OLD – Supercritical Fluids and Functional Materials

The present research line is led by Prof. Concepción Domingo and focuses on the development of new nanostructured materials using clean technology: supercritical CO2 (scCO2). The main focus of our research is drug delivery, biomaterials and cosmetics, although aspects of commodity materials processing using this technology are also explored: materials for CO2 capture, porous transparent supports for photocatalysis, etc. Current research interests are grouped into the following interlinked topics:


Development of supercritical fluid technology


The overall objective is to use the clean supercritical fluid bottom-up nanotechnology route, coupled with other chemical processing approaches, such as sonochemistry,  as a platform to develop flexible manufacturing routes for the cost-effective production of primary nanoparticles and composite nanostructures using sustainable processes. scCO2 technology is used for the production of high performance existing and new products with unique characteristics in regard of composition (purity), size (micro or nanoscale) and architecture (fibers, foams).

This simple, renewable compressed fluid has many advantages and it can be used to achieve multiple results in materials manufacturing processes, where it remains as an attractive alternative to organic solvents that are widely recognized as pollutant or toxic. Supercritical CO2 is a non-destructive fluid with null surface tension, thus adequate to create or manipulate complex primary nanoparticles, functional nanomaterials and nanostructures. In addition, dry products are obtained after expansion. Moreover, the low viscosity of the compressed fluid and its high diffusivity allows for exceptionally effective penetration in nanopores.



Applications in drug delivery systems and biomaterials

One of our main research interests is directed towards exploring the use of CO2 fluid technology for up scaling the production of nanostructured carriers to be applied as controlled drug delivery systems and/or scaffolds. Class of materials target: (a) traditional biocompatible polymeric matrixes, and (b) smart inorganic nanoproducts, involving nanoporous silica with a magnetic core (g-Fe2O3@SiO2; material produced in collaboration with Dr. Anna Roig, Dpt. Crystallography, ICMAB). These matrixes are loaded with selected drugs and with a label for malignant cells. The designed materials have the greatest therapeutic potential in those clinical scenarios that require the delivery of active agents at a specific point of the body while avoiding systemic effects of toxicity; in particular, cancer tumors and localized inflammations.

Case study biomaterials: With regard to this topic, our work focuses on the preparation of nanostructured artificial scaffolds for tissue engineering. Not only the material but also the architecture of the scaffold plays an important role in modulating the tissue growth and response behavior of cultured cells. Laboratory-designed scaffolds in our group using scCO2 adopt forms ranging from monolithic microcellular structures (sponges) to networks of fibers. The use of polymer fibers seems to have some intrinsic advantages from a biomimetic approach, due to its physical similarity to natural collagen fibers.


28-02-2011_10-48-09Case study for drug delivery:

The research is directed to the processing of particles of porous organic (polymeric) and inorganic (SiO2) matrixes functionalized with the necessary moieties to be applied as a target drug delivery systems. To create the smart nanovector, the matrix is loaded with a selected drug (•) bonded to the matrix through a coupling agent (28-02-2011_10-52-23); and additionally with a label for targeting malignant cells (y). Moreover, amphiphilic coating (esp) is necessary to minimize the attack of the immune system. The use of magnetic nanoparticles (28-02-2011_10-53-19) allows guided targeting by means of an external magnetic field and, simultaneously, imaging diagnosis using the g-Fe2O3 as a contrast enhancer.



Applications of high-tech and commodity materials

A further objective of the group is to extend the state of knowledge in scCO2 technology in new directions by exploring and developing efficient processes for the production of high-tech and commodity products.


Case study Calcium Carbonate: Precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) is conventionally produced through the gas–solid–liquid carbonation route. However, atmospheric carbonation processes are slow and have low carbonation efficiency. A novel technology based on the combination of scCO2 and ultrasonic agitation is developed in our group for the preparation of high-yield PCC, the most used white pigment in the world. Besides, accelerated carbonation methods using scCO2 as a reactant have been extended for the production of nanometric PCC, the formation of dense and low-pH cements and the in-situ formation of high added value papers (fi, light weight high-opacity bible paper). A significant acceleration and intensification of the existing carbonation methods are needed in order to design more efficient processes for producing PCC, as well as to increase the efficacy of CO2 geological sequestration methods.



