Functional surfaces and coatings

To provide surfaces with additional functionalities beyond the traditional decorative or protective ones is a key issue in science and technology. In particular, surface properties present relevant and specific scientific challenges that must be understood in depth prior to their implementation in devices. Paving the way towards a systematic functionalization of surfaces of active materials, via patterning and/or chemical modification techniques, will lead to obtaining specific and tailored magnetic, optical and mechanical responses in these materials upon the application of the pertinent stimulus. In this context, BCMaterials is working on the investigation of patterned surfaces and films and well as on the functional surface modification following a wide variety of methods, including chemical and physical deposition and printing techniques, among others.


Endrino, Jose L. Ikerbasque Research Professor

Short Bio

Jose L. is currently Ikerbasque Professor and Head of Functional Surfaces and Coatings. He carried out his doctoral studies in Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire (USA) on the impact of coating architecture on the hardness, friction and wear of nanocomposite tribological coatings. From 2014 to 2019, he has been the director of the Surface Engineering and Precision Institute (SEPI) at the University of Cranfield (United Kingdom) and co-Director of the Centre of Doctoral Training in Ultra-precision Engineering along with Cambridge University. Previously he worked in the academic sector (at the Institute of Materials Science of Madrid and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), in the industrial sector of renewable energies at Abengoa Research and in the field of tool materials and coatings at the company Oerlikon Balzers in Liechtenstein. He has published more than 100 scientific articles and has been inventor of more than 24 national and international patent applications in new materials and coatings for solar energy, catalysis and tools. He has been the main organizer of several international conferences and symposiums in the field of surface engineering and has acted as associate editor of several international scientific journals. He has supervised postgraduate students from many countries including Spain, Poland, United Kingdom, France, Nigeria, Kenia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan Malaysia and China.

Research Interests

I) Deposition of thin films and coatings for a wide variety of applications (tribology, catalysis, energy).

II) Digital manufacturing of advanced coatings and surfaces.

III) Application of a wide range of synchrotron X-ray spectroscopic techniques in the characterization of technologically important materials.

IV) Acquiring key fundamental knowledge, valuable intellectual property, and development of key surface coating products for various surface engineering applications.

V) Establishing key scientific collaboration with a large number of renowned materials science institutes and universities in South America, Asia and Europe.

VI) Technological transfer between academia, government agencies and industry.

Gallardo, Adriana Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Adriana Gallardo graduated in Chemical Engineering in 2018 at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Her degree thesis was on “Methanation of CO2 using Ni and Ru catalysts” in Tecnologías Químicas para la Sostenibilidad Ambiental research group of the Faculty of Science and Technology of Leioa. She worked on the synthesis and characterization on monometallic and bimetallic catalysts.

Subsequently, she finished her master’s degree on Chemical Engineering in 2020 at the University of the Basque Country and the University of Cantabria. Her Master thesis was on “Recycling lithium batteries by hydrometallurgical processes” with a fellowship in Gaiker.

Nowadays, she is working on her PhD in self-repaired materials for fretting damage in BCMaterials. Her research will be focused in the computational modelling and synthesis and characterization of the materials by different techniques.

Morales, Rafael Ikerbasque Research Professor – UPV/EHU Research Associate

Nanopatterning (electron beam and interference lithography), thin film deposition, magnetic nanostructure characterization.

Rafael Morales received his Ph. D degree in Physics from the University of Oviedo, Spain, in 2002. He was awarded with a Fulbright and a Marie Curie fellowship to work at the University of California, San Diego. He joined University of Oviedo and Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Research Center, CINN, Spain, in 2007. Since 2010, he works at the University of the Basque Country as Ikerbasque Research Professor. He has experience in the fabrication of magnetic heterostructures by physical vapour deposition techniques, magnetic analysis by magnetometry and magneto-optical methods and nanopatterning lithography procedures. His research interests are focused on dimensionality effects in nanoscale magnetic structures, exchange coupled systems with in-plane and out-of-plane anisotropy and the potential of magnetic nanostructures in biomedical applications.

Interests and objetives
Research on magnetic properties of magnetically coupled heterostructures: thin films and nanostructures.
Biomedical application of magnetic nanostructures.

Curriculum Vitae

Porro, José María Ikerbasque Research Fellow

Physics PhD in Materials Science, from the University of the Basque Country (2014), developed in the nanomagnetism group at CIC nanoGUNE in Donostia-San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain. Post-doctoral experience for 3.5 years at the ISIS neutron and muon source of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Science and Technology Facilities Council, of the United Kingdom. Visiting scientist for three years at the i10 beamline of the Diamond Light Source, the synchrotron facility of the United Kingdom. Currently Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellow at the BCMaterials.

His expertise is focalized in nanomagnetism, with demonstrated hands-on experience in the design and fabrication of micro and nano-patterned structures, as well as in their characterization by means of standard lab-based techniques, combined with a strong experience in the usage of large scale structures such as neutron and synchrotron sources to complement the characterization of the materials. In particular, he has experience in preparing, submitting and performing neutron scattering and synchrotron-based experiments in the following centres: Institute Laue-Langevin (Grenoble, France), ISIS neutron and muon source (Oxfordshire, UK), SPring-8 synchrotron (Hyogo, Japan), ALBA synchrotron (Barcelona, Spain), Diamond Light Source (Oxfordshire, UK), NSLS-II synchrotron (Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA), SOLEIL synchrotron (París, France) and Advanced Light Source (Lawrence-Berkeley National Laboratory, USA).

