ClusCAT Lab –
Institute of Materials Chemistry
Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien)
Getreidemarkt 9/BC/165, 1060 Vienna, Austria
Telf: +43-1-58801-16509

Researcher ID:B-7832-2014;
ORCID: 0000-0002-6018-3115

Born: November 2nd, 1979 in Barcelona (Spain)

Two daughters: Valentina (2012) and Emma (2017)

Due to my research background, I am specialized in cluster science, nanomaterials, surface science, spectroscopy and heterogeneous catalysis.  Starting with a background in Chemical Engineering, I moved to Physical Chemistry for my PhD, where I was able to develop nanostructured materials, highly active and selective in different environmental catalytic processes. As a postdoctoral researcher, I got an IEF Marie Curie to undertake a challenging project focused on the correlation of catalytic performance with surfaces by in situ spectroscopic techniques, hosted at the TU-Wien. After Vienna, I moved to Geneva to start studying gold nanoclusters. At this time, which coincide with my last months of pregnancy of my first daughter, I was mainly focus on DFT calculation and time-resolved spectroscopy studies. The SNSF Marie Heim Vötglich fellowship help me to come back to science after the maternity break. At this point, I could start developing my main research topic, with the synergy of nanoclusters, surface science and catalysis.

Therefore, since I finished my PhD I was able to fund my research career and work independently. During this time, I could successfully develop my research ideas, while also managing two maternity leaves. Currently I am working on my Habilitation in Physical Chemistry as part of Prof. Günther Rupprechter’s group at the IMC / TU-Wien.

My main research interest is on monolayer protected metal nanoclusters on surfaces, in four main lines:
a) to design, synthesize and study of new monolayer protected monometallic metal cluster beyond gold;
b) to control and understand cluster-support interactions with different surfaces by spectroscopic;
c) to disclose insights in the catalytic activity of the clusters by operando spectroscopy.
d) to create atomically designed chiral catalysts based on gold nanoclusters and active in enantioselective heterogeneous catalysis

Keywords: Nanomaterials, nanoclusters, Surface Science, Heterogeneous Catalysis, Spectroscopy (XAFS, ATR-FTIR, DRIFTS, XPS, in situ/operando)

Description of academic career

Since 03/2016               Group leader ClusCAT Lab.  Institute of Materials Chemistry, Technische Universität Wien, (Austria)

03/2017-02/2018           Maternity leave

03/2015-02/2016           Cover maternity leave Prof. K.Föttinger. Institute of Materials Chemistry, Technische Universität Wien, (Austria)

03/2013-02/2015           Marie Heim-Vögtlin Senior Postdoc (SNSF, Swiss National Science Foundation)Bürgi Group, Dep. Physical Chemistry, University of Geneva, (Switzerland)

04/2012-02/2013           Maternity break

02/2012-03/2012           Postdoctoral Researcher. Bürgi Group, Dep. Physical Chemistry, University of Geneva, (Switzerland)

02/2010-01/2012           IEF Marie Curie Postdoc. Institute of Materials Chemistry, Technische Universität Wien, (Austria)

06/2009-01/2010           Postdoctoral Researcher. Equipe MACS, Institut Charles Gerhardt, UMR 5253 CNRS/ENSCM/UM2/UM1 Montpellier, France

09/2004-05/2009           Research Assistant (PhD student). Heterogeneous Catalysis Group, Chemical Engineering Faculty, University Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona (Spain)

2004-2011                         Research Stays: Urakawa Group, ICIQ, Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia, Spain; Centacat, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast,                                                               Northern Ireland,  CICBiomagune Research Center, San Sebastian, Spain


2023               Habilitation (Venia Docendi) in Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Technische Universität Wien, Vienna, (Austria)

2009                PhD in Chemical Engineering, Excellent Cum Laude (13/03/2009), Dep. Chemical Engineering / University Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona (Spain)

2006                DEA, Advance Education Degree (Msc.), Excellent (12/01/2006), Dep. Chemical Engineering / University Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona (Spain)

2004                B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering Faculty / University Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona (Spain)

Academic and Professional Prizes / Recognition

2023                   Award: Best Teaching award 2023, Faculty of Technical Chemistry, TU-Wien

2022 – 2024     Excellence Grant: Elise Richter of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), TU-Wien, Austria

2019                    Award: Monatshefte für Chemie-Wissenschaftspreis 2019, Austrian Chemical Society

2013 – 2015     Personal Grant: Marie Heim-Vögtlin of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Dep. Physical Chemistry, University of Geneva, Switzerland

2010 – 2012     Personal Grant: IEF Marie Curie of European Commission (EU-FP7), TU-Wien, Austria

2010                 Award: PhD Thesis Award SECAT 2009, Spanish Catalysis Society, Spain

2010                 Award: PhD Thesis Award, University Rovira i Virgili, Spain

2008                 Personal Mobility Fellowship: FP6 Mobility Fellowship, Centacat, Queen’s University of Belfast, UK

2007                 Award: Best Oral Communication SECAT’07, Spanish Catalysis Society Meeting, Spain

2005                 Award: Best Enterprising Idea Award, Consell Social, University Rovira i Virgili, Spain

Institutional Responsabilities

Since 2022        Speaker of the Young Academy of the Technical Chemistry Faculty at TU-Wien

Since 2020       Faculty Council Member of the Faculty of Technical Chemistry at TU-Wien

Since 2018        (2018-2022) Board member  and one of the speaker of FemChem (Faculty of Chemistry Women) at TU-Wien

Invited Presentations. Since completing my PhD in 2009
  • 10 invited talks at international conference: Discussion leader at the GRC Atomically Precise Nanochemistry 2022 & 2020; Cluster Meeting 2021; Intern. School-Conference on Catalysis 2021; Chemietage 2019; 6th Symposium on Monolayer Protected Clusters (ISMPC) 2019; Int. FOXSI Conference 2019; Int. FOXSI Conference, 2017; GRC on Clusters & Nanostructures 2015; 5th Int. Symposium on Monolayer Protected Clusters (ISMPC)2015; Spanish Catalysis Society Meeting 2011
  • 4 invited lectures at workshops: ALBA II-Workshop on present and future perspectives of catalysis, 2021; Perspectives and new opportunities for X-ray absorption spectroscopy at PETRA IV 2020; Workshop de Química Sostenible 2019; FemChem Scientific Workshop 2018;
  • 6 invited seminars talks at international institutions: Zasshikai Seminar 1778th, University of Tokyo 2019; Tokyo University of Science 2019; ICIQ Alumni day 2021; ICIQ 2018; BOKU University 2015; Nanoseminars at University of Jyväskyla 2014;
International cooperation partners Prof. Yuichi Negishi, Tokyo University of Science, Tokyo (Japan) Prof. Hannu Hakkinen, Nanoscience Center of the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) Prof. Thomas Buergi, University of Geneva (Switzerland) Prof. Jordi Llorca, Institute of Energy Technologies, UPC, Barcelona (Spain) Prof. Fernando Rey y Prof. Eduardo A. Palomares, ITQ-Valencia (Spain) Dr. Jacinto Sá , Uppsala University (Sweden)