ClusCAT Lab –
Institute of Materials Chemistry
Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien)
Getreidemarkt 9/BC/165, 1060 Vienna, Austria
Telf: +43-1-58801-16509; +43-06607241927

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               University Assistant / 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


Ongoing           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

2019     Monatshefte für Chemie-Wissenschaftspreis 2019, Gesellschaft Österreichischer Chemiker

2017    PCCP-RSC Best Poster Presentation Europacat, Florence (Italy)
2015    Best Poster Presentation ISMPC-15, Yamanashi (Japan)

2013    Marie Heim-Vögtlin Grant  from Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

2011    PhD Thesis award SECAT 2009 from Spanish Catalysis Society (SECAT)

2010    IEF Marie Curie Scholarship

2010    PhD Thesis award from Rovira i Virgili University

2008    FP6 Mobility Scholarship to Centacat centre, Queens University Belfast, UK

2007    Best Oral Communication SECAT’07 (Spanish catalysis society meeting)

2006    Environmental Award of Catalonia government, R&D (AMIC)

2005    Best Enterprising Idea, Consell Social, Rovira i Virgili University

Peer Review Activities

2015-2017        Chair committee of ISMPC-17: International Symposium on Monolayer Protected Clusters (14-17 August 2017, Monte Veritas, Switzerland)

Since 2009       Referee (RSC, ACS, Elsevier, Wiley): Nat.Comm., JACS, Adv. Mater., Angew. Chemie, PCCP, JPCC, RSC Adv., Catal. Sci. Technol, J.Catal., Appl. Catal. B/A,                                     Acc. Chem.  Res., Ind Eng Chem Res among others.

2014-2019        PhD dissertation evaluator: University Rovira i Virgili and University of Geneva

2015-2019        Evaluator of scientific projects for Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and for the Ducht Research Council (NWO)

Since 2018       Board member of FemChem (Faculty of Chemistry Women) at TU-Wien

Since 2015       Organizer of Internal Institute Group meetings, IMC-TU-Wien·

Top Invited Talks

04/2019            Zasshikai seminar 1778th, Department of Chemistry, The University of Tokyo,    Prof. Tatsuya Tsukuda (Japan)

04/2019            Institute Seminar, Prof. Yuichi Negishi, Tokyo University of Science (Japan)

2015                Hot Topic Talk, ISMPC15- Int. Symposium on Monolayer Protected Clusters, Japan

2015                Hot Topic Talk at Clusters & Nanostructures, Gordon Research Conferences, Spain

2015                Institute of Biophysics seminar, BOKU University, Vienna (Austria)

2014                Nanoseminars, Nanoscience Centre of the University of Jyväskylä (Finland)

2011                Keynote, SECAT 2011 meeting of Spanish catalysis society, Zaragoza (Spain)

Students Supervision

Ongoing           3 PhD students (V. Truttmann, C. García, S. Pollitt); 2 Bachelor Thesis and 2 Exchange Students (from UPV-Donostia and Tokyo Univ. of Technology)

2016-2018        2 Master students (S.Pollitt, V.Truttmann: Master Thesis doubled award from Austrian Chemical Society 2018 and StadtWien) ; 4 Bachelor Thesis

2013-2016        1 PhD at Unige (B. Zhang) now Postdoc at Peidong Yang Group, Berkeley; 1 Master student (A.Sels)


Since 2015       TU-Wien: Lectures inside the Master Program in Kinetics and Catalysis; Physical Chemistry and Analytics of Surfaces and Nanomaterials and Physicochemical Methods of Materials Characterization. Bachelor: Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Laboratory of Synthesis

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)

Dr. Olga Safonova, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI-SLS) (Switzerland)

Prof. Jordi Llorca, Institute of Energy Technologies, UPC, Barcelona (Spain)

Dr. Atsushi Urakawa, ICIQ, Tarragona (Spain)

Prof. Fernando Rey y Prof. Eduardo A. Palomares, ITQ-Valencia (Spain)

Dr. Jacinto Sá , Uppsala University (Sweden)