with controlled thickness and mass values ranging from 3 to 12 µm and 0.9 to 5.6 mg, respectively.....


12th January. Accepted Manuscript . S. Behnam Abdollahi, J. Nourmohammadi, B. Bakhshandeh, M. Mehdi Dehghani, H. Gholami, Z. Gonzalez, A. J. Sanchez-Herencia, B. Ferrari, "Capability of core-sheath polyvinyl alcohol- Polycaprolactone emulsion electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds in releasing strontium ranelate for bone regeneration" Biomed. Mater., online (2021). DOI: /10.1088/1748-605X/abdb07

Core-sheath nanofibrous scaffolds from polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-strontium ranelate (SrR)- Polycaprolactone (PCL) were prepared by water in oil electrospinning method. Thus, PCL (the oil phase) was used as the shell part and a mixture of PVA and SrR (the water phase) was inserted in the core. The amounts of SrR was varied from 0 to 15wt.% Mussel-inspired dopamine-gelatin coating was done on the nanofibrous to improve their hydrophilicity and cellular attachment. The effect of the SrR content on morphology, mechanical, physicochemical, in vitro release behaviors, and biological properties as well as in vivo bone regeneration was investigated.......


25 December. Season´s Greetings. We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Year 2021. Our Christmas Card this year shows the joining zone of two crossing filaments of pure  hydroxiapate into a scaffold made by the fused filament fabrication (FFF) method and sintered at 1250 °C . By A. Eguiluz [Enlarge image].


8th November. Corrected proofs on line. E.M.Garcia-Ayala, L.Silvestroni, J.Yus, B.Ferrari, J.Y.Pastor and A.J.Sanchez-Herencia "Colloidal processing and sintering of WC-based ceramics with low Ni content as sintering aid", J. Eur. Ceram. Soc, on-line (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2020.10.038

By colloidal processing 3 wt% of Ni has been highly dispersed into a WC matrix to develop a cermet with very low metallic content. Rheological studies allowed a high dispersion of the nickel in the final composite powders. Sintering studies by Hot-Pressing route (HP) proved the great benefices of Ni as a sintering aid, decreasing the maximum temperature necessary to achieve full densification, from 1900 to 1450 °C and dwell times from 20 to 7 minutes. Among all the materials obtained, the best results in terms of density, microstructure and properties were obtained for WC-nNi, which achieved hardness of 14.8 GPa and toughness comparable to conventional cermets with much higher content of metallic phase.


28th October.Congrats to Alvaro Eguiluz, as he has won the student constest celebrated during the LVII meeting of the Spanish Society for Ceramic and Glass. As winner he will represent Spain in the European Constest during the next Congress and Exhibition of ECERS.

He presented some of our recent results in the processing and characterization of cermet filaments with nanosized binder.


26th October.Attendance to meeting. Our group has had an active participation in the LVII meeting of the Spanish Society for Ceramic and Glass (SECV), hold in Castellón from the 26th to the 29th of October. Keeping all the safety recommendations we have moderate some sesions, participate in the student contest and workshops and, of course, present our last results. We presented the following papers:

- Tungsten Carbide Materials doped with Nickel as Sintering Aids processed by Colloidal Routes (E.M. Garcia-Ayala).
- Comportamiento mecánico a alta temperatura de compuestos W2C/WC (A.J. Sanchez-Herencia).
- Impresión 3D de materiales compuestos basados en Ti(C, N) – nano níquel por fabricación de filamento fundido (FFF) a través de técnicas de procesamiento coloidal (A. Eguiluz).
-Formulation and Characterization of Functional Water-based Inks for Inkjet
Printing Technology (J.L. Yus).
-Tailoring the photoanode nanostructure with superior performance by heterocoagulation of Lignocellulosic Nanofibers-based biotemplates and functionalized TiO2 nanoparticles (Z. Gonzalez).
- Caracterización y Comparación de las propiedades electroquímicas del
Hidróxido de Níquel y el Oxido de Níquel (G. Frías).

Our coworkers from other universities also presented our collaborative works - Nuevas estrategias para diseñar prótesis cerámicas porosas mediantes tecnologías de manufactura aditiva (A. Ferrandez-Montero, U. Cergy-Pontoise).
- Hydrothermal Degradation and Mechanical Properties in Ceria-Zirconia composites with Alumina additions via Colloidal Processing (D. Tovar-Vargas, Polytech. Univ. Catalonia).

And Juan Escribano presented our collaboration and the origin of COLFEED4Print.


5th October. Congratualtions to Miguel de Dios, who has been awarded with the EMPA Tesis Competition Price for the 2020 edition.

Miguel de Dios defended his PhD Thesis entitled: "Synthesis, Processing and Mechanical Characterization of Ti(C,N)-based cermets through the combination of Colloidal and Powder Metallurgy techniques" the 22nd of December 2018. The work was supervised by Elena Gordo (UC3M) and Begoña Ferrari (ICV-CSIC). Just after achieve the Ph Degree, Miguel found a job at Air Liquide Spain were he is now developing a sucessfull profesional carreer.

He also achieved Outstanding Doctorate Student prize of the University Carlos III of Madrid in the 2019 edition.


1st October. Welcome to Oxel Urra, who is joining the team to make the thesis on additive manufacturing of carbonous materials in 3D and 2D configuration for catalitic applications.

Oxel achieved the grade in Enviromental Science at the UHE and made the Master in "Energy and fuels for the future" at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.