Case study Photocatalysis: we also investigated on processes of surfaces (nanoparticles and nanopores) modification using scCO2 with the objective of modulating the photoactivity of several matrixes. Ship-in-a-bottle host–guest supercritical processes are carried out in the micro- and mesoporous restricted spaces provided by silica aerogels and aluminosilicates with the objective of synthesizing photoactive molecules inside the nanoporous matrices. TiO2 photoactivity is used for UV-radiation protection in cosmetics after nanoparticles hydrophobization using a supercritical silanization method. The developed silanization process is also used for aminosilano impregnation and, thus, preparation of materials for CO2 capture.




If you are interested in these research topics do not hesitate to contact us at 


Inorganic materials and electrolytes for battery applications

This research line is led by Prof. M. Rosa Palacín and focuses on the crystal chemistry and electrochemistry of inorganic materials for energy-storage applications.  It involves both exploring new compounds and optimising already known phases.  Special emphasis is paid to synthesis-structure-performance relationships with the aim of tailoring structure and microstructure to maximise electrochemical performance.  Current research involves electrode materials for nickel, lithium or sodium batteries:

Nickel battery materials

Despite the advent of Li-ion technology, nickel based batteries are in use in HEVs or stationary applications due to its flat discharge, excellent high rate performance, long cycle life, abuse tolerance and competitive price.  Research within this topic mainly involves the positive electrode, which is a clear example of complex crystal chemistry underlying behind battery operation. 

 Crystal chemistry and performance in the nickel oxyhydroxide electrode 


The redox mechanism in the positive nickel oxyhydroxide electrode is based subsequent oxidation of β-Ni(OH)2 to yield β-NiOOH and further reduction to β-Ni(OH)2, with a strong influence of microstructure (particle size, stacking faults, strains,…) in the electrochemical performance.  Nowithstanding, the difficulty in independent reliable estimation of particle size, strain and defects led to conflicting conclusions on the relative importance of each factor.  By means of Rietveld refinement coupled to TEM, we have been able to independently determine crystallite size and relative amount of stacking faults and assess their influence in electrochemical performance.

The low crystalinity of β-NiOOH had for long hindered its structural and led to a common belief that it was isostructural to β-Ni(OH)2 (ABAB oxygen layer stacking sequence).  Rietveld refinement in which structural and microstructural models were simultaneously taken into account has allowed us to dismiss this fact and determine an alternative ABCA stacking for β-NiOOH.  This demonstrates that reversible structure changes take place in nickel battery positive electrodes under cycling and contributes to the understanding of the operation mechanism at atomic level.

 See for instance: “New insights on the microstructural characterisation of nickel hydroxides and correlation with electrochemical properties” J. Mater. Chem. 16, 2925 (2006) and “Deciphering the structural transformations during nickel oxyhydroxide electrode operation” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 129, 5840 (2007).

Lithium battery materials

Lithium batteries have been key in the development of portable electronics and are now considered the most promising technology to power electric vehicles.  Our research activity within this field is mostly focused in improving the performance of electrodes by both exploring new compounds with interesting properties and also studying the mechanisms that govern the behaviour of electrode materials in search of optimal power and energy densities.  We are founding members of the ALISTORE-ERI, ( an European virtual research institute devoted to battery research that is currently headed by Dr. M. Rosa Palacín and Prof. Patrice Simon. ALISTORE-ERI provides direct access to characterization platforms and collaboration with European leading academic institutions as well as close contact with companies interested in energy storage which are members of the ALISTORE Industrial Club.

 Studies on commercial phases


These studies are mainly carried out within the framework of industrial contracts.  They involve compatibility studies, electrode optimisation, etc.  Alternatively, the optimisation of high temperature performance is also one of our targets.


See for instance: “Development and implementation of a high temperature electrochemical cell for lithium batteries” Electrochem. Comm. 9, 708 (2007), “High temperature electrochemical performance of nanosized LiFePO4 J. Power Sources 195, 6897 (2010), “Polyfluorinated boron cluster-based salts: A new electrolyte for application in Li4Ti5O12/LiMn2O4 rechargeable lithium ion batteries” J. Power Sources 195, 1479 (2010).

