Researchers from the Public University of Navarre are taking part in Nanoret, a European research project for the study and development of nanomaterials and the budget for which is 557,000 euros. Involved in this research are 25 researchers from Spanish universities, from a French research centre and from two business companies.
The 25 European researchers in Nanoret come from the University of La Rioja, which is leading the project, the Public University of Navarre, the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Toulouse, INSA (France), the technology-base Rioja company, Avanzare and the French firm, Nanomeps. The project has been funded by the European Union (FEDER) and by the rest of the bodies involved.
In concrete, for the Public University of Navarre, Cristina Gómez Polo, Iñaki Pérez de Landazabal Berganzo and Vicente Recarte Callado are taking part.
The novelty of the project Nanoret lies in the fact that it takes advantage of the diverse and complementary methods for the preparation of nanostructured materials. The greatest part of the work, involving the synthesis and study of new nanomaterials as well as the measurement of their properties, will be undertaken at the laboratories of the Public University of Navarre, the University of La Rioja and INSA. The Avanzare and Nanomeps, basically responsible for the extrapolation of results at an industrial scale, will also participate in this area, taking into consideration their experience in the sector.
Nanomaterials are those with controlled shape and size at a nanometric scale – a thousand million times smaller than one metre – and whose characteristics and properties differ significantly from bulk materials.
The nanomaterial capacity fields currently being explored are four. Firstly, nanomaterials for application in construction, catalysis, the automotive sector, cosmetics, inks, etc. They are materials with special physical properties: resistance, elasticity, anticorrosion, etc., such as metal knives with high cutting resistance, coatings with high resistance to corrosion, self-cleaning pyrolytic furnaces, etc.
The second field of application is nanoelectronics, wherein nanomaterials are used to build electronic devices such as those involving data storages (magnetic nanomaterials), luminous devices or solar cells, in such a way that the multiply their capacities.
Nanomaterials are also used to build sensors and actuators, devices employed in the detection and analysis of substances such as sensors of contaminant gases in the automobile industry, based on oxides of nanometric size.
Finally, nanobiotechnology is the science that applies these materials to tissue engineering, the development of pharmaceutical medicines or their transport (nanomaterials that transport the pharmaceutical medicines directly to the affected organs in a selective manner). For example, the development of tissues with biocide properties that combat the presence of bacteria.
The Nanoret project researchers will primarily work on the study and development of the properties of the precursors of nanomaterials, principally metals. Subsequently, they will focus their efforts on transference of the results to specific applications.
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