My goal is to make new and better tools for Electrochemical studies. This involves several disciplines that are organized around three main blocks: Technology development, Electrochemical Components and Systems, and Applications.
Electrochemistry focuses on charge transfer processes, typically at the electrode-solution interface. Understanding not only electron transfer but also mass transport phenomena enables us to design new micro-electrode based sensors and biosensors that display faster response and higher sensitivity than conventional macro electrodes.
Micro fabrication techniques are used in the fabrication of microelectrode-based devices, such as micro electrode arrays. Micro fabrication techniques are based on lithographic processes from the silicon-based electronics industry and take place at the Clean Room of the IMB-CNM.
Rapid prototyping techniques complement micro fabrication techniques and enable the early identification of design flaws. Prototypes aid in the design of new devices and shorten their development cycle. Prototyping also allows the construction of fittings and accessory parts for new experimental set-ups. This is our prototyping lab.
Devices: Components and Systems
Edge and hemispherical diffusion provide micro- electrode arrays with a number of analytical advantages compared to conventional macro electrodes. Micro fabrication techniques enable the fabrication of microelectrode-based devices in different geometries and materials.
The laminar flow conditions developing in flow cells enable highly reproducible and sensitive measurements.
The fabrication of flow devices combines microfabrication and conventional manufacturing and prototyping techniques.
A Lab on a chip is a microfluidic device that integrates other functions besides sensing: sample preparation, mixing of solutions and (bio)chemical reactions… In addition to using conventional microfabriation techniques on silicon, glass, and a range of polymers, we can also process various laminated materials and combine them to make more functional and advanced lab on a chip devices.
Technology, Components and Systems are developed for a reason. The following summarizes the main areas where our work is focused.
The study of physicochemical phenomena at the micro- and nano- scale requires special tools. Micro- and nano-fabrication techniques enable us to fabricate the structures necessary to isolate such phenomena and facilitate their study and the interpretation of their behaviour.
Electrochemical techniques are ideally suited and have been used in the detection of heavy metals since the 1970s. We use carbon electrodes and flow cells to detect and quantify different heavy metals in natural waters.
Biosensors are analytical devices that incorporate biological material in direct contact with a transducer. My interest is on developing enzymatic biosensors to monitor a number of metabolites and biomarkers in blood and other body fluids.