  Electrode formulation: alternative carbon coating procedure

Battery electrodes must exhibit high intrinsic electronic and ionic conductivities in order to have acceptable reaction kinetics. The higher the charge/discharge rates at which the battery is expected to operate the larger electronic and ionic conductivities the electrodes must display. A common practice, especially for low intrinsic conductivity electrode materials, is to coat the particles surface with either a metal, a conducting polymer or, most generally, carbon (usually less than 2% in weight).


Traditionally such carbon coatings are achieved through diverse chemical procedures typically involving a high temperature pyrolysis step with difficult control of the deposit thickness and uniformity and are not applicable to electrode active materials which may degrade under such conditions. We have developed an alternative carbon coating procedure based on physical deposition of carbon through evaporation under vacuum that can be carried out at room temperature under dry conditions,hence being generally applicable to any electrode active material. The “quality” of the coating in terms of conductivity and graphitization degree is similar to traditional methods involving the use of liquids and high temperature treatments under reducing conditions. Studies on selected compounds prove the conformal nature of the coating and the easy control of its thickness through deposition time together with the related effects in changing the nature of the electrode/electrolyte interface (e.g. enhancing conductivity while suppressing side reactions).

See for instance: “Optimisation of performance through electrode formulation in conversion materials for lithium ion batteries:Co3O4 as a case example”, J. Power Sources 212, 233 (2012), “A new room temperature and solvent free carbon coating procedure for battery electrode materials” Energy Environ. Sci. 6, 3363 (2013).

Recent review papers: 

“Recent advances in rechargeable battery materials: a chemist’s perspective” Chem. Soc. Rev. 38, 2565 (2009), “Beyond intercalation-based Li-ion batteries: the state of the art and challenges of electrode materials reacting through conversion reactions” Adv. Mater. 22, E170 (2010), “Recent achievements on inorganic electrode materials for Lithium-ion batteries” JACS,137, 3140 (2015).

Sodium battery materials

 The implementation of a lithium based technology on a large scale faces an important challenge, since we cannot ignore controversial debates on lithium availability and cost. New sustainable chemistries must be developed, and the most appealing alternative is to use sodium instead of lithium.  There are several reasons: similar intercalation chemistry, sodium resources are in principle unlimited and it is unexpensive when compared to lithium.  Sodium technology has already been successfully implemented in high temperature beta-alumina cells (either Na/S or Na/NiCl2 ZEBRA-type).  Mindful of these considerations, within the current knowledge gained in Li-ion technology, a room temperature Na-ion cell should be feasible.   Diverse phases are being currently studied that are able to reversibly insert and extract sodium ions with acceptable capacity values.  Efforts are pursued to understand redox mechanisms, ascertain the influence of microstructure and optimize electrolyte formulations for maximising the electrochemical yield. altLaboratory full Na-ion cells have been assembled using hard carbon negative electrodes and EC:PC:DMC based electrolytes that display an operation voltage of 3.65 V, very low polarisation and excellent capacity retention upon cycling with ca. 97 mAh/g of Na3V2(PO4)2F3 after more than 120 cycles together with satisfactory coulombic efficiency (> 98.5%), very good power performance and energy densities comparable to those of current state-of-the art lithium-ion technology.

See for instance: “Na2Ti3O7 : Lowest Voltage ever reported oxide insertion electrode for Sodium ion batteries”, Chem. Mat. 23, 4109 (2011), “In search of an optimized electrolyte for Na-ion batteries” Energy Environ. Sci. 5, 8572 (2012), “High capacity hard carbon anodes for sodium ion batteries in additive free electrolyte” Electrochem. Comm. 27, 85 (2013), “Towards high energy density sodium ion batteries through electrolyte optimization” Energy Environ. Sci. 6, 2361 (2013).“On the high and low temperature performances of Na-ion battery materials: Hard carbon as a case study” Electrochem. Comm. 54, 51 (2015).

Recent review papers: 

“Non-aqueous electrolytes for sodium-ion batteries” J. Mater. Chem. A 3, 22 (2015).


The publications detailed above are just few selected examples. Full list of publications can be found under the “Publications” section.


