International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2022. ISOM-UPM visits to educational centers.

The Polytechnic University of Madrid celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11F) with activities that aim to make visible the work of women in science and technology as well as to create female references for children that can contribute to the choice of these areas as professional careers.

One of the activities proposed by the UPM, coordinated by the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit (UCC+I), will consist of a visit to two schools, the Montessori School La Florida and the IES Santamarca, where a group of researchers from the Institute of Optoelectronic Systems and Microtechnology (ISOM) will give a talk entitled From Algeria to Madrid: our PhD travel discovering graphene for a sustainable World. This talk will be led by four Algerian PhD students who are developing their doctoral studies at ISOM and in which they will tell their experience as women researchers, in addition to showing the properties of graphene as a sustainable material within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The meetings will end with a competition in which students will test what they have learned and the winners will win a prize.

Dr. Alicia Gonzalo Martín, has received the Margarita Salas Research Award 2021 for her doctoral thesis carried out at the Institute for Optoelectronic Systems and Microtechnology (ISOM) of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. The thesis was carried out in the PhD program in Electronic Systems Engineering (ETSIT) and supervised by the ISOM researcher and professor at the Materials Science Department (ETSICCP) Dr. Jose Maria Ulloa.

The Madrid City Council, in its interest to promote scientific research in the city of Madrid, has launched in this year 2021 the first call for the Margarita Salas Research Awards.

The Margarita Salas Research Awards are called in memory of one of the most important Spanish scientists who, in addition, carried out a great work as a trainer of scientists. These awards, with a 6.000 € cash prize, are intended to highlight the best doctoral theses defended in the last two years at universities based in the Community of Madrid. The scientific excellence of the work, its innovative character and the practical applications of the research, among others, are valued.

The Margarita Salas Research Awards are organized in two categories: ‘Life Sciences’ (medicine, biology and environment) and ‘Basic Sciences’ (physics, chemistry and mathematics).

Basic sciences category

Best thesis award: Alicia Gonzalo Martín, “Structures based on GaAs(Sb)(N) semiconductor alloys for high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells”.

Second prize: Alberto Garrido Castro, “Photo- and organo-catalytic strategies for the preparation of nitrogen compounds”.

Life sciences category

Best thesis award: José Bonafont Arago, “Protocols based on gene editing for ex vivo correction of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa”.

Second prize: David García Mato, “Optimization of the treatment of craniosynostosis: virtual planning, 3D photography and surgical navigation”.

You can watch the video of the awards gala on La Nave’s Youtube channel.

Dr. Javier Martínez Rodrigo receives the Award for the Incorporation of Research Excellence to the UPM 2021.

Dr. Javier Martínez Rodrigo, ICTS Manager at the Institute of Optoelectronic Systems and Microtechnology (ISOM), has received the Award for the Incorporation of Research Excellence to the UPM 2021, according to the resolution of December 20, 2021 of the Rector of the Polytechnic University, which makes public the final list of beneficiaries of the Annual Call for Research and Innovation Awards in the framework of the Own Program of R+D+i 2021.

You can see the contents of the Rector’s Resolution in the following link:

Other ISOM Awards click on link

It is on the cover of UPM News of 22.11.2021. Bone cements with graphene to increase the quality of life of our elders.

The results of a study conducted by researchers at the Polytechnic University of Madrid reveal that the addition of reduced graphene oxide improves the mechanical and thermal properties of bone cements used to fix prostheses.


Bone cements are materials used as adhesives to fix bone prostheses (hip, knee, shoulder…) when the quality of the patient’s bone is insufficient. However, since their manufacturing process reaches high temperatures, they can cause necrosis in the patient’s surrounding tissues. Adding highly reduced graphene oxide helps to avoid this problem and also improves the mechanical and thermal properties of the materials, according to a study carried out by researchers at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM). Given that this type of surgery (insertion of prostheses fixed with bone cements) is mostly performed on the elderly, improvements in its implementation have a growing social and health impact on our society.


The implantation of prostheses is an increasingly common practice throughout the world, due to causes such as the increase and aging of the population, and to a higher incidence of pathologies such as obesity or osteoarthritis. Bone cements are used to adhere and fix prostheses to the damaged bone when the bone does not have sufficient mechanical resistance and is unable to grow over the prosthesis and stabilize it. In addition, these bone cements distribute the loads on the bone and help to cushion the stresses at the prosthesis-bone junction.

However, this material has some limitations. Let us imagine that the maximum life of this bone cement is 20 years, and that statistically it is too risky to operate on people over 85 years of age. Thus, after that age, it would no longer be appropriate to repair a prosthesis whose materials have deteriorated. Therefore, a 65-year-old patient who is implanted with a hip prosthesis fixed to the bone with a bone cement will be exposed to the risk of the bone cement degrading or breaking, due to cracks that grow slowly over time, which would cause discomfort for the rest of his or her life because a new surgery is not feasible.

“Improving the durability of these bone cements is essential to improve the quality of life of our elders. In other words, to prevent them from having to endure an existence with chronic pain due to the broken prosthesis,” says José Ygnacio Pastor, a researcher at the UPM who participated in the study.