21st September. Invited Talk. The 21st of September Begoña Ferrari is presenting the invited talk entitled "The relevance of tailoring the stabilizer adsorption on the particles surfaces to shape ceramics by additive manufacturing" in the Women of Distinction in Materials Science workshop. The event is organized by the Technical University of Darmstadt will take place online on Zoom and it is free of charge.

The workshop features the ground-breaking research highlights presentations of broad interest given by prestigious women in materials science and it will be followed by a networking session, which will provide the attendees with a great opportunity to ask their questions in an informal atmosphere and make contact with eminent women in materials science from around the world.
Please, follow this link for more information and free registration, incluiding the program of the event.


4th September. Special Issue Begoña Ferrari, Zoilo González and Ana Ferrandez are Guest Editors for and Special Issue about Polymer/Ceramics Composites in the journal Polymers.

This Special Issue will cover innovations in processes, compositions, and applications of new polymer/ceramic composites, profiting from polymers' benefits in the additive manufacturing of 3D pieces and coating processes, and the increasingly widespread use of bioresources for the development of biodegradable polymeric matrices. It covers any interesting aspect of this composites including mechanical properties of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers, bactericidal compounds that incorporate photocatalytic nanoparticles or bioactive and biodegradable compounds with dispersed bioglasses or bioceramics, etc.


29th June. New Paper on line. Z. Gonzalez, J. Yus, Y.Bravo, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, A.Rodríguez, J. Dewalque, L. Manceriu, C. Henrist and B. Ferrari, "Heteroacoagulation of lignocellulose fibers-based biotemplates and functionalized TiO2 nanoparticles to tailor film microstructures", Cellulose, (2020). DOI: 10.1007/s10570-020-03297-1

This paper describes the preparation of LCNF-TiO2 core-shell nanostructures by heterocoagulation methodology, confirming the formation of a peptide bond between the amine group of PEI, the stabilizer used to disperse TiO2 NPs, and the carboxyl groups of the LCNF. Moreover, the manuscript is also claiming the exploitation of these LCNF as bio-templates, offering an interesting strategy to revalorize agricultural wastes with relevant applications. An example of this development is the design of porous TiO2-based photoanodes with an efficiency value around 6%. The processing method allows to decrease the operation time as well as the thickness of the TiO2 coating from 12.6 µm to 8.7 µm to deliver similar photoefficiency.

Colloidal approach during the manufacturing process allows to modify the component surfaces as well as final structural properties of the synthetized materials. The photovoltaic parameters were quite comparable to the photoanodes fabricated from others commercial celluloses fibers (not from bioresources). The methodology could be applied in other than conventional DSSCs, related energy fields (harvesting, storage, etc...)


11th June.Two New Relevant Project. Our group has been awarded with two new project from the Spanish Goverment, one focused on basic research and other on transfer. Both centered on processing of materials from slurries.

The project "Fabricación aditiva de compuestos metal-cerámica y recubrimentos avanzados a partir de suspensiones coloidales"/"Additive manufacturing of metal-ceramic composites and advanced coatings from colloidal slurries" is a part of the coordinated proyect "Structural integrity at different length scales of novel ceramic/metal composites processed by additive manufacturing (MICRO¬Matters@AM)" (reference:PID2019-106631GB-C42; period: 3years: budget:110.000 €)

On the other hand the project POROMET "Metodos alternativos de fabricación de placas metálicas porosas"/"Alternative methods for the fabrication of porous metallic plates" is a part of the call "Retos Colaboración" which requires the participation of companies and has a high industrial compromise. (reference:RTC2019-007426-3; period: 3 years; budget: 170.545 €)

Both of the projects are cofunded by the European Community throuhg the FEDER program.

25th May. Back to the lab. Attending to all the safety indications, our team is slowly resuming the lab activities. There are a lot of pending and delayed work and a bunch of ideas that have arisen during the lockdown. Even though a great part of the work will still be done remotely, we are very happy to announce that we'll be reopening the doors of the lab.

30th March. Supporting the Healthcare Workers. Members of the group are using their 3D printers, and others have brought the lab printers home to print frames for face protection requested by health workers in hospitals. Today we have delivered the first 50 frames and will continue to manufacture more. Like many others, we are putting our little one to overcome the situation. #EstoloparamosJuntos.

16th March.Teleworking. After decreation of the State of Alarm due to the COVID-19 we have ceased all access to the institute and started in teleworking mode. It is time for finishing papers, thinking on new ideas and maintaining all safe at home, but still keeping a funny mood. #YomequedoenCasa #stayathome.


8th March. New Paper online. S. Behnam Abdollahi, J. Nourmohammadi, F. Sadat Mahdavi, J. Yus, A. Ferrandez-Montero, A. J. Sanchez-Herencia, Z. Gonzalez, B. Ferrari, "Effect of SrR delivery in the biomarkers of bone regeneration during the in vitro degradation of HNT/GN coatings prepared by EPD",Colloids Surf. B., 190, 110944 (2020) DOI://10.1016/j.colsurfb.2020.110944

The incorporation of Halloysite nanotubes (HNT) as nanocarriers of SrR, into gelatine (GN) coatings, tailors the release of this anabolic bone-forming and anti-catabolic agent to stimulate bone growth. In fact, as-prepared GN/HNT-SrR coatings release 100 % SrR in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) within 21 days, and cellular studies of the nanocomposite coatings (MTT, Alkaline Phosphatase activity (ALP) and Calcium deposition assay) confirm the valuable bio-performance of these composite coatings to enhanced bone regeneration. In the present manuscript, suspensions with HNT/GN weight ratio of 0.5 are formulated to coat AISI 316 L stainless steel foils by Electrophoretic Deposition (EPD). Zeta potential determination is used to stablish the drug loading (HNT-SrR) by electrostatic interaction, as well as to optimize the dispersion of bare HNT and HNT SrR-loaded in a GN aqueous solution. Polyethilenimnine (PEI) is used as stabilizer to buffer the suspension media, assure cargo-drug dispersion and sequential release, while the thermal gelling of the suspension controls and step up the coating formation during EPD.