If you are interested in these research topics do not hesitate to contact us at 

Nanoengineering of Carbon and Inorganic Materials

This research line is led by Dr. Gerard Tobias and focuses on the design and engineering of carbon and inorganic based functional nanomaterials.
NEWS: Gerard Tobias has been granted an ERC Consolidator grant! 
Current research interests are grouped into the following interlinked topics:

Bioengineering of carbon nanomaterials

Design and applications of filled carbon nanotubes


One of our main research interests is directed towards exploring the applications that the encapsulation of materials inside carbon nanotubes (“carbon nanocapsules”) might have in different areas. Of special interest is their use in the biomedical field, specially in the areas of cancer diagnosis and therapy. Using this approach we have shown that radionuclide filled carbon nanotubes allow ultrasensitive imaging and a complete redirected biodistribution of the encapsulated radionuclides. Surface functionalisation of these nanocapsules offers versatility towards modulation of the in vivo fate of the radioemitting crystals in a manner determined by the nanocapsule that delivers them (Nature Materials 2010. 9, 485; see also “News and Views”: Nature Materials 2010, 9, 467; Nature Chemisty 2010, 604, 2; Nano Today 2010, 5, 245). In the framework of the european network RADDEL, that we are coordinating, we have recently proven the targeting of cancer cells. In this study, the nanocapsules contained in their interior biomedically relevant payloads and their surfaces were covalently modified with antibodies (Nanoscale 2016). 

These filled carbon nanotubes also offer great potential as drug delivery systems. In this case a controlled release of the encapsulated payload is desired. To this end we have developed pH-sensitive “nano-corks” that allow a triggered release of the encapsulated compounds by lowering the pH of the aqueous media (Carbon 2010, 48, 1912; Chem. Commun. 2008, 2164). We have recently reviewed the advances on the use of filled carbon nanotubes for biomedical imaging and drug delivery (Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery 2015, 12, 563). In terms of drug delivery we have also recently expanded the work to metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and reported on light triggered drug delivery (Adv. Func. Mater. 2016).  

Chemistry of carbon nanomaterials  

chem eur journal 2014 cover

Research under the broad heading of “Chemistry of carbon nanomaterials” focuses on different aspects that are essential for the processing and application of these nanomaterials (mainly carbon nanotubes and graphene), ranging from their purification (Carbon 2016, 93, 1059to the formation of composite materials, going through their functionalisation with both organic and inorganic compounds (Chem. Eur. J. 2015, 21, 16792)The group is also interested in the chemistry and applications of graphene and related materials. In this respect, we have recently demonstrated an enhanced thermal oxidation stability effect for reduced graphene oxide throuhg nitrogen doping (Chem. Eur. J. 2014, 20, 11999-12003). By doping of the graphene structure, it is possible to tailor the electronic and magnetic properties of the material by modulating the band structure to further expand the range of applications (Carbon 2016, 96, 594). We have also recently explored the functionalization of the surface of graphene oxdide with biomedical relevant moieties for cancer therapy (Chem. Eur. J. 2016).   

Scale-up production

The group is also interested in product manufacturing using scalable methodologies that can be implemented at the industrial level. We have for instance developed protocols for the large scale purification and processing of as-produced carbon nanotube materials in close collaboration with carbon nanotube industrial suppliers. On the other hand we are also working together with the Technological center EURECAT on the scaling-up production of composite materials, with the aim to transfer the technology developed within the group to customer applications.

Manufacturing of inorganic materials

Inorganic nanoparticles
Another area of major interest in our group is the formation of inorganic nanostructures, which can take the form of nanocomposites, nanoparticles, nanotubes or nanorods. Several synthetic approaches are employed for the preparation of these nanoparticulate systems including hydrothermal synthesis and template assisted growth. Initial work focused on the production of silica composites with carbon nanotubes (J. Mater. Chem. 2008, 18, 5344) which then expanded to other kinds of materials. We are for instance currently developing titania nanoparticles that organize in a superstructural nanonecklace. These highly porous systems are of interest for their photocatalytic activity. We also prepare superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION). These systems have been recently studied for their potential as theragnostic agents in the biomedical field (Adv. Funct. Mater. 2014, 1880-1894, Small 2016). The use of SPION allows both, their detection by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and can also be used for therapeutic purposes in hyperthermia.


