Advanced functional materials

This research line concerns mainly the implementation through deep fundamental understanding of functional materials for advanced technological needs. Functional materials are of critical importance in materials for energy such as electro- and magnetocaloric materials, for energy storage and for solar harvesting functions. In this regard, BCMaterials covers the synthesis, development and scale-up of a wide range of materials for fuel cells and batteries, photovoltaic materials, permanent magnets, sensors and biosensors.


Ahmad, Shahzada Ikerbasque Research Professor


Born and brought up in India, studied Materials Chemistry at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (India) and finished his Ph.D. (2006) from National Physical laboratory in the field of Materials chemistry. Subsequently he moved to the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, as Alexander von Humboldt Fellow to work on surface and interface studies of electrodeposited layers in ionic liquids by scanning probe microscopy. He was a regular visitor at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, where he developed nanoporous films for metal-free electro-catalysis and new redox shuttle. In 2011 he accepted the offer as program head of new concept in photovoltaics and advanced materials and was the strategic hire for the Abengoa Research, a corporate research center of multinational energy based conglomerate Abengoa. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, and recently his work was endorsed by European research council consolidator grant (2016). He is the inventor of 7 patents, his work has been summarized in >100 articles, along with many popular science artilces, and the publications list reflects his diverse field of interest in the domain of physical chemistry, nanotechnology and materials science. In summer 2017, he accepted the call from Ikerbasque to work as senior professor at Basque center for materials, applications and Nanostructures.

Interests and objetives
His research targets are advanced materials development for energy conversion, conservation and storage materials application.

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Celaya Azcoaga, Leire Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Leire Celaya Azcoaga graduated in Chemistry in 2018 from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Her undergraduate thesis, entitled “Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for removal of pollutants from aqueous media”, was carried out in the Department of Mineralogy and Petrology of the Faculty of Science and Technology of Leioa as a continuation of her previous work as an intern student at BCMaterials.

Subsequently, she studied a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and an Expertise in International Education + IB Certificate (2019) at Camilo José Cela University after which she continued her scientific career by completing her Master’s degree in New Materials (2020) at the University of the Basque Country and the University of Cantabria. Due to exceptional circumstances, she developed a bibliographic master’s thesis in collaboration with BCMaterials on the state of the art of inner and surface functionalization strategies of Metal-Organic Frameworks as bio-active molecules delivery systems.

Currently, she is starting her PhD in BCMaterials in the field of multifunctional materials for the controlled release of drugs based on inorganic-organic clusters. Her research will also be focusing on the design of bioactive MOF-type materials.

Ghaderian, Abolfazl Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Abolfazl Ghaderian has joined BCMaterials in 2020 as a Post-Doctoral Researcher. His main research interest is designing of organic and inorganic materials for solar cells applications.

Harindu Hemasiri, Naveen Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Naveen Harindu Hemasiri holds BSc (Hons.) in Materials Science and Engineering, and MEng (Hons.) in Printed Electronics Engineering. He received his BSc in Engineering degree with excellent honors from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 2015 and completed his Master of Engineering degree with the best achievement (both academic and research) award from Sunchon National University, Korea in 2018. His undergraduate project examined metal oxide-based solid-state gas sensors and NiTinol based smart shape memory alloys. In 2016 he started working with Prof. Ji-Myon Lee and his master research focused on the improvement of electronic properties of the thinnest known material, graphene and hybrids of it for printed electronics and optoelectronics applications.
One of his graphene projects was awarded as the best project in Brain Korea (BK) 21Plus program in 2017 and obtained a Korean patent in the same year. He joined with the Advanced Functional Materials group in BCMaterials in February 2019 as a pre-doctoral researcher where he is reading for his Ph.D. Currently, he is working on 2D materials beyond graphene and TMD based hole/electron transport materials for perovskite solar cells and temperature-dependent electrical behavior of those materials on solar cell devices.

