Tailoring through Colloidal Processing


12th March. New Paper Accepted. 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. (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.


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.

We wish a Merry Christmas and a Happpy year 2109 to all. May all yours best dreams became true. Large image


7th November.Research award. Our colleague F. Javier González López has won the Sociemat award to the best Final Degree Project, sponsorted by the "Fundación Caja de Ingenieros", for his work entitled "Manufactura aditiva de materiales compuestos de matriz polimérica con alta concentración de carga inorgánica para el procesamiento de implantes de hidroxiapatita mesoporosos y 100% inorgánico". The work was supervised by Begoña Ferrari and Ana Ferrandez. During the celebrations of the International day of Materials, Javier received the certificate and impart a lecture about the subject. Now to get similar scores with the Master!!!

29th October. Thesis Defense. Ana Ferrandez defended at the UC3M her PhD Thesis entitled: "Processing by Colloidal Techniques and Characterization of Mg/Polymer Materials for application in the biomedical industry".
The international evaluation committee was composed by Prof. Sandra Cifuentes, (UC3M), Prof. Luigi Torre (Un. Perugga) and Dr. Yolanda Castro (ICV-CSIC) who granted Ana´s thesis report and exposition with the Cum Laude and International mentions. Congratulations!!


10th October. Congratulations to Joaquin Yus as he has been awarded the Best Oral Communication presented at  the Student Speech Contest in the V Congreso Hispano-Luso de Cerámica y Vidrio  with the work entitled "The age of additive manufacturing. Water based semiconductor inks for the fabrication of Energy Microdevices." Part of this work was carried out during his stay at the ISTEC supported by the JECS Trust mobility grant. Being part of his thesis funded by the Regional Government through the European Union’s Young Employment Initiative (YEI).



8th OctoberOur team has participated in the V Congreso Hispano-Luso de Cerámica y Vidrio  organized in Barcelona by the Sociedad Española de Cerámica y Vidrio, The Sociedade Portuguesa de Cerâmica e Vidro, The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Barcelonatech and the CIEFMA.

Begoña Ferrari  was an organizing committee member of  the congress and chaired the Industrial Networking event
Zoilo González chaired the Symposium on "Advanced Manufacturing Technologies"
Javier Sánchez-Herencia chaired the Symposium on "Cemented Carbides, Hardmetals and other Ceramic-Metal Composites"

Our colleagues presented the following Oral presentations:

  • Towards the development of innovative ceramic semiconductors structures of TiO2 by additive manufacturing processes. (Zoilo González)
  • Processing of Tungsten-Tungsten Carbide Composites by a Colloidal Approach. (Macarena García-Ayala)
  • Anchorage study between hydroxyapatite particles and thermoplastic agents to obtain ceramic-based scaffolds by fused deposition modelling method. (Ana Ferrández)
  • The age of additive manufacturing. Water based semiconductor inks for the fabrication of Energy Microdevices. (Joaquín Yus)
  • Processing of patterned TiN coatings by ink-jet on metals for hardness improvements. (Antonio Javier Sanchez-Herencia)


1st October. New Paper published. T. Zimmermann, A. Ferrandez-Montero, M. Lieblich, B. Ferrari, J.L. González-Carrasco, W.D. Müller, A.D. Schwitalla, “In vitro degradation of a biodegradable polylactic acid/magnesium composite as potential bone augmentation material in the presence of titanium and PEEK dental implants”, Dent. Mater. 34 (10), 1492-1500 (2018). doi:10.1016/j.dental.2018.06.009

This study assess the degradation behavior by measuring the H2 release of a biodegradable composite consisting of a polylactic acid matrix reinforced with 30% wt. spherical magnesium microparticles (PLA/Mg) as potential bone augmentation material in combination with dental implants of either titanium or polyetheretherketone (PEEK) in order to evaluate the potential influence of the titanium dental implants on the corrosion behavior of the Mg particles within the PLA matrix.

Regarding the similar values of the degradation depending H2 release of the two implant material groups, the co-implantation of a PLA/Mg composite is not only possible with new metal-free implant materials such as PEEK, but also with conventional implants of titanium.


17th SeptemberNew Paper on line. Z. Gonzalez, J. Yus, A.J. Sanchez-Herencia, J. Dewalque, L. Manceriu, C. Henrist, B. Ferrari, "A colloidal approach to prepare binder and crack-free TiO2 multilayer coatings from particulate suspensions: Application in DSSCs", J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2018.09.018

This paper describes a well-compacted and crack-free TiO2 multilayer coatings manufactured from a colloidal approach. Processing methodology has been designed to obtain interconnected microstructures, free of defects and heterogeneities. The sintering process was at low temperature, 450º C, allowed open microarchitectures without complete densification and favoring the dye adsorption. A thickness of 12.8 µm resulted in a successful dye loading of 4.52 × 10-10 mol·mm-2 and a photoefficiency of 5.7%, both in the range of the others particulate systems.

The paper contains some result of the collaboration between our Group and the Group of Research in Energy and ENvironment from Materials (GREEnMat) at the University of Liege. This successful collaboration has been supported by JECSTrust throught a Frontiers of Research Grant awarded to our colleague Z. Gonzalez, who spent 3 months in the GREEnMat Lab.