CLICK HERE for Free access before April 27 - Courtesy of Elsevier

15th February. Farewell. We have said goodbye to our colleague Ana Ferrandez, who has been hired at the LPPI (Laboratory of physico-chemistry of Polymer and Interfaces) of the Universuty of Cergy-Pontoise in France. Congratulations and good luck in your new position.


26th February. Dinamiza sharing experience. Begoña Ferrari has been invited to present our experience as participants into the first edition of the Dinamiza Project into the workshop "How to start a business from the laboratory“ (Cómo emprender desde el laboratorio). Dinamiza is a project of CSIC at the Comunidad of Madrid in colaboration with the Madrid Science Park, to encourage entrepreneur activities into the research groups. Our participation into the project ended with the creation of the company "Colfeed4Print" as an EBT of CSIC.

The event was organized by the Deputy Vicepresidency for Technological Transfer at the headquarters of CSIC. Begoña presented our expercience to new entrepreneurs and participated in a ilustrative discussion with the public. Event was broadcast in streaming. In our channel in YouTube you can see the complete video of her presentation. [Link to video]

20th February. New Paper online. A. Ferrandez-Montero, M. Lieblich, R. Benavente, J. L. González-Carrasco and B. Ferrari, "Study of the matrix-filler interface in PLA/Mg composites manufactured by Material Extrusion using a colloidal feedstock", Addit. Manuf. on line (2020) DOI://10.1016/j.addma.2020.101142

The aim of this paper is to investigate the evolution of a matrix-filler interface during the processing of novel composites formed by a matrix of polylactic acid (PLA) and Mg particles, when they are manufactured by Materials Extrusion. To improve the Mg dispersion, the surfaces of the particles were previously modified by the adsorption of dispersants. The physical and mechanical characterization of PLA/Mg composites show that the Mg surface modification is the key to its successful dispersion due to the formation of ionic interactions between the dispersants and the matrix. Moreover, a PEI-PLA covalent bond appeared in the printed scaffolds as a consequence of the temperature applied (165 °C) during extrusion and printing. Consequently, the matrix-filler strengthened interface improved the extrusion process and permits the printing of 3D customized pieces. At the same time, particle agglomeration and the nozzle blocking is prevented.


20th February. ACERS Spanish Chapter meeting. Our colleages A.J. Sanchez-Herencia and B. Ferrari has attended the first meeting of the ACERS Spanish Chapter. Both of them are members of the American Ceramic Society (ACERS) and has personally supported the creation of the chapter. the meeting was hosted by the President of the Spanish Chapter, Arnaldo Moreno at the Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica in Castellón.

During the associated workhsop in Additive Manufacturing for Ceramic and Constructions materials, Begoña Ferrari presented the work entitled THERMAL  EXTRUSION OF CERAMIC PARTS USING A COLLOIDAL FEEDSTOCK, where she presented our more recent results in fabrication of samples by FFF techniques using colloidal suspensions.


17th February. Company Foundation. A. Ferrandez-Montero, Z. Gonzalez, J. Yus, J. Escribano, M. de Dios, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia and B. Ferrari have today created the company Colfeed4Print S.R.L. (www.colfeed.es)

The meaning of the company is to transfer the knwoledge in processing of filaments for FFF additive manufacturing technique to the industrial sector. Company is a technological spin-off of CSIC and is based on the result of research covered by a patent. Together to the participation of current and past members of the group an external inversor has trust the company and also participated as founder.


15th February. New Paper published. A. Ferrandez-Montero, M. Lieblich, R. Benavente, J. L. González-Carrasco and B. Ferrari, "New approach to improve polymer-Mg interface in biodegradable PLA/Mg composites through particle surface modification", Surf. Coat. Tech. 383,125285 (2020) DOI:/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2019.125285.

The paper successfully proposes PLA/Mg composites as biodegradable and fully bioabsorbable materials for bone repair. It claims the benefits of Mg particles modification throughout the adsorption of surface modifiers in the in vitro biodegradation behavior of PLA/Mg composites. Additionally, the mixture of PLA with Mg particles in a colloidal suspension replaces the thermal-melting extrusion mixing, preventing the drawbacks associated to the thermal degradation of the polymer during processing. To fulfill this requirement it is necessary to improve the interaction particle-liquid medium for the hydrophilic surface of Mg particles and the organic solvent of PLA, which will provide the maximum dispersion of the Mg in the composite. In this sense, surfaces of Mg particles were modified by the adsorption of two different stabilizers, a surfactant as cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and a polyelectrolyte as polyethylenimine (PEI).