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Huang, Peng MSCA Fellow – Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Peng Huang received M.S. degree from Beijing Institute of Technology in 2015, under supervision of Prof. Haizheng Zhong and his research focused on synthetizing CdS-based quantum dots and preparing high efficient white light emitting diode. Thereafter, he joined the Laboratory of Advanced Optoelectronic Materials at Soochow University, China and received his PHD degree under the guidance of Prof. Yongfang Li in 2018. During PHD program, he focused on interface engineering of perovskite solar cells with 2D transition metal dichalcogenides.




Interests and objectives
High efficiency and stable perovskite solar cells.

The website of my researchgate:

Muhammed Usman, Haris Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Muhammed Usman Haris has received his Master Degree in Chemistry from Mahatma Gandhi university Kottayam- India in 2017. His master´s thesis was focused on Synthesis of Graft-Polymers and its applications at National Institute of Technology Calicut(NIT-C)- India. Then he joined National Chemical laboratory, Pune as a research assistant to work in the field of Low Dimensional Perovskites for LED application. He has experienced in synthesis, structural and optical characterizations of hybrid halide perovskite materials. Then He joined with the Advanced Functional Materials group in BCMaterials in August 2019  as a pre-Doc and working towards his PhD under  Prof.Shahzada Ahmad.

Pegu, Meenakshi Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Meenakshi Pegu has received her Master Degree in Chemical Sciences from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-G), Guwahati- India in 2015. On her Master thesis she worked on developing a new Fluorescent Chemo sensor and its Application in the group of Prof. G. Krishnamoorthy. She then moved to Bangalore and joined Indian Institute of Science, as a Research assistant to work under Prof. P. Thilagar in the Ministry of Science and Technology funded project from 2016-2018. She has gained knowledge on the synthesis and characterization of smart molecules. Currently, she is working towards her PhD in the group of Prof. Shahzada Ahmad at BCMaterials, working in Europe excellence project within the European research council framework.

Rodriguez Crespo, Bosco Pre-Doctoral Researcher
Bosco Rodríguez Crespo graduated in Physics in 2017 at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). His degree thesis was on “Development on new rare earth reduced permanent magnets based on SmFe12 with enhanced coercivity” carried out in BCMaterials.
Subsequently, he finished his master´s degree in New Materials in 2019 at the University of the Basque Country and the University of Cantabria with a thesis based on “Manufacturing and processing of metamagnetic shape memory alloys for screen-printing inks” carried out in the BCMaterials.
Currently, he is starting his PhD in Multifunctional shape memory alloys under the direction of Daniel Salazar and Volodymyr Chernenko
Salado Manzorro, Manuel Juan de la Cierva Fellow

Atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-Ray difractogram (XRD), Optical measurements (J-V curves, Quantum efficiency (QE), Impedance Spectroscopy (IS), Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), fabrication of solar cell devices (pervoskite based).

Manuel Salado Manzorro received his PhD in Material Science in 2017, from Abengoa Research ( along with Pablo de Olavide University (, under the supervision of Prof. Shahzada Ahmad. He was recognized as the first PhD student to be awarded with the Industrial mention by the Pablo de Olavide University. The main goal of his PhD was the study and development of hybrid perovskite interfaces for the improvement in stability and efficiency of photovoltaics solar cells. His background as a Chemical Engineer and his subsequent Master degree in Nanomaterialsand nanostructures (www.unizar) were beneficial to assess and improve the processes related with the fabrication (scale-up) and development on products based on perovskites. He has written over 15 papers in peer-reviewed international journals, 2 Book chapters and he is also co-inventor of 2 patents in the field of perovskite solar cells.”

Interests and objetives
One of the key points of my PhD was the improvement in device performance and stability of perovskite based solar cells; Working on MOLEMAT (Molecularly Engineered Materials and process for Perovskite solar cell technology) project will give me the oportunity to keep understanding the kinetics of the devices, improving their stability and undertaking new techniques to elucidate the role of the different compounds in perovskite material.

