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IDEAS project is awarded with an ERC Advanced Grant


The UAM professor Fernando Martín, from the Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Sciences has obtained funding from the European Research Council to develop the IDEAS project (Imaging, Decoherence and AttoSecond probing of ionization-induced charge migration in molecules)

The European Research Council (ERC) has selected the “Imaging, Decoherence and AttoSecond probing of ionization-induced charge migration in molecules” (IDEAS) project, led by the Professor of Physical Chemistry at the Autonomous University of Madrid ( UAM), Fernando Martín, to be financed by the ERC Advanced Grant program. It is the second time that the CampuS group receives one of these grants.

This project is one of the 82 projects in the category of Physical Sciences and Engineering that the ERC is going to finance this year 2020. According to the leading researcher its objective is to understand, and eventually predict, the first stages of charge migration processes in complex molecules, occurring in the time range of attoseconds (10-18 seconds). To do this, the team will have to develop and validate the theoretical methodology necessary to describe the effects that such migration produces experimentally, with the additional complication that existing techniques for simple atoms and simple molecules are not trivially extensible for complex ones.

The computational codes to be developed within the IDEAS project will provide a description of ionization and charge migration in relatively complex molecules, with a level of detail unprecedented to date. This is an essential step for the establishment and consolidation of attosecond science as a discipline that, beyond revolutionizing our basic knowledge of the electronic processes that occur in matter, allows addressing problems of practical interest in physics and chemistry.

Obtaining this ERC grant will boost the research that we have been developing in our group in recent years and, in particular, will allow us to continue advancing in the development of new attosecond experiments aimed at understanding and controlling chemical processes in a time scale inaccessible to date. This could allow us to generate more efficient charge transfer processes than those currently used in, for example, optoelectronic and photovoltaic devices. In addition, the project will reinforce the investigations carried out within the framework of the European CA18222 Action (AttoChem) that we coordinate from the Autonomous University of Madrid ”, explained Professor Martín.

FERNANDO MARTÍN GARCÍA graduated in Chemical Sciences (Quantum Chemistry specialty) in 1984 and in Physical Sciences (Theoretical Physics specialty) in 1986 at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He obtained his doctorate at that university in 1986 and obtained the extraordinary doctorate award. Subsequently, he completed postdoctoral stays at the Université de Bordeaux I (1988), the Université de Paris VI (1989-1990) and the University of Chicago (1995-1996). He has been Full Professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid from 1993 to 2005 and, since then, Professor of the same in the area of ​​Physical Chemistry.
His research work has focused mainly on the theoretical and computational modeling of photoexcitation and photoionization processes in atomic and molecular systems induced by synchrotron radiation and ultrashort laser pulses with femto- and atosecond durations, as well as in the theoretical study and prediction of properties of materials and nano-objects, of complex molecular systems, aggregates and fullerenes, isolated or deposited on metallic and non-metallic surfaces. All of this, in close collaboration with prestigious Spanish and European experimental groups.
He has directed 24 doctoral theses, is co-author of several scientific codes (XChem, FullFun, M3C), and has published nearly 500 articles, among which several stand out in the journals Science, Nature, Chemical Reviews, Nature Chemistry, Nature Physics, Nature Photonics, Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Physical Review Letters, Angewandte Chemie, Journal of the American Chemical Society, ACS Nano, Advanced Materials, Small, Nano Letters, as well as various reviews and book chapters.
He has also received numerous awards, including the Rey Juan Carlos I National Research Prize (2000); the prize from the Royal Spanish Society of Chemistry in Physical Chemistry (2010), the Advanced Grant XCHEM from the European Research Council (2011), and the Rey Jamie I Prize in Basic Research (2017). He has been the coordinator of two COST Actions for European cooperation, the first between 2008 and 2012 (CUPSFEL, CM0702) and the second, mentioned above, in attosecond chemistry, from 2019 to 2023 (AttoChem, CA18222).

The European Research Council (ERC) is the main European funding organization for excellent frontier research and is part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Each year, it selects and funds the best creative researchers of any nationality and age to execute projects carried out in Europe. In this year’s call, researchers and teachers from 26 nationalities have been selected. Germany, the United Kingdom and France are the countries with the highest number of projects in a classification in which Spain ranks sixth, with 14 selected. In total, 450 million euros will be allocated to finance the 185 researchers who have won some of the grants from this call.

As explained in a statement by the promoters of this European initiative, these research projects will not only help to strengthen the European knowledge base, but will also allow the creation of 1,800 new jobs for postdoctoral researchers, doctoral students and other related jobs.

For more information, we refer you to:
ERC press release: https://erc.europa.eu/news/erc-2019-advanced-grants-results
H2020 in Spain, official website: https://eshorizonte2020.es/ciencia-excelente/consejo-europeo-de-investigacion-erc/noticias/resultados-convocatoria-advanced-grants-2019
UAM press release: See here 

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