Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

INL Iberian PhD Network

The INL community is growing incredibly fast.  We are especially proud of our PhD recruiting programme. This initiative has been launched to finance PhD thesis in Spain and Portugal. We have currently 15 talented PhD students carrying out their thesis in prestigious Spanish and Portuguese Laboratories specialized in Nanotechnology. In the following weeks, 5 young researchers will also join our growing network.

We will continue with this successful programme with new recruiting campaigns. If you want to be part of the INL project, we recomend you to visit Nanobugle regularly!

September 29, 2008 Posted by | INL Project | Leave a comment

Another site worth exploring:Nanopolis

In our endless quest to discover information that might interest you we came along the site Nanopolis.

Nanopolis claims to be a real time multimedia provider of scientific knowledge that permanently updates its contents with the latest information in the nano-bio technology area.

The website is the result of the interaction between research, industry and education in the world of nanotechnology, synchrotron light and neutronics.

The editors offer awards for the best paper published in journals and transposes the paper into multimedia.

Some examples of interactive presentations with nice animations are also available.

You can also check out their offer for researchers

September 26, 2008 Posted by | Educational & Teaching Resources | Leave a comment

Let’s hear about your work

Once again we are trying to encourage you to share with the INL community what you have been doing. Is can be very simple and it doesn’t need to involve to many resources. We show here a video from Furman University just for inspiration. It would be great to see you all in «action». 

September 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nanotechnology Factories

Many of you have a background in scientific fields less related with some of the techniques and tools commonly used in Nanotechnology. Microelectronic spectroscopy and Micro and Nanofabrication will be  two of our main laboratories.

As you well know, we are building the main infrastructure and at this moment we cannot show you videos and images about these two important techniques. However we have been surfing the web to give you an idea about the potential and applications of these facilities.

This video was carried out by the EU with the collaboration of different Spanish and German research groups. It provides a good vision of present Nanotechnology techniques and research activities.

September 19, 2008 Posted by | Educational & Teaching Resources | Leave a comment

Our Scientific Infrastructure

It is time to tell you a little more about our scientific infrastructure. At the INL we consider them very important because they will help us on the one hand to define the Research Personality of the INL and on the other to attract scientists all over the world with enough skills and abilities to join our organization.


INL facilities will encompass,


  • A) Central Micro and Nanofabrication Clean Room: (Class 100 and 1000 ) with a 400m2 useful area, with an expansion capability to 600m2. The gross clean room area ( bay and chase) is around 1100 m2. The nanolithography area is specially designed to VC-E vibration specifications to accommodate two e-beam tools ( 10nm or better feature resolution), and a nano-imprint tool . The optical lithography bay will include a direct write laser tool (Heidelberg Instruments FB6) and mask aligners. The tools being envisaged are the VISTEC EPSG5000 plus, and the RAITH e-line. The clean-room will include two isolated bays , one for nanobio related microfabrication, and the other for eventual processes or tools requiring proper contamination control. The deposition and each bay where the noisiest equipment is present is placed as far as possible from the critical nanolithography area. All tools are able to process up to 6 inch diameter wafers. The clean room is prepared to house a couple of larger tools capable of handling larger wafers, in case these tools become available.


  • B) Specialized labs with VC-E or better vibration specifications and particular EMI shielding requirements

This area, at level -1, will be where the critical imaging and characterization tools will be placed ( HRTEM, dual beam FIB/FEG, surface analysis cluster, UHV-AFM/STM, …). Since some of these tools will depend on the particular PI being recruited, this space will be configured with the possible flexibility, incorporating 80 cm deep wells in each room for placement of isolated concrete blocks, raised on compressed air springs. This will allow raising the blocks from the ground slab (2m thick), or bringing these blocks in contact with the ground slab, depending on the vibration specifications of the tools to be installed.  These labs will also have particular acoustic, temperature and humidity specifications.  

A Central Scanning Probe Microscopy Laboratory: This laboratory will support SPM activity from standard imaging to advanced interdisciplinary applications and development of new techniques.

  • C) Central Biology and Biochemistry facility: to provide support for groups developing biology and biochemistry activity. This laboratory will have capability for cell culture, DNA manipulation, microspotting, etc…
  • D) Central Structural and Interface Characterization Laboratory: This laboratory will allow in-house detailed structural characterization of thin films, interfaces, and nanostructures ( X-ray, Auger/SIMS, …)

Additionally INL will have 22 to 24 wet and dry PI labs that will be gradually equipped as PIs join INL (spintronics, NEMS, photonics, high frequency device characterization, nanomaterial synthesis labs, etc…).

Last but not the least, the INL campus will also provide space and place for the design of prototypes and facilities for the establishment of spin-off companies as well as technical workshop place for glass, electronic, mechanic, cryogenics and other technical departments.