Curriculum VitaeResearchGate

Salazar, Daniel Senior Researcher

Single-crystal growth by floating zone method, magnetic properties and electrical transport, instrumentation design and engineering.

Daniel Salazar Jaramillo is an electronic engineer from the Universidad del Quindío (2007) who received the doctor degree in physics and mathematics from the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha in 2012. He started his research on nanostructured and granular magnetic materials, transition metal oxides, magnetic properties and electrical transport in nanocrystalline oxides, magnetic, structural and thermal properties in strongly correlated electron systems during his PhD. Since late 2013 he is joined to the BCMaterials in a postdoctoral position and currently is focused on the study of the magnetocaloric effect and their physical features on single crystals of magnetic shape memory alloys and on the coercivity enhancement of nanostructured hard magnets by grain boundary engineering.

Interests and objetives

  • Study of the magnetocaloric effect and their physical features on single crystals of magnetic shape memory alloys.
  • Coercivity enhancement of nanostructured hard magnets by grain boundary engineering.

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Shalan, Ahmed Esmail Juan de la Cierva Fellow

Ahmed Esmail Shalan worked as a researcher at Central Metallurgical R&D Institute, Egypt after finishing his PhD. He had obtained his PhD (2017) from the Research Institute for Electronic Science, Hokkaido University, Japan, in the group of Prof. Dr. Hiroaki Misawa with the collaboration of Prof. Dr. Eric Diau -NCTU- Taiwan. It worth to mention that he got a prize during his Ph.D. as the best thesis at the graduate school of information science and technology, Hokkaido university and Ministry of Education Prize. Before he joined Hokkaido University he obtained a fellowship at DAAD visiting scholar internship in (i-MEET-FAU), Erlangen, Germany with Prof. Christoph J. Brabec and CIN2, UAB, Barcelona, Spain with Prof. Monica Lira Cantu. He published almost 30 papers in prestige journals (with h index of 14). Besides, he is an active reviewer for several journals (such as Electrochimica Acta, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, RSC Advances, etc.), a member in the editorial board of different prestigious publishers and have been invited to write several reviews and books chapters and have already published 6 book chapters. Also, he has been invited to give talks in conferences and Institutes.

Interests and objectives:
I have a strong background in chemistry, nanotechnology and materials science. Also, I have a sufficient experience in the field of materials and processes for applications in energy and photonics, with emphasis on halide perovskites. In addition, my experience with fabrication and characterization of solution-processed perovskite-based solar cells devices is shown through my publications.

X-Ray difractogram (XRD), X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Atomic force microscopy (AFM), Optical measurements (J-V curves, Quantum efficiency (QE), Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), fabrication of solar cell devices (dye, organic and pervoskite based).

Valverde de Mingo, Ainara Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Ainara Valverde de Mingo graduated in Chemistry in 2017 at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Her degree thesis was on polymeric coatings with antibacterial properties in the Macromolecular Chemistry Laboratory of the Faculty of Science and Technology of Leioa.

Subsequently, she finished her master’s degree in New Materials in 2018 at the University of the Basque Country and the University of Cantabria with a thesis based on hyaluronic acid and chitosan coatings onto titanium substrates for their use in implants and prothesis, carried out in the Macromolecular Chemistry Laboratory of the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Currently, she is starting her PhD at BCMaterials, in the field of multifunctional materials for environmental sensing and water remediation based on Metal Organic Framework polymeric composites. Her research will be also focused in the study of these materials by different neutronic techniques.


Surface modification and characterization (XPS, SEM, AC, TEM…)
Synthesis and characterization of polymeric materials. (NMR, FTIR, UV-VIS…)
Thermal properties and degradation (DSC, TGA…)

Research Associates

In this research line also take part several Research Associates, that belong to the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and perform part of their activity within BCMaterials. Thus, the work of the different lines is carried out in close collaboration with research groups at the University, promoting excellence and worldwide impact.