He has secured funding as a PI of an H2020 project (MSCA-IF-EF-ST), and as researcher in international (EPSRC, UK), national (MINECO) and regional (ELKARTEK) projects. He has published several manuscripts in indexed journals with a strong percentage of them in Q1, with an h-index of 9, and has presented his work as invited and oral speaker in several international and national conferences in the area of magnetism and material sciences.

Research interests
Currently, I am involved in the study of the effect of patterning in the properties of magnetic shape memory alloys thanks to a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship obtained through the EU Horizon2020 program. My general interests lie in the fields of nanomagnetism, nanofabrication, micromagnetic modelling and magnetization dynamics.

Curriculum VitaeGoogle ScholarResearcherID

Rosero Romo, James Pre-Doctoral Researcher

J.J. Rosero-Romo, received the title of Physical Engineer in 2016, and his M.Eng. in Materials and Process Engineering in 2019 from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellìn and candidate to a student of the PhD. in science and technology in 2021 in the Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea. From 2016 to 2020, he worked for the Facultad de Minas, laboratory of Biomaterials in the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellìn. His research interests include Biosensors, methods electrochemistry and technique characterization of materials.

“Currently, I am involved in MULTI-FUN project, to the development of novel materials and progress of Additive Manufacturing, my other interest lies in the field of surfaces modification and development of biosensors.”

Areas of action

  • Engineering and Technology – Nanotechnology – Nanomaterials (Production and Properties)
  • Medical and health sciences – Biotechnology in health – Biomaterials (related to implants, devices, biosensors)


  • Research and development

Operation of: The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Carl zeiss, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) Park System NX 10, microRaman confocal spectrometer HORIBA and Knowledge in Electrochemical Techniques.

o Documentation

o Material characterization


Teijido Fernández, Ruben Pre-Doctoral Researcher

Rubén Teijido Fernández received his Chemistry graduate (2019) and his Master´s degree in New Materials (2020), both from “Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU)” in Leioa, Spain. In 2017 h started to collaborate with the Chemistry Physics department in its macromolecular chemistry research group under the supervision of associate professor Leire Ruiz Rubio and department director Jose Luis Vilas Vilela. Since then he has followed diverse investigation lines gaining experience with the most commonly employed methodologies and techniques in polymer science. Once a proper initial experience was achieved, he focused his work in hybrid biopolymer-inorganic hydrogel systems, developing both his grade and master’s thesis in developing and studying chitosan-polyoxometalate hybrid hydrogels. In September 2020 he joined BCMaterials as predoctoral researcher to develop his thesis in the developing of alginate-based anticorrosion coatings for metallic pieces under the supervision of Qi Zhang (BCMaterials) and Leire Ruiz Rubio (UPV/EHU).

Currently, besides his recently started predoctoral research, he is still involved with macromolecular chemistry department at UPV/EHU, following the research line of developing new multifunctional hybrid hydrogels with applications in biomedicine.

His abilities include the synthesis and characterization of hybrid hydrogels, including: thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), diferential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamical mechanical analysis (DMA), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and contact angle, among others.



Valbuena-Niño, Ely Dannier Post-Doctoral Researcher

Ely Dannier joint BCMaterials as a Post-Doctoral Researcher in October 2019. He got a Master´s Degree in Physics at the Industrial University of Santander and has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain) on the Systematic research of physicochemical properties of functional photopolymers for additive manufacturing. He is one of the founder of the Foundation of Researchers in Science and Technology of Materials (FORISTOM) in Colombia. Previously he worked in the academic sector (at the University Industrial de Santander and the University Pontificia Bolivariana in Bucaramanga city, Colombia). He has actively conducted scientific research in various areas, especially in surface modification of materials through physical processes and additive manufacturing of functional devices by 3D printing. He has published his work in a number of scientific articles and edited several volumes of scientific articles on materials science, engineering, and nanotechnology which were published by the IOP Publishing in the Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS). In addition, Ely has supervised various grade and master’s students, he is a peer reviewer of scientific articles and research projects, organizer and speaker at several international conferences and symposiums for academic-scientific dissemination. His research lines are the bulk and superficial modification of metallic and polymeric materials through Ion Implantation processes, deposition (coatings and thin films), and additive manufacturing (3D printing). He has good knowledge of the analysis of physicochemical properties of thin film materials including the use of morphological, spectroscopic, thermal and mechanical characterization techniques.


Zhang, Qi Ikerbasque Research Professor

Q. Zhang graduated in physical chemistry at Wuhan University, Wuhan, China in 1982. He received his MSc in inorganic materials at Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China in 1986. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in chemistry at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 1995. He is now an Ikerbasque research professor in BCMaterials. Before that, he worked in Cranfield University, UK as a research fellow in 1996, a senior research fellow in 1998, a senior lecturer in 2007, and now a visiting academia. He has been a visiting professor in Wuhan University of Technology, China since 2012.
Zhang’s work is focused on the areas of functional materials for sensors, actuators and electrocaloric cooling, as well as on energy materials for electrochemical energy storage and on coatings for surface engineering. He has published more than 200 ISI papers and 4 chapters in books with a total citation of ~ 4000 and H-factor of 32. Some of his publications appeared in journals with high impact factors, such as, Science, Energy & Environ. Sci., Mater. Sci. and Eng. R: Report, Adv. Funct. Mater., Nano Energy and Nano Lett., among others. In addition, he co-edited the book entitled Electrocaloric Cooling (EC). He received Brian Mercer Feasibility Award, 2009, The Royal Society, UK.

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.