In the research conducted by members of the Center for Research in Structural Materials (CIME) of the UPM, several materials have been developed with potentially interesting results, such as reducing the maximum curing temperature that damages adjacent tissues.

“So far we have mainly talked about the mechanical strength and durability of bone cement. However, there are more problems associated with the use of these cements in the human body,” says Jaime Orellana, a member of the research team that carried out the work. The usual cements are made up of two components, which, once they come together, begin to react and harden. During this reaction the material solidifies rapidly, and there are only a few minutes to place it between the bone and the prosthesis. In addition, a lot of energy is released during this reaction that reaches the surrounding tissues. Since at 42⁰C and above the proteins denature, if the bone gets too hot the cells die and necrosis of the tissue surrounding the prosthesis occurs. Thus, “it is essential to prevent the bone from heating up, a result we have achieved by slowing down the reaction thanks to the addition of highly reduced graphene,” continues Orellana.

Regarding the mechanical properties mentioned above, the researchers have found that adding an excess of graphene is detrimental and worsens them, but small amounts (between 0.01 % and 0.1 % by weight) could also produce improvements in mechanical properties while maintaining the thermal benefit.

Expectations for these new materials are very promising, as there are also indications that graphene has antibacterial properties, which is ideal for reducing infection problems after surgery. “However, much work remains to be done, since not only must the amount of graphene to be introduced be optimized, but also the chemical treatments that allow the graphene to adhere and disperse better in the bone cement must be studied,” the researchers conclude.

Jaime Orellana, Ynés Yohana Pastor, Fernando Calle and José Ygnacio Pastor. Influence of HRGO Nanoplatelets on Behaviour and Processing of PMMA Bone Cement for Surgery. Polymers (Basel). 2021 Jun; 13(12); DOI: 10.3390/polym13122027.

Ynés Yohana Pastor, Jaime Orellana, Miguel Sánchez-Lozano, Fernando Calle and José Ygnacio Pastor. Physical-Mechanical Behaviour and Processing Evolution of PMMA Bone Cement due to Graphene Addition. Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research. April, 2021, Volume 35, 1, pp 273


ISOM at the XXI Science and Innovation Week: Sustainable Masterchef Create a green energy source thanks to graphene!. November 10&11, 2021

ISOM at the XXI Science and Innovation Week: Sustainable Masterchef Create a green energy source thanks to graphene!

The Institute of Optoelectronic Systems and Microtechnology (ISOM) is offering at the XXI Science and Innovation Week the workshop Sustainable Masterchef Create a green energy source thanks to graphene!, an interactive workshop ideal for school classes, to assemble graphene micro-supercapacitors and learn about the role of graphene in the SDGs and green energy.

The workshop, which will be held in person, is led and coordinated by Yu Kyoung Ryu, Andrés Velasco, Assia Hamada and Manuel Abuín. 

It will be held on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 November 2021. There will be two shifts each day: from 10:00 to 11:00 (the first shift) and from 11:30 to 12:30 (the second shift). Each shift offered will have a maximum number of 30 participants.


Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación (UPM) Ciudad Universitaria, A-HAL.01-Parte alta

Advance booking is required.

More information and reservations:

Collaborate in this activity:


ISOM-UPM at the European Researchers’ Night, 09-24-2021 at 10, 11:30, 13 hours: Sustainable Masterchef Create a green energy source thanks to graphene!

Interactive workshop in which the participants organized by teams assembled graphene-based microsupercapacitors that were used as a source of green energy to illuminate LEDs. Each group will also participate in a game of questions about the interesting properties of graphene and its relationship with the Sustainable Development Goals.


Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM)

Friday 24 at 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Higher Technical School of Telecommunications Engineers (UPM) Ciudad Universitaria. A-HAL.01


Audience: 3rd and 4th ESO students, Bachelor and training cycles

Prizes for the winning teams!

This activity was promoted by researchers from the ISOM Semiconductor Devices Group of the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

Participating Researchers:

Dr. Javier Martínez, Dra. Yu Kyoung Ryu, Mr. Andrés Velasco, Ms. Assia Hamada.


The UPM rewards sustainability and cooperation. The ISOM-UPM Graphene and 2D Crystals group continues its research for the generation and storage of renewable energy.

The SAVE research project, Award for the Public-Private Collaboration Project.

Fernando Calle, professor at the ETSI of Telecommunications of the UPM, proposed the candidacy of SAVE (Energy Storage Systems based on Graphene for Electric Vehicles). Professor Calle leads this project that brings together researchers from the Institute of Optoelectronic Systems and Microtechnology (ISOM) of the UPM, the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Repsol Technology Center. The objective is to contribute to the development of materials, technology and demonstrators based on graphene, within the Inspire Repsol-UPM program. This project demonstrated with four international patents the benefits that the new material allows to achieve in two types of energy storage devices: lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors.