CLICK HERE for Free access before February 14 - Courtesy of Elsevier


16th January. New Paper online. J. Yus, B. Ferrari, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia and Z. Gonzalez, “Understanding the effects of different microstructural contributions in the electrochemical response of nickel-based semiconductor electrodes with 3D hierarchical networks shapes”  Electrochim. Acta. 335, 135629, (2020). DOI:10.1016/j.electacta.2020.135629

This paper deals with the enhancement of the electrochemical performance in energy storage devices by controlling microstructural aspect such as exposed surface area, nanoparticles connectivity and consolidation level. It is reviewed how design and optimization of different electrodes with specific microarchitectures (based on the arrangement manipulation of NiO nanoplatelets, used as building blocks), has allowed distinguishing the effects of each microstructural contribution in their final electrochemical responses, The modification of the Ni-based electrodes allows understanding how microstructural features infer the electron transport and the ion diffusion through the consolidated structure. The EIS analysis proves that the design of the porous hierarchical network of our semiconductors electrodes resulted in a good rate capability exhibiting a relaxation time constant, while a slight increase of the charge-transfer resistance is negligible if the exposed surface is high enough to maintain a high ion transport. The inclusion of non-noble nanoparticles, such as Ni NPs, in the NiO semiconductor microstructure and the optimum deposited mass and sintering treatment create a metal-ceramic electrode that enhances the charge transfer resistance while showing relaxation time in the range and maintaining an excellent capacitive behavior at quick charge/discharge rate.

CLICK HERE for Free access before Mach 06 - Courtesy of Elsevier


1st January. New Paper Published. M.Coronada Fernández-Calderón, D. Romero-Guzmán, A. Ferrández-Montero, C. Pérez-Giraldo, J.L. González-Carrasco, M. Lieblich, R. Benavente, B. Ferrari, M.L. González-Martín, A. M. Gallardo-Moreno, "Impact of PLA/Mg films degradation on surface physical properties and biofilm survival", Coll. Surf. B: Biointerfaces, 185, 110617 (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2019.110617.

Physical surface parameters such as hydrophobicity, surface tension and zeta potential of PLA films reinforced with 10% Mg have been determined before and after degradation, as well as the biofilm formation capacity of Staphylococcus epidermidis. The addition of Mg to the films makes them less hydrophobic and the degradation also reduces the hydrophobicity and increases the negative charge of the surface, especially over long periods of time. Early biofilm formation at 8 h is consistent with the physical properties of the films, where we can observe a reduction in the bacterial biofilm formation. However, after 24 h of incubation, the biofilm formation increases significantly on the PLA/Mg films with respect to PLA control. The explosive release of Mg ions and other corrosion products within the first hours were not enough to prevent a greater biofilm formation after this initial time. Consequently, the Mg addition to the polymer matrix had a bacteriostatic effect but not a bactericidal one. Future works should aim to optimize the design and biofunctionality of these promising bioabsorbable composites for a degradation period suitable for the intended application.

CLICK HERE for Free access before January 26, 2020- Courtesy of Elsevier


1st January. New Paper Published. I. Msadok, N. Hamdi, M.A. Rodríguez, B. Ferrari, E. Srasra,, "Synthesis and characterization of Tunisian organoclay: Application as viscosifier in oil drilling fluid", Chem. Eng. Res. Des., 153, 427-434 (2020) DOI:10.1016/j.cherd.2019.11.010.

In this study, the viscosifiers for diesel oil drilling fluid were prepared using Tunisian clay modified with cationic surfactant for five concentration levels from 0.5 to 4.0 times the cationic exchange of purified clay (CEC). The organo-modified clay samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron micrography (SEM) and specific surface area (BET model). Oil–clays suspensions were investigated using polarized light optical microscopy (PLOM) and double cone rheometer. The influence of surfactant concentration on rheological properties of suspensions is related to the different microstructures development which depend on surfactant arrangement in the interlayer of clay. The results showed the growth of yield stress and consistency coefficient as the surfactant concentration is increased and the best behaviors were observed for the 3.0 CEC concentration. This sample was tested for two weight percents (5 and 10wt%), the higher Herschel Bulkley parameters (τ0=3.6Pa, K=0.397 and n=0.85) were found for the organoclay at 10wt%. The latest sample has the high thixotropy loop area so can be used as viscosity enhancer for the oil drilling fluid.




27th December. Congratulations to Miguel de Dios as he has been awarded with the Outstanding Doctorate Student prize of the University Carlos III of Madrid.

Miguel de Dios defended his PhD Thesis entitled: "Synthesis, Processing and Mechanical Characterization of Ti(C,N)-based cermets through the combination of Colloidal and Powder Metallurgy techniques" the 22nd of December 2018. The work was supervised by Elena Gordo and Begoña Ferrari. The international evaluation committee was composed by Prof. Sofía Tsipas (UC3M) , Dr.Raquel de Oro (TU Wien) and Dr. A.Javier Sanchez-Herencia(ICV-CSIC) who granted Miguel´s thesis report and exposition with the Cum Laude and International mentions. Just after achieve the Ph Degree, Miguel found a job at Air Liquide Spain were he is now developing a sucessfull profesional carreer.

The prize-giving ceremony will be held at the University on the 28th of January.


25 December. Season´s Greetings. We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Year 2020. Background of our Christmas Card is a tape of a composite of Hydroxiapatite and Gelatin cast from an aqueous slurry and freeze dried. By E. Vazquez and A. Ferrandez [Enlarge image].