adv funct mater 14 frontispiece

Core-shell inorganic nanostructures

altOne of the defining structural features of nanotubular structures is their long inner hollow cavity. Recently, we have demonstrated a new synthetic strategy that allows the formation of core–shell nanotubular structures by using multiwall tungsten sulfide nanotubes as host templates.The relatively large diameter of the tungsten sulfide nanotube (inner and outer diameters of about 10 and 20 nm, respectively) allows conformal folding of the guest layered material on the interior wall of the nanotube template, leading to core–shell inorganic nanotubular structures. In our first example we growth tubular lead iodide structures in the interior of the tungsten sulfide nanotubes (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 1230). More recently we have shown that these novel templating systems can indeed accomodate a wide variety of materials in their interior (Nano Res. 2010, 3, 170).  In a recently published paper (Adv. Mater. 2014, 26, 2016-2021) we reported the template assisted growth of single-layered inorganic nanotubes. Single-crystalline lead iodide single-layered nanotubes have been prepared using the inner cavities of carbon nanotubes as hosting templates. The diameter of the resulting inorganic nanotubes is merely dependent on the diameter of the host. This facile method is highly versatile opening up new horizons in the preparation of single-layered nanostructures.  


Research projects

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The group is actively participating in several research projects both at national and international level. Some of the recent projects include: 


Nanocapsules for Targeted Delivery of Radioactivity, RADDEL (2012-2016).

Network Coordinatior: Dr. Gerard Tobias. RADDEL is an Initial Training Network (ITN), funded by the European Commission FP7. RADDEL is formed by  11 partners and provides an intersectorial platform for the training of young researchers. See:


Development of ultra-sensitive nanotherapeutic anticancer agents for boron neutron capture therapy, NANOTER (2016-2018).

Coordinatior: Dr. Gerard Tobias. Marie-Curie Fellowship (Dr. Gil Gonçalves). Funded by the European Commission H2020. 


Graphene reinforce composites for 3D printing technology, 3D-PRINTGRAPh (2016-2018). 

Coordinatior: Dr. Gerard Tobias. Marie-Curie Fellowship (Dr. Maria Soria). Funded by the European Commission H2020. 


Challenges in inorganic materials for energy applications, CHALENG (2015-2017).

Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity. CHALENG aims to developed novel inorganic nanomaterials for energy applications. The work of Dr. Tobias will mainly focus on the design and production of inorganic nanoparticles of a wide variety of materials. 


Scale-up production of composite materials, (2014-2015).

Principal Investigator: Dr. Gerard Tobias. This project is funded by the Technological Centre EURECAT and aims to produce composite materials at large scale.


COST Action TD1004: Theragnostics Imaging and Therapy: An Action to Develop Novel Nanosized Systems for Imaging-Guided Drug Delivery (2011-2015).

Dr. Tobias is involvedin the Management Committee of this COST Action that brings together the major European research groups working on the development of theragnostic (diagnostic/therapeutic) agents.  

Outreach Activities

We are involved in several outreach activitiest targeting the non-scientific community, mainly through articles on popularization of science, interviews to newspapers, radio and television. Here are the links to some of them:

HOT News! Our work on nanocapsules for targeted anticancer therapy has been highlighted in several newspapers, 3rd March 2016:

altNational newspaper in spanish (work on targeted anticancer nanocapsules)  altNational newspaper in spanish (work on targeted anticancer nanocapsules) altFor medical doctors, in spanish (work on targeted anticancer nanocapsules)

societat catalana de quimicaArticle in catalan, for undergraduate students

antena 3 logo

TV news in spanish; note: the images shown were not provided by us


Work of carbon nanocapsules selected as one of the 20 most promising advances (#14).

logo-onda-cero1Radio interview in spanish. Program “Partiendo de Cero” (min. 55)
la-veu-de-navasRadio interview in catalan europa_press_logo    Newspaper in spanish 20minutosNewspaper in spanish btvResearch at ICMAB was the focus of the program “Connexió Barcelona”. We had the opportunity to show some work (in catalan).

Dr. Tobias is a member of nanoDYF, a network for dissemination, outreach and training activities in Nanotechnology. For more information, visit:                                                                                nanodyf

An opinion article about Graphene (“Graphene: a sea of new possibilities”) has been published in the Spanish magazine on technological innovation “Moldes y matrices“.                                                     alt


Functionalization of filled radioactive multi-walled carbon nanocapsules by arylation reaction forin vivodelivery of radio-therapy. Gajewska A., Wang J.T., Klippstein R., Martincic M., Pach E., Feldman R., Saccavini J.-C., Tobias G., Ballesteros B., Al-Jamal K.T., Da Ros T., J. Mat. Chem. B.  2022, 10 (1), 47-56.