7th September. Congratulations to Joaquin Yus as he has been awarded the Best Poster Prize presented at 69th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry with the poster entitled "Electrophoretic Deposition of a GO/Ni(OH)2 Composite Material produced by Hetereocoagulation as promising Supercapacitor Electrode". The work is a part of his thesis funded by the Regional Government through the European Union´s Young Employment Iniciative (YEI).


7th SeptemberOur team has participated in the 69th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry organized in Bologna.
Begoña Ferrari chaired the Symposium 12: Electrophoretic Deposition of Functional Coatings: from Materials Science to Biotechnology.

Our colleagues presented the following posters:

  • EPD of Halloysite clay nanotubes/gelatin composites for drug delivery.
  • TiO2 nanostructured films prepared by colloidal routes for application in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells.
  • Electrophoretic Deposition of a GO/Ni(OH)2 Composite Material produced by Hetereocoagulation as promising Supercapacitor Electrode

Zoilo González presented the oral communication “Colloidal Strategies to shape Core-Shell based films by EPD and their Electrochemical Performance as Pseudocapacitor electrodes” and Joaquín Yus presented the paper "Electron Transport Through Mesoporous and Interconnected Ni-Based Microstructures Shaped by Electrophoretic Deposition " with some of their recent results in colloidal processing for supercapacitors.


1st September. New Paper on line. P. Alvaredo, M. Dios, B. Ferrari and E. Gordo, “Understanding of wetting and solubility behavior of Fe binder on Ti(C,N) cermets”, J. Alloys. Comp. 770 (5) 17-25 (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2018.07.243

Iron is considered as the main alternative binder in cermets; however proper compositions are still under development as it is necessary to improve the sintering. This work propose the use of Ni as sintering aid to improve the wettability without the introduction of secondary phases. The article shows a comprehensive study of the high temperature behavior, in terms of solubility and wettability, of the system FeNi/Ti(C,N) , and the results are compared with the study of the conventional system Ni/Ti(C,N). A better understanding of the high temperature behavior between binder and reinforcement allows to design new compositions and to search strategies to improve the densification of the cermets.


30th AugustCongratulations to Ana Ferrandez as her Oral Poster Presentation of the work entitled ""Biodegradable PLA/Mg films for tissues regeneration" in the 10th Symposium on Biodegradable Metals has been awared as the Best Poster Presentation. The work is a part of the Proyect Multimat Challenge supported by the Regional Goverment of Madrid and presents the results of the collaborative actions between CENIM-CSIC, ICV-CSIC and the Institute of Biomaterials (Univ. Erlangen). [Videonews]


15th August. New Paper. P. Alvaredo, J. Escribano, B. Ferrari, A.J. Sánchez-Herencia and E. Gordo, “Steel binder cermets processed by combination of colloidal processing and powder metallurgy”, Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater. 74, 1-6 (2018). doi:10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2018.02.018

Colloidal techniques are proposed to overcome the agglomeration of Ti(C,N) particles and the low compressibility of the metal-ceramic blends. Aqueous suspensions of steel powders and Ti(C,N) particles are prepared followed by spray-dry to obtain spherical granules able to be processed by pressing and sintering, avoiding oxidation of powders. The agglomerates present higher compressibility than blends, and sintered materials show higher density and hardness.

2nd August. E. Macarena García has reached one movility grant from the JECS Trust to spend three months at the Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics (CNR-Italy) in Faenza working under the supervision of Dr Laura Silvestroni. She is going to study the sintering of WC powders with sintering aids dispersed by colloidal method. She will deal with advenced sintering techniques such as sintering under vacuum and/or controlled atmosphere and Hot Press.

19th July. Javier González defended his Grade Final Project entitled "Additive manufacture of polymer matrix composite materials with high concentration of inorganic load for the processing of mesoporous 100% inorganic hydroxiapatite implants", obtaining outstanding qualification. While the development of the proyect the Start-Up owned by Javier won the prize as best 3D printing project for osseous 3D printing during the national eHealth congress .


6th June. Zoilo González and Begoña Ferrari have participated in the CIMTEC 2018
(14th International Ceramics Congress) hold in Perugia, Italy. Z. Gonzalez presented the oral communications entitled: "Tailoring the Microstructure of TiO2 Photoactive Electrodes by using Cellulose Nanofibers and by Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Absorption" in the Session on Novel Synthesis and Processing, while B Ferrari presented the Invited Oral communication "Layer by Layer Modification of Nanoparticles Surfaces in Suspension: From Order to Chaos during the Nanostructured Growth of a Ceramic Film" during the sesion of Colloidal Processing.

7th MayFarewell picture of Joaquin Yus with the group of Dr. Carmen Galassi (Institute of science and technology for Ceramics, ISTEC - CNR), after his stay of three months in the Electroceramics and  Colloidal Processing group working in the research line about InkJet printing of ceramics suspensions with applications in Supercapacitors. The stay has been supported by a JECS Trust mobility grant. It has been a great time for him and we look forward to meet with the Dr. Carmen Galassi research group in Bologna during the 69th Annual ISE Meeting by September.