1st December. New Paper published. H. Besharatloo, M. de Nicolás, M. Wheeler, A. Mateo, B. Ferrari, E. Gordo, L. Llanes, J.J. Roa, “Carbon addition effects on microstructure and small-scale hardness for Ti(C,N)-FeNi cermets”  Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater. 85, 105064 (2019). doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2019.105064

The current study investigates the influence of carbon addition on the microstructural and micromechanical properties of Ti(C,N)-FeNi cermets with different ceramic/metal phase ratios. Evaluation of small-scale hardness is conducted by using high speed nanoindentation in  conjunction with statistical analysis. Subsequent statistical analysis was done by considering three mechanically distinct phases: Ti(C,N) particles, the metallic binder, and one exhibiting the composite behaviour (i.e. imprints probing two-phase regions). In general, it is found that porosity amount is reduced as ceramic/metal phase ratio decreases and carbon is added. Carbon addition is also observed to rise small-scale hardness, but only for two of the defined phases: metallic binder and the composite one. Similar trends are observed regarding the influence of ceramic/metal phase ratio and carbon addition on the inverse hardness-fracture toughness correlation measured under high applied loads.


29th November. Workshop Our mate Begoña Ferrari has participated into the “10 Year Anniversary” International Symposium to celebrate the 10 years of the Institute of Biomaterials. The event was held on 29th November 2019 at University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) and chaired by the director of the Institute Prof. Aldo Boccacini. More than 120 participants attended the symposium, which featured a one day intense and high quality scientific program of international invited speakers. Begoña presented part of our recent advances and collaborations in a talk entitled "Relevance of colloidal processing in tissue engineering".


15th November. Farewell to Dr. Florencia Hernandez (Flor), who is returning home after spending six weeks with us studying the collidal processing of compounds and developing of complex microstructures nto the B2O3-Al2O3 system. It has been a quite productive and intese working time. Flor is returning to CETMIC-CONICET where she will continue characterizing the processes materials. We hope also we can expand our colaboration and see you back soon.


1st November. New Paper published. M.E. Garcia-Ayala, S. Tarancon, Z. Gonzalez, B. Ferrari, J.Y. Pastor, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, "Processing of WC/W composites for extreme environments by colloidal dispersion of powders and SPS sintering", Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater., 84,105026 ( 2019,) DOI:10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2019.105026

Tungsten and tungsten carbide are materials proposed for extreme environment applications such as first plasma face, or cutting tools. The high melting temperature and strong bonding energy of both materials force the use of powder metallurgical processes and non-conventional sintering routes to achieve dense parts. In this paper tungsten and tungsten carbide powders are colloidally processed and mixed to achieve composite powders that are sintered later by Spark Plasma Sintering. Starting micrometric tungsten carbide and nanosized tungsten powders are dispersed in water at pH3. Composite powders with volumetric rations of 50WC/50W, 80WC/20W and 90WC/10W as well as pure WC and W are sintered by SPS following the dimensional change of the specimens during the process. It has been proved that complete coverage of the micronic WC by the nanosized W powders, achieved with this colloidal approach, makes the tungsten govern the initial sintering stages. The derivative of the sintering curves is used to detect the solid state reactive sintering temperature of W2C. After sintering, XRD and SEM observations indicate that all the mixture compositions yield to ceramic materials with different W2C/WC ratios, depending on the initial compositions. Flexure tests at room temperature show that composite materials present a slightly lower fracture strength than pure WC.



1st November. New Paper Published. H. Besharatloo, M. de Nicolás, J.J. Roa, M. Dios, A. Mateo, B. Ferrari, E. Gordo, L. Llanes,"Assessment of mechanical properties at microstructural length scale of Ti(C,N)–FeNi ceramic-metal composites by means of massive nanoindentation and statistical analysis", Ceram. Int. 45 (16), 20202-20210, (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2019.06.292

Ti(C,N)-based cermets arise as excellent candidates to the traditional cemented carbides (WC–Co) due to their exceptional mechanical, tribological and thermal properties. In this work, microstructurally different Ti(C,N)–FeNi cermets were processed using a combination of colloidal and powder metallurgy techniques. Three distinct ceramic/metal phase ratios were used: 85/15, 80/20 and 70/30 (volume fraction) of Ti(C,N) and FeNi respectively. Small-scale hardness was evaluated by means of massive nanoindentation testing and statistical analysis of the gathered data, under the consideration of three mechanically different phases: Ti(C,N) particles, metallic binder and a composite-like one, corresponding to probing regions containing both constitutive phases. It is found that values of local hardness for both composite-like and metallic phases increase as the ceramic/metal phase ratio rises. In particular, local hardness values are determined to be significantly distinct for the metallic binder in the three cermets investigated. Estimated effective flow stress values for the metallic binder as well as detailed inspection of crack-microstructure interaction and fractographic features point out the effectiveness of FeNi as reinforcement phase and toughening agent for Ti(C,N)-base cermets.


15th October. New Paper published. A.Ferrández-Montero, M.Lieblich, J.L.González-Carrasco, R.Benavente, V.Lorenzo, R.Detsch, A.R.Boccaccini, B.Ferrari, "Development of biocompatible and fully bioabsorbable PLA/Mg films for tissue regeneration applications", Acta Biomater. 98, 114-124 (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.05.026

In this work we processed Mg reinforced PLA in the shape of films that would be suitable for tissue regeneration. Films with Mg content as high as 50 wt% were obtained without compromising the thermal stability of the polymer. Firstly, a successful dispersion of Mg microparticles was achieved by a breakthrough in processing introducing a colloidal step where organic additives were added to modify the Mg particle surface and promote a chemically stable suspension. The resulting colloidal suspension was then used as feedstock to obtain composite films by tape casting. The films show advantageous in vitro behaviour in terms of degradation, hydrogen release and oxygen permeability. In vitro behavior of PLA/Mg films demonstrated that Mg2+ ions increase the fibroblast cells growth. The viability with fibroblast cells (MEF) opens a window of opportunity for these composite films as bioabsorbable material for tissue engineering and wound dressing applications.