Based exclusively on carbon atoms, a very light element with very strong atomic bonds, the extreme thinness of graphene gives it a huge surface area and transparency, and its electronic configuration gives it the highest known electrical conductivity. It joins such properties its mechanical and chemical stability against electrolytes. For this reason, graphene is an ideal material to manufacture light and high-performance energy storage systems, for application in electric vehicles or wearable electronics.

In addition to its activity in communications and biomedicine, the ISOM-UPM Graphene and 2D Crystals group continues its research for the generation and storage of renewable energy with the development of advanced micro-supercapacitors and the integration of graphene with solar cells, in collaboration with CIEMAT. In the first case, a laser is used to treat graphene oxide nanostructures, with which to reduce the size of the devices and increase their power density; in the second, monatomic layers of graphene are manufactured that are located in the active region of cells to improve their performance.

Links to UPM News:

“Graphene Supercapacitors: What’s Your Future?”.

UPM publication 04-19-2021. ISOM-UPM researchers have analyzed the role that graphene will play in the development of more efficient supercapacitors and batteries with better results in terms of reproducibility, complexity, time consumption, cost and versatility. Its applications will extend from energy to fields such as biomedicine or agriculture.

We live in an energy dependent society. That our current way of life makes us demand more and more energy is a fact. If we look around us, we find mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, … The number of electronic devices has increased exponentially and each of them needs an energy source: first it was batteries and everything indicates that in the coming years supercapacitors will be able to compete against these. Graphene, one of the “new materials” that has gained more prominence in recent years, will have a lot to do with it, as reflected in a study carried out by a team of ISOM researchers at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM).

“A supercapacitor is a device for storing energy by physical means that allows charging and discharging in a few seconds. Since Stoller described the first graphene supercapacitor in 2008, spectacular advances have been made, and ever greater energy and power density has been achieved ”, explains Javier Martínez Rodrigo, from the ISOM-UPM Semiconductor Devices Group and one of the participants In this work you have analyzed the most promising graphene supercapacitors from the large scale to the microscale and the possibilities they offer.

To do this, the researchers conducted a double-scale study. On the one hand, they described the manufacturing techniques with the best results in terms of their reproducibility, complexity, time consumption, cost and versatility. On the other, the advantages of miniaturizing them in the form of micro-supercapacitors were presented, so that they can be integrated into small portable devices.

As a result of that analysis, the researchers found several advantages that can be highlighted from using graphene to make microcapacitors.

Applications in energy, but also the environment and even biomedicine

“Graphene allows us to manufacture supercapacitors with better characteristics (specific capacity, energy density, power), which allow us to predict that they will soon become part of our electronic devices,” add researchers Andrés Velasco and Yu Kyoung Ryu. “It will be able to replace other more expensive, more polluting and less efficient commercial components, or be used as a complement to other energy storage devices, such as lithium batteries, in electric vehicles”, adds Professor Fernando Calle.

In addition, its advantages will not remain in the environmental or energy level, but will also be extended to fields such as agriculture or biomedicine, since graphene supercapacitors may be part of miniaturized self-powered devices by being integrated with sensors of different types in portable / wearable electronics and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

The work developed by UPM researchers, and in which CIEMAT also collaborates under the project (ENE2017-88065-C2-1-R) (MINECO / AEI / FEDER, EU), has recently been published in the international journal Sustainable Energy & Fuels, as its cover.

Reference Andrés Velasco, Yu Kyoung Ryu, Alberto Boscá, Antonio Ladrón-de-Guevara, Elijah Hunt, Jinghan Zuo, Jorge Pedrós, Fernando Calle and Javier Martinez. ‘Recent Trends in Graphene Supercapacitors: from Large Area to Microsupercapacitors’. Sustainable Energy & Fuels (2021), DOI: 10.1039 / D0SE01849J.



“Recent trends in graphene supercapacitors: from large area to microsupercapacitors”.

It is the cover of the scientific journal Sustainable Energy & Fuels IF 5.503 )


Citation: Sustainable Energy & Fuels 

Year:  2021

Link: DOI: 10.1039/d0se01849j


Supercapacitors are being increasingly used as energy storage systems. Graphene, with its huge specific surface area, superior mechanical flexibility and outstanding electrical properties, constitutes an ideal candidate for the next generation of wearable and portable devices with enhanced performance. Since Stoller described the first graphene supercapacitor in 2008, significant developments have been made during this last decade in the development of new graphene-based electrodes. In this way, the specific capacitance has been improved from 135 to 2585 F g−1 and the cyclability has been enhanced from a capacitance retention of just over 80% after 1000 cycles to almost 100% after 20 000 cycles. This review describes how 3-dimensional porous graphene electrodes have been improved recently, from using large area processing techniques to microsupercapacitors. Specifically, (a) the use of graphene foam to obtain large area electrodes, (b) the development of the direct laser writing technique for fast, one-step, and low-cost production of graphene-based supercapacitors, (c) their miniaturization in the form of integrated microsupercapacitors and (d) their functionalization with different pseudocapacitive and electric double-layer capacitor materials to obtain higher capacitance values will be the topics discussed in this perspective.