José Catalán Toledo

Title of the project: Synthesis and characterization of molecular junctions based on stimuli-responsive organic layers

Supervisor and Host institution: Dr. Núria Crivillers Clusella at the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC)

My research project is aimed to the development of stimuli-responsive organic solid-state molecular electronic devices. The goals of this research project are the design and fabrication of devices based on the use of organic-inorganic hybrid materials with responsive properties, such as photochromic, redox-active, among others, deposited on electrically conductive substrates or anchored to nanoparticles surfaces. In other hand, the use of liquid metals, such as euthectic Gallium-Indium (EGaIn) as a novel method for the electrical characterization of the generated molecular junctions will be studied. This is a simple, versatile, and non-invasive technique in which by top contacting active molecular layers with EGaIn, electrical measurements can be performed without perturbation of the sample.

"Being part of Doctoral training programme in Functional Advanced Materials (DOC-FAM) is such a great opportunity for acquiring knowledge and experience in the supramolecular chemistry and molecular electronics fields in a multidisciplinary environment, as well as other transversal skills required for my development as a future researcher."

I am from Chile and I started my university studies in the city of Valdivia. I obtained my licentiate degree in Biochemistry with maximum distinction at Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh), doing the final thesis work related to the activity of adenosine transporters under conditions of high glucose in human proximal epithelial cells. During my time at the university, I had extensive training directed mainly to research, where I took different courses and had the opportunity to meet several research laboratories, as well as participating as a teaching assistant in a few courses. After a period of gaining experience as a biology and chemistry teacher in high school, I finally decided to go back to research. I joined the Laboratorio de Polímeros at UACh as a research assistant, where I joined a multidisciplinary research group where I could acquire knowledge and training in polymers, molecular assembly, synthesis and characterization of totally organic nanoparticles and the manufacture of highly porous three-dimensional materials integrated with photosensitive molecules or metal oxides, among others. During this period, I had the opportunity to collaborate with other research groups in Chile as well as abroad having a short stay at the Product Technology group at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (The Netherlands) and at the Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros (ICTP-CSIC) (Spain). Currently, in the framework of DOC-FAM, I am part of the Molecular Electronics group at the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (CSIC-ICMAB).

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