Neutron-irradiated antibody-functionalised carbon nanocapsules for targeted cancer radiotherapy. Wang J.T.-W., Spinato C., Klippstein R., Costa P.M., Martincic M., Pach E., Ruiz de Garibay A.P., Ménard-Moyon C., Feldman R., Michel Y., Šefl M., Kyriakou I., Emfietzoglou D., Saccavini J.-C., Ballesteros B., Tobias G., Bianco A., Al-Jamal K.T., Carbon.  2020, 162, 410-422.

Neutron Activated 153Sm Sealed in Carbon Nanocapsules for in Vivo Imaging and Tumor Radiotherapy. Wang J.T.-W., Klippstein R., Martincic M., Pach E., Feldman R., Šefl M., Michel Y., Asker D., Sosabowski J.K., Kalbac M., Da Ros T., Ménard-Moyon C., Bianco A., Kyriakou I., Emfietzoglou D., Saccavini J.-C., Ballesteros B., Al-Jamal K.T., Tobias G., ACS Nano.  2020, 14 (1) 129-141.

In vivo behaviour of glyco-NaI@SWCNT ‘nanobottles’. De Munari S., Sandoval S., Pach E., Ballesteros B., Tobias G., Anthony D.C., Davis B.G.,  Inorg. Chim. Acta.  2019, 495, 118933.

Non-cytotoxic carbon nanocapsules synthesized via one-pot filling and end-closing of multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Martincic M., Vranic S., Pach E., Sandoval S., Ballesteros B., Kostarelos K., Tobias G., Carbon  2019, 141, 782-793

Evaluation of the immunological profile of antibody-functionalized metal-filled single-walled carbon nanocapsules for targeted radiotherapy. Perez Ruiz De Garibay A., Spinato C., Klippstein R., Bourgognon M., Martincic M., Pach E., Ballesteros B., Ménard-Moyon C., Al-Jamal K.T., Tobias G., Bianco A., Sci Rep  2017, 7, 42605

Carbon nanotubes allow capture of krypton, barium and lead for multichannel biological X-ray fluorescence imaging. Serpell C.J., Rutte R.N., Geraki K., Pach E., Martincic M., Kierkowicz M., De Munari S., Wals K., Raj R., Ballesteros B., Tobias G., Anthony D.C., Davis B.G., Nat. Commun.  2016, 7, 13118

Design of antibody-functionalized carbon nanotubes filled with radioactivable metals towards a targeted anticancer therapy. Spinato C., Perez Ruiz De Garibay A., Kierkowicz M., Pach E., Martincic M., Klippstein R., Bourgognon M., Wang J.T.-W., Ménard-Moyon C., Al-Jamal K.T., Ballesteros B., Tobias G., Bianco A., Nanoscale.  2016, 8 (25), 12626-12638

Filled carbon nanotubes in biomedical imaging and drug delivery. Martincic M., Tobias G., Expert Opin. Drug Deliv.  2015, 12 (4), 563-581

Filled and glycosylated carbon nanotubes for in vivo radioemitter localization and imaging. Hong S.Y., Tobias G., Al-Jamal K.T., Ballesteros B., Ali-Boucetta H., Lozano-Perez S., Nellist P.D., Sim R.B., Finucane C., Mather S.J., Green M.L.H., Kostarelos K., Davis B.G., Nat. Mater.  2010, 9 (6), 485-490


Radiolabeled Cobaltabis(dicarbollide) Anion-Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites for in Vivo Bioimaging and Boron Delivery. Ferrer-Ugalde A., Sandoval S., Pulagam K.R., Muñoz-Juan A., Laromaine A., Llop J., Tobias G., Núñez R., ACS Appl. Nano Mater.  2021, 4 (2), 1613-1625


Structure of inorganic nanocrystals confined within carbon nanotubes. Sandoval S., Tobias G., Flahaut E., Inorg. Chim. Acta.  2019, 492, 66-75

Selective Laser-Assisted Synthesis of Tubular van der Waals Heterostructures of Single-Layered PbI2 within Carbon Nanotubes Exhibiting Carrier Photogeneration. Sandoval S., Kepić D., Pérez Del Pino Á., György E., Gómez A., Pfannmoeller M., Tendeloo G.V., Ballesteros B., Tobias G., ACS Nano.  2018, 12 (7), 6648-6656

