El grupo de investigación CIENCIA E INGENIERÍA DE LOS MATERIALES tiene su sede en la Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad de Cádiz y está integrado en el Instituto IMEYMAT.

Research Group Materials Science and Engineering (CIM-UCA)
Leader García Roja, Rafael
Knowledge Area 65
UNESCO Codes 221112; 220304; 221125; 330714; 331203; 31208
Andalucía Research Plan Reference TEP-0120

The general objective of the CIM-UCA group “Materials Science and Engineering” of the University of Cádiz (TEP-120 according to the Andalusian Research Plan catalogue), led by Prof. Dr. Rafael García, since its foundation in 1988, is to contribute to the development of science and engineering on the stages of fabrication and application of functional and structural materials. These goals are achieved by means of (i) micro- and nano-characterization of structure and composition of materials by techniques mainly based on accelerated electron or ion beams (SEM, FIB and (S)TEM), X-rays diffraction or spectroscopies; (ii) theoretical-empirical studies of mechanical, optical or electronic behavior as well as the modeling of materials systems at different scales; (iii) the development of new TEM methodologies and the simulation of TEM images in computer-intensive equipment; and since more recently, by (iv) synthesis of nanomaterials by means of chemical-, and physical- vapor deposition (CVD and PVD); and (v) electronic and optical characterization. All this is done to understand the relationships between the constitutive nature of materials, their properties, their methods of synthesis and processing; and thus, to be able to elaborate and suggest design rules to accomplish the functionalities foreseen in such materials. Below is the data related to the 22 members of the CIM-UCA research group in January 2020:

Name Profesional Category PhD holder Email address Six-year Term CNEAI
Rafael García Roja CU YES 6
Daniel Araújo Gay CU YES 4
David González Robledo CU YES 4
Francisco M. Morales Sánchez CU YES 3
Francisco J. Pacheco Romero TU YES 2
Mª del Pilar Villar Castro TU YES 3
Marina Gutiérrez Peinado TU YES 3
Teresa Ben Fernández TU YES 2
Daniel Fernández de los Reyes PAD YES
José Carlos Piñero Charlo PAD YES
Fernando Lloret Vieira PSI YES
Bertrand Lacroix IC YES
Verónica Braza Blanco IC YES
Juan Jesús Jiménez Ríos IC NO
Antonio J. Santos Izquierdo-Bueno IC NO
Nazaret Ruiz Marín IC NO
Sara Flores Gallego IC NO
Gonzalo Alba Muñoz IC NO
Beatriz Soto Portillo IC NO
Salim Khammal IC-ICS NO
María de la Paz Alegre Salguero PTA-MIN YES
Francisco Manuel León Ruíz PTA-PAS NO
Professional Categories Professional Categories
Initial Category Initial Category
CU Catedrático: Full Professor IC Researcher
TU Titular: Associate Professor IC-ICS Researcher (Internat. co-supervision)
PAD Ayudante: Dr: Assistant Professor PTA-MIN Technician (state program)
PSI Interino: Teaching Assistant PTA-PAS Technician (permanent)
  • As a result of its traditional scientific excellence, it is worth mentioning that, in the First Edition of the Research Awards of the University of Cádiz, in 2008, the CIM-UCA group obtained the “Award for the Most Excellent Research Group in the Areas of Experimental Sciences, Technologies, Engineering and Health Sciences”. It should also be noted that the CIM-UCA group managed in 2017 to be awarded with one of the “Postdoctoral Contracts associated with High-Level Productive Groups” of the UCA R&D Plan, assigned to the 4 most competitive groups, based on their contribution for placing UCA in international research rankings. The evaluation of the activity of the groups was carried out by an external commission managed by the Direction of Evaluation and Accreditation (DEVA) of the Andalusian Agency of Knowledge of the Junta de Andalucía. The CIM-UCA permanent staff have the maximum of their possible positive evaluation of their performed consecutive six-years periods as researchers (sexenios CNEAI).


