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  • Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM)
  • New portable device for automated radon detection
  • OneWeb 7th Launch: 872 silicon photodiodes of the Clean Room in orbit
  • An international project to improve reliability for electronic components

Welcome to the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona IMB-CNM-CSIC

The Barcelona Institute of Microelectronics (IMB-CNM), CSIC, is a well-positioned research center in the development of new Micro, Nano Technologies, Components and Systems. This center is a leader in the application of such technologies to solve social challenges and is aligned with the sustainable development objectives.

IMB-CNM research focuses on basic and applied research and development in micro and nanotechnologies, components and systems. Its lines of research include the entire value chain from the components of detection, power, and actuation, signal transmission and its application to the health and well-being of people, help control environmental conditions, and save and improve efficient management of energy.




Ultrabroadband light absorbing Fe/polymer flexible metamaterial for soft opto-mechanical devices
Ultrabroadband light absorbing Fe/polymer flexible metamaterial for soft opto-mechanical devices
Güell-Grau, P., Pi, F., Villa, R., Nogués, J., Alvarez, M., Sepúlveda, B.

Ultrabroadband light absorbers are attracting increasing interest for applications in energy harvesting, photodetection, self-regulated devices or soft robotics. However, current absorbers show detrimental insufficient absorption spectral range, or light angle and polarization dependence. Here we show that the unexplored optical properties of highly-damped plasmonic materials combined with the infrared absorption of thin polymer films enable developing ultrabroadband light-absorbing soft metamaterials. The developed metamaterial, composed of a nanostructured Fe layer mechanically coupled to a thin polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) film, shows unprecedented ultrabroadband and angle-independent optical absorption (averaging 84% within 300–18000 nm). The excellent photothermal efficiency and large thermal-expansion mismatch of the metamaterial is efficiently transformed into large mechanical deflections, which we exploit to show an artificial iris that self-regulates the transmitted light power from the ultraviolet to the long-wave infrared, an untethered light-controlled mechanical gripper and a light-triggered electrical switch.

Applied Materials Today, Volume 23, 2021, 101052, ISSN 2352-9407,

Detail of the microfluidic system, the tissue barrier and the hydrogel
Engineering Tissue Barrier Models on Hydrogel Microfluidic Platforms
Vera, D., García-Díaz, M., Torras, N., Álvarez, M., Villa, R., Martinez, E.

Tissue barriers play a crucial role in human physiology by establishing tissue compartmentalization and regulating organ homeostasis. At the interface between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and flowing fluids, epithelial and endothelial barriers are responsible for solute and gas exchange. In the past decade, microfluidic technologies and organ-on-chip devices became popular as in vitro models able to recapitulate these biological barriers. However, in conventional microfluidic devices, cell barriers are primarily grown on hard polymeric membranes within polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) channels that do not mimic the cell–ECM interactions nor allow the incorporation of other cellular compartments such as stromal tissue or vascular structures. To develop models that accurately account for the different cellular and acellular compartments of tissue barriers, researchers have integrated hydrogels into microfluidic setups for tissue barrier-on-chips, either as cell substrates inside the chip, or as self-contained devices. These biomaterials provide the soft mechanical properties of tissue barriers and allow the embedding of stromal cells. Combining hydrogels with microfluidics technology provides unique opportunities to better recreate in vitro the tissue barrier models including the cellular components and the functionality of the in vivo tissues. Such platforms have the potential of greatly improving the predictive capacities of the in vitro systems in applications such as drug development, or disease modeling. Nevertheless, their development is not without challenges in their microfabrication. In this review, we will discuss the recent advances driving the fabrication of hydrogel microfluidic platforms and their applications in multiple tissue barrier models.

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2021, 13, 12, 13920–13933.

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