The conclusion on the INL Campus is predicted to occur in the Fall of 2009, and will represent an important milestone in the laboratory’s still very brief history. By the end of 2009, some of the laboratories are expected to be fully operational, so that research work can take place at INL. 

September 17, 2008 Posted by | INL Project | 1 Comment

3 postdoctoral positions available at INL

The INL has launched a new recruitment campaign to fill three postdoctoral positions. The public announcement shows all the necessary details to apply. You can also visit our recruitment site

September 15, 2008 Posted by | Careers/ INL Job opportunities, INL Project, R&EO | Leave a comment

Nanotechnology paints could kill superbugs in hospitals

New nanotechnology-based paints for walls, ceilings, and surfaces could also be used to kill hospital superbugs when fluorescent lights are switched on, according to a presentation made at the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn meeting recently held at Trinity College, Dublin.

The new paints contain tiny particles of titanium dioxide (TiO2), which is the dazzling white compound often used as a brightener in commercial paints, and in powder form it’s used to mark the white lines in tennis courts. Now, scientists have discovered that nanoparticle-sized forms of TiO2 can kill bacteria and destroy dirt when they absorb ultraviolet light energy from the sun. They produce active molecules which clean up the painted surfaces.

«It would be best if the titanium was antibacterial at wavelengths of light that you find indoors, such as fluorescent light, so that paints containing the nanoparticles could be used in hospitals and other places where a clean environment is important,» said Lucia Caballero from Manchester Metropolitan U. (UK).

The researchers looked at the survival of the food poisoning bacterium Escherichia coli on different formulations of paints containing the titanium nanoparticles under different types and intensities of lights. «We found that paints containing TiO2 are more successful at killing bacteria if the concentration of the nanoparticles is stronger than in normal paint,» said Lucia Caballero, and «best results showed that all the E. coli were killed under ordinary fluorescent lights.»

If you want to know more, check out the site smalltimes

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Nano News | Leave a comment

The most cited scientists

I have been surfing the web to give you a ranking of the most cited scientists. It was not an easy task because there are few websites specialized in these questions. One of the best websites is

It give you the opportunity of knowing the most cited authors by discipline. You can also carry out other searchs and find the most active scientific fields by country, by journal or by institution. I considered it quite interesting because it may give you an idea about the scientific community and its main actors.

September 10, 2008 Posted by | Educational & Teaching Resources, Rankings | Leave a comment

Nanotechnology in cancer treatment

The use of nanotechnology is especially promising in medicine. The innovative cancer treatment is based on the use of magnetic particles to treat tumors and promising minimal side effects. The technology developed by a German company is in clinical trials since 2003. «The therapy involves the use of medical devices, not pharmaceuticals. The iron oxide nanoparticles on which it is based behave like tiny implanted devices in the body. They are heated by an externally applied magnetic field but do not chemically interact with the body. Within the next several years, however, it is expected that these iron oxide nanoparticles will also be able to be used for targeted drug», according to the explanation presented by the company. 

The diffusion of the particles naturally stops at the border between tumorous and healthy tissue because of the cell differentiation between normal and cancer tissue as well as the higher density tissue structure of normal tissue which, in comparison to the heterogeneous and imperfect structure of tumor tissue, blocks the nanoparticles from penetrating further. Additionally, the particles are quickly absorbed into the tumor cells which, as they rapidly multiply, regard the particles as “food”. You can learn more about the company here



September 8, 2008 Posted by | Nano News | 5 Comments

INL International legal framework, an unique singularity

The preparation of the legal framework and governance structure for the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) is not an easy process. I am sure that many of you are wondering what are the benefits and drawbacks of such a decision. At the INL, we are still working in this critical issue.

Initially, the preparation of the INL international legal framework was asked to Jean-Marie Dufour, then Professor at the Law School of the University of Geneva and President of the Geneva International Academic Network. Professor Dufour was a legal advisor of CERN —European Organization for Nuclear Research at Geneva, Switzerland, founded in 1956, and was involved in the creation of the main international research laboratories in Europe, namely ESO —European Southern Observatory with headquarters at Garching, Germany that also houses the joint ESO/ESA European Coordination Facility for the Hubble Space Telescope and with facilities also in the La Silla Paranal Observatory in Chile, where it operates the VLT —Very Large Telescope and the VLTI —Very Large Telescope Interferometer, created in 1962,. Besides these scientific international organizations, Professor Dufour was involved in the creation of the EMBL —European Molecular Biology of Laboratory at Heildelberg, inaugurated in1978, and ESRF —European Synchrotron Radiation Facility at Grenoble, France, created in 1988.

Additionally, the analysis of the main Administrative Issues was requested to Mr. Helmut Krech. Mr. Helmut Krech is Head of Administration of the ESRF —European Synchrotron Radiation Facility at Grenoble, France, which was created in 1988.

We will give you more information about this point in following posts

September 4, 2008 Posted by | INL Project | Leave a comment