10-11th October. Our group has presented their recent results in the international Workshop for Young Researchers in Ceramics and Glasses for Medical Applications -YouCGMed- held at the ICV under the auspicies of the Spanish Ceramic Society and ECerS.

Ana Ferrandez-Montero was an organizing committee member, part of the Scientific Committee of the conferences and chaired the Ceramic session. She also presented her work on "Fused deposition modelling method to obtain PLA/HA 3D scaffolds using a novel colloidal feedstock" at the Session of Processing.

Álvaro Eguiluz presented his oral poster "New aproach to tailoring fused deposition modelling method to obtain HA-based 3D scaffolds" as a part of his PhD studies in Additive Manufacturing.

Begoña Ferrari was part of the Honour Committee and she also presented the oral poster "EPD of Halloysite clay nanotubes/gelatin composites for drug deliver"

Yolanda Castro was part of the Honour Committee presented she also the oral poster "Synthesis of mesoporous silica nanoparticles by sol-gel as nanocontainer for future drug delivery applications"


17th September. Welcome to Itzel Lorente!!!, who is here for a three months stay as a part of her Industrial PhD. She is carrying on her doctorate at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and AMES BARCELONA SINTERING, S.A. under the supervision of Prof. José Calero. In our group she is to study the colloidal behaviour of the metal powders in order to disperse and stabilize slurries.


16th September. Thesis Defense. Joaquín Yus defended at the UC3M his PhD Thesis entitled: "Nano-architectures with hierarchical porosity manufactured by colloidal techniques for application in ceramic semiconductor-based supercapacitors".

The international evaluation committee was composed by Dr. Sandra Cabañas (Johnson Matthey Advanced Glass Technologies, Netherlands), Dr. Jadra Mosa (ICV-CSIC) and prof. María Eugenia Rabanal (UC3M) who granted Joaco´s thesis report and exposition with the Cum Laude and International mentions. Congratulations!!


11-13th SeptemberOur team has presented recent results in the application of coloidal-chemistry in the development of additive manufacturing techniques during the 7th Shaping hold in Aveiro.

Ana Ferrandez-Montero presented her paper on "A Novel Technique Based on Fused Deposition Modeling to Obtain 3D Full-Ceramic Scaffolds" at the Session of Prototyping.

Our colleague Alex Sangiorgi, presented the paper “Three dimensional printing of photocatalytic titanium dioxide-based filters” (DOI: 10.1149/2.0341905jes) developed in collaboration with CNR-ISTEC.

Framed in the Session of Thick Films, Begoña Ferrari presented the KEYNOTE “Inks response to electro & mechanic stimulations: key to design 3D nanostructured coatings in EPD and IJP”.


28th August. New Paper on line. J. Domínguez-Robles, S. A. Stewart, A. Rendl, Z. González, R. F. Donnelly and E. Larrañeta, "Lignin and Cellulose Blends as Pharmaceutical
Excipient for Tablet Manufacturing via Direct Compression"
, Biomolecules, 9, 423 (2019) DOI:10.3390/biom9090423 (OPEN ACCESS)

This paper, in collaboration with members at the University of Belfast, presents the use of this biopolymer as excipient to prepare tablets as alternative uses for lignin (LIG). LIG was combined with microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and used as excipients to prepare directly compressed tablets containing a model drug, tetracycline (TC). The excipients contained different concentrations of LIG: 100%, 75%, 50%, 25% and 0% (w/w). Two different compression forces were used (two and five tonnes). The presence of LIG in the tablets modified significantly the release profile and the maximum amount of TC released. Finally, a DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrozyl) assay was performed to confirm that the presence of LIG provided antioxidant properties to the formulations. Accordingly, LIG has potential as a pharmaceutical excipient.


2nd August. New Paper on line. M.  de Nicolás, H. Besharatloo, J. M. Wheeler, M.  Dios, P. Alvaredo, J.J. Roa, B. Ferrari, L. Llanes, E. Gordo, “Influence of the processing route on the properties of  Ti(C,N)-Fe15Ni, Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater. On line, (2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2019.105046

This study aims to understand the influence of powder preparation and processing steps on the microstructure and properties of Ti(C,N)-Fe15Ni cermets with 70 and 80 vol. % of ceramic phase. Two routes were used for powder preparation: (i) a colloidal approach, consisting of the preparation of stable aqueous suspensions of the powder particles and spray-drying to obtain easy-to-press granules, and (ii) conventional powder metallurgy route, consisting on wet ball milling of powders, with subsequent drying in rotary evaporator. As a result, COL samples exhibit a more homogeneous microstructural assemblage, higher small-scale hardness and mechanical integrity under sliding contact conditions. Compositions of materials must then be adjusted to adequate initial C addition with respect to the employed processing route, to account for the effects of the mixtures preparation stage.


1st August. New Paper Published. J. Yus, Z. Gonzalez, A.J.Sanchez-Herencia, A.Sangiorgi, N.Sangiorgi, D.Gardini, A.Sanson, C.Galassi, A.Caballero, J.Morales, B.Ferrari, "Semiconductor Water-Based Inks: Miniaturized NiO Pseudocapacitor Electrodes by Inkjet Printing", J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. 39 (9), 2908-2914 (2019). doi:10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2019.03.020

The paper presents the formulation, development and optimization of water-based inks of platelet-like nanoparticles. The as-synthesized Ni(OH)2 nanoparticles were dispersed and stabilized in aqueous suspension by PEI addition. The combination of DEG (cosolvent) with H2O shows the ideal values of surface tension and viscosity for piezoelectric inkjet printing, which exhibits a homogeneous jetting flow of the nanoplatelets suspension.

