Ibáñez Group

Functional Nanomaterials

An understanding of structure-property relationships, as well as the development of materials for target applications, is limited by our ability to control the nanostructure of solid state materials. One potential solution is through the use of nanocrystals, which can be used as artificial atoms to build up materials. Using colloidal synthetic routes, it is possible to “grow” nanocrystals while precisely controlling their size, shape, crystalline phase and composition, thus making it possible to engineer these artificial atoms according to certain specifications. In this way, we are able to create a new generation of complex materials in which components and functionalities can be defined in a predictable way.

The Ibáñez group works to develop novel functional nanomaterials using cost-efficient synthetic methods. The group employs nanoparticle and hybrid solution-nanoparticle precursors to investigate the properties and applications of these nanomaterials as functions of their finely tunable nano-features. In particular, the team synthesizes colloidal nanoparticles and focuses on understanding their chemical and physical properties, with the eventual goal of using these nanoparticles as functional building blocks for diverse applications, primarily thermo-electrics and the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2.

Group Leader

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Current Projects

Syntheses of novel metal and semiconductor nanocrystals | Unravelling of nanocrystal surface chemistry | Nanocrystals assembly and consolidation | Transport properties of nanocrystal-based solids | Electrocatalytic CO2 conversion | Bottom-up processed thermoelectric nanomaterials


Ortega S, Ibanez Sabate M, Liu Y, Zhang Y, Kovalenko M, Cadavid D, Cabot A. 2017. Bottom up engineering of thermoelectric nanomaterials and devices from solution processed nanoparticle building blocks. Chemical Society Reviews. 46(12), 3510–3528. View

Berestok T, Guardia P, Blanco J, Nafria R, Torruella P, López Conesa L, Estradé S, Ibanez Sabate M, De Roo J, Luo Z, Cadavid D, Martins J, Kovalenko M, Peiró F, Cabot A. 2017. Tuning branching in ceria nanocrystals. Chemistry of Materials. 29(10), 4418–4424. View

Coughlan C, Ibanez Sabate M, Dobrozhan O, Singh A, Cabot A, Ryan K. 2017. Compound copper chalcogenide nanocrystals. Chemical Reviews. 117(9), 5865–6109. View

Liu Y, García G, Ortega S, Cadavid D, Palacios P, Lu J, Ibanez M, Xi L, De Roo J, López A, Márti Sánchez S, Cabezas I, De La Mata M, Luo Z, Dun C, Dobrozhan O, Carroll D, Zhang W, Martins J, Kovalenko M, Arbiol J, Noriega G, Song J, Wahnón P, Cabot A. 2016. Solution based synthesis and processing of Sn and Bi doped Cu inf 3 inf SbSe inf 4 inf nanocrystals nanomaterials and ring shaped thermoelectric generators. Journal of Materials Chemistry A. 5(6), 2592–2602. View

Luo Z, Márti Sánchez S, Nafria R, Joshua G, De La Mata M, Guardia P, Flox C, Martínez Boubeta C, Simeonidis K, Llorca J, Morante J, Arbiol J, Ibanez Sabate M, Cabot A. 2016. Fe3O4@NiFexOy nanoparticles with enhanced electrocatalytic properties for oxygen evolution in carbonate electrolyte. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. 8(43), 29461–29469. View

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Since 2018 Assistant Professor, IST Austria
2014-2018 Research Fellow, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2013-2014 Research Fellow, Catalonia Institute of Energy Research (IREC), Spain 
2013 Visiting Researcher, Northwestern University, USA
2012 Visiting Ph.D. student, Cornell University, USA
2011 Visiting Ph.D. student, Caltech Materials Science, USA
2010 Visiting Ph.D. student, University of Chicago, USA
2009-2013 Graduate researcher assistant, University of Barcelona, Spain
2009 Visiting Ph.D. student, Institute for Nanoscience and Cryogenics (INAC), CEA, France
2008-2009 Graduate researcher assistant, University of Barcelona, Spain

Selected Distinctions

2017 Ružička Prize
2017 ETH Career Seed Grant
2014 Beatriu de Pinós Postdoctoral Grant
2013 PhD Extraordinary Award, University of Barcelona
2009 Training program for Academic Staff (FPU)

Additional Information

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