13th April. Our group has attended the III annual meeting of the Multimat Project held at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos I in Mostoles. As in previous issues students PhD students presented their work in progress, been this a good oportunity to get an overview of the advances and subjects the different partners are going on. Macarena García presented, into the Energy Challenge sesion, her most recent results in colloidal processing of tungsten compounds. Ana Ferrandez presented the new result on the colloidal an approach to processing of Magnesium-PLA composites into the Health Challenge..


9th April. Our colleague Zolilo González has earned a "Juan de la Cierva - Incorporación" grant to develop its research within our group during the next two years. This is a very competitive contract for young researchers who defended their PhD in the last five years and for what both the hosting group and the candidate curriculum are evaluated. Congrat to all the group and speccialy to Zoilo.


3rd March. Farewell party to wish Behnam Abdollahy (Univ. Teheran) and Laura Ramos (Univ. Erlangen) a safe trip back to home, aftern their stay in our group working in the reserach line about processing of biomaterials. Behnam has been with us for six months processing and characterizing biomaterials with drug carriers and Laura, during two months, has studied the processing of bioactive coatings on metallic substrates by EPD. It has been a great time for all and we look forward to see they again soon.

J Eur Ceram Soc

15th February. New Paper. C. Mendoza, Z. Gonzalez, E. Gordo, B. Ferrari and Y. Castro, “Protective nature of nano-TiN coatings shaped by EPD on Ti substrates”, J. Eur Ceram. Soc, 38 (2) 495-500 (2017)doi:10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2017.09.046.

Uniform and dense TiN coatings have been obtained onto substrates of Ti by Electrophoretic Deposition (EPD). A deposition time of 5 min has been enough to obtain a cohesive layer of 7–8 μm in thickness. The coatings were thermally treated in vacuum atmosphere at 1200 °C for 1 h with heating and cooling rates of 5 °C min−1. The hardness and corrosion resistance of TiN coatings have been evaluated. The nanohardness values of the polished samples have been increased from 2.8–4.8 GPa up to 6.5–8.5 GPa. Besides, the corrosion current density has been reduced more than one order of magnitude obtaining a protective efficiency of 82%. These values demonstrate the strong impact of the colloidal processing over the specific properties of the material.

7th February. Zoilo González has participated in the JICI IV (Meeting of Young Researchers on Colloids and Interfaces) hold in Córdoba from 7th to 9th of February. He presented the oral communication entitled "Colloidal Processing of Ceramic Semiconductor of NiO and TiO2 for Energy Storage-Harvesting Devices"

5th February. Our Group has had an intense participation in the 42th edition of the Alfa de Oro awards celebrated during CEVISAMA2018, the International fair for Architectural Ceramic, Natural Stone, Raw Materials, Glazes, Frits and Machinery. Javier Sánchez has been member of the Jury and Begoña Ferrari, as General Secretary of the Spanish Ceramic Society conducted the Prize ceremony. The Alfa de Oro Awards are given by the Spanish Ceramic Society to recognize the R+D efforts of ceramic industries and related companies on its fabrication processes and final products.

Current Issue
1st February. Dr. Begoña Ferrari is one of the co-editors of the ECES Transactions Issue No. 1 Electrophoretic Deposition VI recently published (vol. 82, No. 1, 2018) containing papers presented at the VI International Conference on Electrophoretic Deposition: Fundamentals and Applications. This book includes the paper by J.L. Yus, Dr. Z. Gonzalez and E. Chinarro, entitled “The Effect of the Substrate on the Conductivity of NiO Electrodes in Electrochemical Capacitor Shaped by Electrophoretic Deposition” doi:10.1149/08201.0097ecst.

29th January. Joaquin Yus is to spent three months at the Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics (CNR-Italy) in Faenza working with the Prof. Carmen Galassi Group. He is to study printable aqueous inks based on modified ceramic semiconductor nanoparticles for the fabrication of micro‐supercapacitors by Inkjet Printing. The stay is supported by the JECS Trust by a mobility action entitled "Inkjet printing of Ni‐based suspensions for micro‐pseudocapacitors".


25th January. New Paper Published. M.Dios, I. Kraleva, Z. Gonzalez, P.Alvaredo, B.Ferrari, E.Gordo and R.Bermejo,, “Mechanical Characterization of Ti(C,N)-based cermets fabricated through different colloidal processing routes”, J. Alloys Compd., 732 806-87(2018).. doi: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2017.10.274

It is focused on the mechanical characterization of Ti(C,N)-based cermets processed through colloidal and powder metallurgy techniques, analyzing the effect of carbon on mechanical response. It is uncovered the direct relationships between mechanical properties and processing route were obtained. The fracture mechanisms observed are dimple ductile and transgranular cleavage.

2nd January. Farewell. We start the year saying goodby to Miguel de Dios who has got a job at Air Liquide. He has started in the new position only fifteen days after his thesis defense!!!. Congratulation, good luck and see you soon!!!


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