History

 

The Laboratory of Mössbauer Spectroscopy was created in 1973, with the return of Dr. Gancedo from Cambridge (UK), where he had worked three years with Dr. A. G. Maddock, to whom he is deeply indebted. Research facilities were scarce, and so all the equipment but the MCA had to be home-built. Ever since, the main interest of the group has been the study of atmospheric corrosion, mostly of iron. One of the excursions out of this field has been the study of archaeological ceramics, started during the Ph.D. Thesis of Dr. Gracia.

With the incorporation of Dr. Marco in 1986, the study of the corrosion of nitride coatings was begun, and CEMS, XPS, and AES were incorporated as standard techniques. Probably the most relevant findings of the group are those concerning the formation of “green rust,” iron sulphite and thiosulphate, and the role played by microcrystalline goethite in the early stages of certain corrosion reactions.

The group collaborated with other Spanish groups working in catalysis, materials science, magnetism, mineralogy, archaeology, etc. The group’s main international cooperations involve Professor F. Berry (The Open University, UK), with frequent stays of Dr. Marco in Professor Berry’s laboratory, and Professor J. L. Gautier (Universidad de Santiago de Chile), in this case for the study of lithium mixed oxides. Bilateral cooperation schemes have been maintained, among others, with Professor P. Gütlich and Dr. W. Meisel (Mainz University, Germany), Dr. D. Hanzel (Josef Stephan Institute, Slovenia), Professor R. Mercader (Universidad de La Plata, Argentina), Professor G. Pérez-Alcázar (Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia) and Professor A. Morales (Universidad de Medellín, Colombia). Several researchers have received training for CEMS in the group’s laboratories.

Dr. Gancedo has been a Short Term Expert of the International Atomic Energy Agency, introducing Nuclear Electronic Instrumentation and Mössbauer Spectroscopy in several developing countries.

In 2007, Dr. de la Figuera joined the group, incorporating research lines focussed in surface science, mostly in the in-situ study of ultra-thin metals films behavior. Techniques that are used in the laboratory include scanning tunneling microscopy and low energy electron microscopy.

Nowadays, the group is focussing in oxide surfaces, thin films and ultrathin films.