  • The members of TEP-120 have also held important management positions at the University of Cádiz like: Director of the Materials Science and Metallurgic Engineering and Inorganic Chemistry Department (2013-2014), Vice-Rector of Research (2003-2007), and Chancellor Advisor (2007-2011) by R. Garcia; Vice-Rector of International and Cultural Impact (2011-2015) and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Nautical Sciences (2008-2011) by M. Gutierrez; Secretary (2003-2013) and Co-Director (2013-2014) of the Materials Science and Metallurgic Engineering and Inorganic Chemistry Department, in addition to the Director of the Staff Management Secretariat (2016-2019), by M. P. Villar; Director of the School of Oceanic and Naval Engineering (2012-2017) by F. J. Pacheco; and since 2014 till nowadays, F. M. Morales is Scientific Responsible of the Sample Preparation Lab of the SC-ICYT Central Facilities, as well as Director of the Institute of Research on Electron Microscopy and Materials (IMEYMAT).


  • In addition, the members of the team are very active in internationalization of their activities, many of their scientific publications are carried out in cooperation with groups of foreign countries (53 out of 91: 58.2% for the 2015-2019 period), they regularly conducted research stays abroad in centers of recognized prestige, and in their communications to congresses are mostly in English at International meetings. Also, most of their supervised PhD theses are carried out (i) in co-tutelage with foreign universities, or (ii) with International Mention requirements (research stays abroad of at least 3 months, and a minimum of 3 papers in addition to part of the PhD work and defense in English) Among their international R&D management tasks and recognitions listed extensively in a next section of the present document, the following are highlighted: direct organization, chairmen or invited talkers at conferences, often editors or peer-reviewers of indexed journals; or at one EU-COST Action: management committee member representing Spain, and leader of a thematic panel.


  • The active research lines focused to specific materials at the CIM-UCA group, at this moment, are:
– Semiconductor nanowires, quantum-wells or quantum-dots for micro- and opto-electronic applications.
– GaAsSbN semiconductor alloy engineering for applications in solar cells and high performance photodetectors.
– Multiple systems of thin layers and nanostructures based on the activity of binary III-N nitrides (InN, AlN, GaN), ternary (InAlN, InGaN, AlGaN) and quaternary (InAlGaN) for optoelectronics, power electronics and photovoltaic technology.
– Synthetic diamond for materials engineering in electronics, aeronautics, tools and medicine.
– Systems elaborated by glancing-oblique angle deposition (oxides and metals) for optic, optronic and thermochromic applications.
– Studies of phase transformations of minerals of industrial interest by thermo-chemical treatments.
– Reinforced polymers for aeronautics.
  • Concerning the attraction and management of public and private funding, in January 2020, the TEP-120 group is dealing with 8 active research projects, 2 projects of equipment acquisition and 3 industry contracts, all together valued in almost 2 M€, although it is involved in other proposals pending of resolution. For the reference period 2015-2019, a total amount of about 3,2 M€ was granted to members of the group as principal investigators, summarized as:
– 10 OTRI industrial contracts led by members of the group, amounting to 179.944 €.
– 25 research projects (1 of the European Union H2020, 5 national “State-Programs”, 5 regional “Junta de Andalucía”, and 14 from UCA University or IMEYMAT Institute own R&D Plans) with a total funding of 1.310.417,42 €
– 8 national and regional FEDER cofounded projects for infrastructure and equipment with a total funding of 1.730.273,38 €
  • As about the scientific productivity of the group during the last five years (2015-2019), it is summarized as follows:
– 6 doctoral theses supervised and defended by the group, 5 of them having the International Mention.
– 3 patents (industrial property) and 2 software (intellectual property) registrations by members of the group.
– 91 publications (17 in 2019), with 87 and 84 indexed in the SJR and JCR databases, respectively.
– For the 84 JCR, 61 of them (73%) are in the 1st quartile (Q1), 16 are Q2, and 7 are Q3. For the JCR impact factors, the average is 4.03, being 23 articles with impact higher than 5, 20 between 4 and 5, 15 in the range 3-4, 7 in the 2-3 and 19 in the 1-2.