Encapsulation of two-dimensional materials inside carbon nanotubes: Towards an enhanced synthesis of single-layered metal halides. Sandoval S., Pach E., Ballesteros B., Tobias G., Carbon.  2017, 123, 129-134

Synthesis of PbI2 single-layered inorganic nanotubes encapsulated within carbon nanotubes. Cabana L., Ballesteros B., Batista E., Magén C., Arenal R., Orõ-Solé J., Rurali R., Tobias G., Adv. Mater.  2014, 26 (13), 2016-2021


Green and Solvent-Free Supercritical CO2-Assisted Production of Superparamagnetic Graphene Oxide Aerogels: Application as a Superior Contrast Agent in MRI. Borrás A., Fraile J., Rosado A., Marbán G., Tobias G., López-Periago A.M., Domingo C., ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng.  2020, 8 (12), 4877-4888

Particle size determination from magnetization curves in reduced graphene oxide decorated with monodispersed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. Bertran A., Sandoval S., Oró-Solé J., Sánchez À., Tobias G., J. Colloid Interface Sci.  2020, 566, 107-119

Microwave-assisted synthesis of SPION-reduced graphene oxide hybrids for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Llenas M., Sandoval S., Costa P.M., Oró-Solé J., Lope-Piedrafita S., Ballesteros B., Al-Jamal K.T., Tobias G., Nanomaterials.  2019, 9 (10), 1364

Novel Fe3O4@GNF@SiO2 nanocapsules fabricated through the combination of an: In situ formation method and SiO2 coating process for magnetic resonance imaging. Lu C., Sandoval S., Puig T., Obradors X., Tobias G., Ros J., Ricart S., RSC Adv.  2017, 7  (40), 24690-24697

The Shortening of MWNT-SPION Hybrids by Steam Treatment Improves Their Magnetic Resonance Imaging Properties in Vitro and in Vivo. Wang J.T.-W., Cabana L., Bourgognon M., Kafa H., Protti A., Venner K., Shah A.M., Sosabowski J.K., Mather S.J., Roig A., Ke X., Van Tendeloo G., De Rosales R.T.M., Tobias G., Al-Jamal K.T., Small.  2016, 12 (21), 2893-2905

Magnetically decorated multiwalled carbon nanotubes as dual mri and spect contrast agents. Cabana L., Bourgognon M., Wang J.T.-W., Protti A., Klippstein R., De Rosales R.T.M., Shah A.M., Fontcuberta J., Tobías-Rossell E., Sosabowski J.K., Al-Jamal K.T., Tobias G., Adv. Funct. Mater.  2014, 24 (13), 1880-1894


Thermochemistry of nitrogen-doped reduced graphene oxides. Sandoval S., Muthuswamy E., Chen J., Fuertes A., Tobias G., Navrotsky A., J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. 2020, 40 (16), 6322-6327

Tuning the nature of N-based groups from n-containing reduced graphene oxide: Enhanced thermal stability using post-synthesis treatments. Sandoval S., Tobias G., Nanomaterials. 2020, 10 (8), 1451, 1-16

Solvent-free functionalisation of graphene oxide with amide and amine groups at room temperature. Sandoval S., Fuertes A., Tobias G., Chem. Commun. 2019, 55 (81), 12196-12199

Recent publications

The papers detailed below are some of the most recent publications from the group. Further references can be found under the “Publications” section:

The shortening of MWNT-SPION hybrids by steam treatment improves their magnetic resonance imaging properties in vitro and in vivo
L. Cabana, M. Bourgognon, J.T-W. Wang, A. Protti, R. Klippstein, R.T.M. de Rosales, A.M. Shah, J. Fontcuberta, E. Tobías-Rossell, J.K. Sosabowski, K.T. Al-Jamal, G. Tobias
Small, DOI: 10.1002/smll201502721 (2016)
Metal-organic framework coated optical fibres as light-triggered drug delivery vehicles
M. Nazari, M. Rubio-Martinez, G. Tobias, J.P. Barrio, F. Nazari, K. Konstas, R. Babarao, B.W. Muir, S.F. Collins, A.J. Hill, M.C. Duke, M.R. Hill
Advanced Functional Materials,DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201505260 (2016)
Design of antibody-functionalized carbon nanotubes filled with radioactivable metals towards a targeted anticancer therapy
C. Spinato, A. Perez Ruiz de Garibay, M. Kierkowicz, E. Pach, M. Martincic, R. Klippstein, M. Bourgognon, J. Tzu-Wen Wang, C. Ménard-Moyon, K. T. Al-Jamal, B. Ballesteros, G. Tobias,  A. Bianco
Nanoscale DOI: 10.1039/C5NR07923C (2016)      
Nanotexturing to enhance photoluminescent response of atomically thin indium selenide with highly tunable band gap
M. Brotons-Gisbert, D. Andres-Penares, J. Suh, F. Hidalgo, R. Abargues, P. J. Rodríguez-Cantó, A. Segura, A. Cros, G. Tobias, E. Canadell, P. Ordejón, J. Wu, J.P. Martínez-Pastor, J-F. Sánchez-Royo
Nano Letters DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b00689 (2016)
Highly dispersible and stable anionic boron clusters-graphene oxide nanohybrids
J. Cabrera-González, L. Cabana, B. Ballesteros, G. Tobias, R. Núñez
Chemistry – A European Journal, 22, 5096-5101 (2016) 
Synthesis of dry SmCl3 from Sm2O3 revisited. Implications for the encapsulation of samarium compounds into carbon nanotubes
M. Martincic, C. Frontera, E. Pach, B. Ballesteros, G. Tobias
Polyhedron DOI:10.1016/j.poly.2016.03.045 (2016)
Tuning the nature of nitrogen atoms in N-containing reduced graphene oxide
S. Sandoval, N. Kumar, J. Oro-Solé, C.N.R. Rao, A. Fuertes, G. Tobias
Carbon, 96, 594-602 (2016)
Effect of steam treatment time on the length and structure of single-walled and double-walled carbon nanotubes
M. Kierkowicz, E. Pach, A. Santidrián, E. Tobías-Rossell, M. Kalbáč, B. Ballesteros, G. Tobias
ChemNanoMat, 2, 108-116 (2016)
Efficient chemical modification of carbon nanotubes with metallacarboranes
L. Cabana, A. González-Campo, X. Ke, G. Van Tendeloo, R. Núñez, G. Tobias
Chemistry – An European Journal, 21, 16792-16795 (2015)
The role of steam treatment on the structure, purity and lenght distribution of multi-walled carbon nanotubes
L. Cabana, X. Ke, D. Kepic, J. Oro-Solé, E. Tobias-Rossell, G. Van Tendeloo, G. Tobias
Carbon, 93, 1059-1067 (2015)
Enhanced thermal oxidation stability of reduced graphene oxide by nitrogen doping
S. Sandoval, N. Kumar; A. Sundaresan; C.N.R. Rao; A. Fuertes; G. Tobias
Chemistry – A European Journal, 20, 11999-12003 (2014)
Magnetically decorated multi-walled carbon nanotubes as dual MRI and SPECT contrast agents
J. T-W Wang, L. Cabana, M. Bourgognon, H. Kafa, A. Protti, K. Venner, A. M. Shah, J. Sosabowski, S. J. Mather, A. Roig, X. Ke, G. Van Tendeloo, R. T. M. de Rosales, G. Tobias, K. T. Al-Jamal
Advanced Functional Materials, 24, 1880-1894 (2014)
Synthesis of PbI2 single-layered inorganic nanotubes encapsulated within carbon nanotubes
L. Cabana, B. Ballesteros, E. Batista, C. Magén, R. Arenal, J. Oró-Solé, R. Rurali, G. Tobias
Advanced Materials, 26, 2016-2021 (2014) 

Reviews and Book chapters

Filled carbon nanotubes in biomedical imaging and drug delivery
Markus Martincic, Gerard Tobias
Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, 12, 563-581 (2015)

Gerard Tobias, Emmanuel Flahaut. Smart carbon nanotubes, Smart materials for drug delivery (Royal Society of Chemistry), Vol. 2, p. 90-116 (2013). ISBN: 978-1-84973-552-0.

Gerard Tobias, Ernest Mendoza, Belén Ballesteros. Functionalisation of carbon nanotubes, Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology (Springer) Part 7, 911-919 (2012). ISBN: 978-90-481-9750-7.


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