It is described a electrochemical overview of the NiO electrode behavior sintered at low temperature (325 °C). These printable pseudocapacitors tested by a three-electrode cell have showed a competitive specific capacitance, leading 92% and 78% of capacitance retention for 2000 cycles at scan rates of 1 and 2 A/g respectively, and a coulombic efficiency of 100%. This new finding is expected to be particularly useful for the designing of micro-pseudocapacitors.


5th July. Our group has host during the last months several studient of Master and Degree to make with us the mandatory final project. It is a synergy activity for all of us the student, the supervisors and the lab mates.

Congratulation to all and thank you for joining us with so possitive atmosphere!!!


26th June. Congratulations to Ana Ferrández as she has been awarded the IV AMES-Joan Antoni Bas R&D Award with the work entitled "Processing of Mg base materials through the combination of colloidal techniques and Additive Manufacturing".

The price is is to incentivate the development of topics of Interest for AMES company in universities and research centers at a national and international level. Price has an economical grant for the presenter and for the Department where the work was done.

The work presented by Ana covers a part of her thesis as well as the patent developed in our research group “Method for obtaining a piece by Fused Filament Deposition Modeling”.


24-26th June. Our group has participated in the VII Congreso Español de Pulvimetalurgia and II Congreso Iberoamericano de Pulvimetalurgia organized in Madrid by the “Grupo de Tecnología de Polvos” of University Carlos III of Madrid.

Begoña Ferrari  was an scientific committee member of the congress.
Javier Sánchez-Herencia chaired the Symposium on "Técnicas de procesamiento"

We have presented thre Oral presentations:

  • Manufactura Aditiva de Materiales Base Carburos Por FFF: Incorporación de Nanofases Metálicas Por Rutas Coloidales. (Begoña Ferrari)
  • A New Approach to Obtain Customized Biodegradable 3D Scaffolds by Fused Deposition Modelling Method. (Ana Ferrández)
  • Sinterización de Materiales de W y WC Con Aditivos de Sinterización Incorporados Por Rutas Coloidales de Procesamiento (Macarena García)


26th June. Following the JII in Castellón, our team has also participated in the national meeting on electroceramics "IXIV REUNIÓN NACIONAL DE ELECTROCERÁMICA" organized in the same city with the following oral presentations:

• Zoilo González presented "Additive manufacturing of tailored structures of functional ceramics".
• Joaquín Yus "From 3D Electrodes Processed by EPD to 2D Miniaturization by Inkjet Printing for Energy Storage Devices".


25th JuneOur team has participated in the second workshop for Young Researchers in Ceramic and Glass “II Jornadas de jóvenes investigadores" organized in Castellón by Instituto de cerámica y Vidrio (ICV) and the Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica (ITC) with the colaboration of the Sociedad Española de Cerámica y Vidrio(SECV) and the Universitat Jaume I (UJI).

Zoilo Gonzalez was an organizing committee member of the conferences and chaired the “Recubrimientos”.

Joaquin Yus presented the oral presentation entitled “Procesamiento de electrodos con differentes microarquitecturas mediante EPD e Inkjet Printing”.

Rafael Moratalla presented the oral presentation entitled “Recubrimiento de materiales cerámicos para electrodos de supercondensadores”. The results presented correspond with part of his end-of-career project that has developed in the 6 last months with our group. Welldone Rafa!


16-20th JuneOur team has presented the recent results in our main research lines during the XVI ECerS Conference hold in Torino. It has been a great time to share research and friendship with colleages of all over the world,

On Monday Joaquin Yus represented Spain in the Student Contest presenting its late results in the processing and characterization of materials for supercapacitors with the presentation “Colloidal Processing of NiO Nanoplatelets in Water-Based Suspensions at the Forefront of the Energy Storage: From 3D Electrodes Manufactured by EPD to 2D Miniaturization Available from Inkjet Printing". He could not get the price, even when he made a great job.

Ana Ferrandez participated in the Sesion of Ceramics and Glasses for Healthcare with the communication "A Novel Technique Based on Fused Deposition Modeling to Obtain 3D Full-Ceramic Scaffolds".

On Tuesday A. Javier Sanchez-Herencia presented in the Sesion for Advanced Structural Ceramics, Composites and Refractories: Cermets the communication "WC/W2C Composites for High Temperature Applications Processed from W and WC Aqueous Suspensions".

The Wednesday Zoilo Gonzalez presented in the Session Innovative Processing and Synthesis: Hybridization Technologies the communication "Fabrication of Tailored Structures of Semiconductors TiO2-Based by Colloidal Processing”.

and finally Begoña Ferrari Session Innovative Processing and Synthesis: Hybridization Technologies the communication "Tailoring of the Stabilizers Adsorption on Nanoparticles Surfaces for the Nanostructured Growth of Ceramic Coatings in 3D AM Structures".


10th June.New Paper published. Yus, J., Bravo, Y., Sanchez-Herencia, A.J., Ferrari, B., Gonzalez, Z., "Electrophoretic deposition of RGO-NiO core-shell nanostructures driven by heterocoagulation method with high electrochemical performance", Electrochim. Acta, 308, 363-372 (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2019.04.053

The paper presents a heterocoagulation route to prepare Reduced Graphene Oxide-Nickel Oxide (RGO/NiO) hybrid structures for their application as supercapacitor electrodes. The RGO intercalation among the NiO nanoplatelets has been carried out by electrostatic interactions of the synthetized particles which have been previously dispersed and stabilized in aqueous media to improve the assembly between both materials forming core-shell structures. The electrophoretic deposition (EPD) has been used to shape the composite onto 3D collector (Ni foams) controlling their growth and homogeneity. Electrodes have been thermal treated at 325 °C during 1 h to improve the electrochemical response since the formation of ceramic necks among NiO semiconductor nanoparticles preserves the microstructural integrity to enhance their connectivity avoiding the employment of binders, while RGO contributes with the electrochemical double layer effect to step up the specific capacitance by reducing the charge transfer resistance.


28th May. Dr. Brian Giera, from the Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's will give a seminar in the Auditorium of the Instituto de Cerámica y Vidrio - CSIC (Calle Kelsen, 5 28040 Madrid -maps-) focused on develop and apply traditional (molecular dynamics & continuum/theory) and data driven (machine learning & computer vision) models to address materials processing and characterization problems within advanced manufacturing systems.

Dr. Giera is the Principal Investigator of the Exploratory Research Project "Rapid Closed-Loop Control of Advanced Manufacturing with Machine Learning" aimed to develop a machine-learning algorithm for vision-based control of additive-manufacturing processes to automatically detect problems and implement rectification strategies, thereby improving quality while reducing time and cost. [Dr. Giera's CV]

16th May. Begoña Ferrari is visiting the Claudine Filiatre's Group of research at the UTINAM Institute (Universe, Time-Frequency, Interfaces, Nanostructures, Atmosphere and Environment, Molecules) in the University of Franche-Comté (Besançon, France). This visit is correspond to a follow-up metting for the project "Dépôts céramiques à base de particules colloïdales pour le domaine de l'énergie" (Crysalide'2019 ). Dr. Ferrari will give a seminar entitled "Tailoring of the stabilizer adsorption on nanoparticles surfaces for the nanostructured growth of ceramic coatings in 3D structures".

14th May. Zoilo González has participated in the 25th Topical ISE Meeting: New electrochemical processes for energy and the environment organized in Toledo, Spain from 12th to 15th May 2019 by the Universidad Castilla la Mancha (UCLM) and the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE). Zoilo presented the following Oral presentations: Tailoring Electrode Microstructures for Improving their Performance by Colloidal Strategies

6th May. Welcome to Daniela Tovar who is here for a three months stay as a part of her PhD. She is carrying on her doctorate on Co-doping of Zirconia Ceramics at the Center for Research in Structural Integrity, Reliability and Micromechanics of Materials of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia under the supervision of Prof. Emilio Jiménez. In our group she is to study the colloidal behaviour of the zirconia and the materials she is dealing with in order to achieve better microstructures and process samples with different shapes and composition from optimized slurries.

1st April. B. Ferrari and A.J. Sanchez-Herencia have visited the Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. A.J. Sanchez-Herencia presented our capabilities in colloidal processing of metals and other non-oxide materials. During the visit to the laboratories, hosted by Prof. Yuttanant Boonyongmaneerat they had the possibility of discuss with the different groups on electrochemical processing, batteries, additive manufacturing, and cultural heritage. [enlarge image]


25th March. The Group is participating in the 11th International Conference on the Science of Hard Materials held in Khaolak, Thailand, which has attracted expert in cemented carbides, hard metals and other structural metal-ceramics composites.
A.J. Sanchez-Herencia presented the oral comunication entitled "Aqueous colloidal processing of WC/W composites for extreme environments" and B. Ferrari the one entitled "The colloidal approach to the fused filament fabrication of hard metal: incorporation of nanophases to the feedstock".


28th February. New Paper online. A. Sangiorgi, Z. Gonzalez, A. Ferrandez-Montero, J. Yus, A. J. Sanchez-Herencia, C. Galassi, A. Sanson and B. Ferrari, "3D Printing of Photocatalytic Filters Using a Biopolymer to Immobilize TiO2 Nanoparticles", J. Electrochem. Soc. 166 (5), H3239-H3248 (2019). doi:10.1149/2.0341905jes

The paper describes titanium oxide-based photocatalytic filters produced by Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) using biopolymers obtained from renewable biomass resources. The thermoplastic route allows shaping composites through the immobilization of photoactive TiO2 nanoparticles in an environmentally friendly bioplastic such as the polylactic acid (PLA). Composites with an inorganic charge of 30wt% of TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) exhibit a 100% methyl orange (MO) degradation after 24 h of light exposition due to the extremely uniform dispersion of the nanophase within the polymer matrix in the FDM feedstock.

The proposed new route of processing improves the dispersion of nano-charges comparing with the traditional thermo-pressing routes used for mixing thermoplastics based composites, avoiding the thermal degradation of the polymer and providing a customised product.

7th January. We congratulate our good friend and collaborator Dr. Raul Bermejo, from the Institute of Structural and Functional Ceramics (ISFK) at the University of Leoben, who has been granted with an ERC Consolidator Grant for the project CeraText "Tailoring Microstructure and Architecture to Build Ceramic Components with Unprecedented Damage Tolerance". ERC grants are some of the most competitive all over the world and are funded by the European Union to promote the excelence in research. WE have been collaborating with Raul for a long time, and we expect to continue the collaboration for a longer one.

  ALL OUR NEWS SINCE 2011 (to 2018)