PD in materials science

The Materials Science PhD program has been imparted at the University of Alicante under different formats and with diverse contents from the beginning of the 80´s decade. Throughout this period, the PhD Program in Materials Science regulated by the decree 778/98 achieved on December 14th 2004, by resolution of the General University Board (Dirección General de Universidad) the Quality Distinction of the Ministry (MCD 2004-00323), obtaining its renewal until the academic year 2010-2011. The PhD in Materials Science regulated by the decree 1393/2007 achieved the Excellence Distinction (Mención Hacia la Excelencia MEE2011-0051) (resolution of Octobre 6th 2011, General University Board), valid until the academic year 2013-2014.

The idea of the promoters of this program was to plan a program in which different Departments with an interest in materials research could participate and become involved. At present the following departments take part in this program: Applied Physics, Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Nutrition and Bromatology and is co-ordinated by the University Materials Institute.

Scientific research in the area of Materials Science and Technology that is carried out at the University of Alicante (UA) has developed noticeably in the last years. There are many groups whose research actively focuses on this area, tackling fundamental as well as applied topics , and in many cases, in collaboration with national and foreign industries. The following facts that show some links with the UA must be mentioned, through members of the Materials Institute with Spanish enterprises which are representative of research in Materials Science and Technology.

  • The existence in the UA of an Associated Unit of the CSIC (through the Departments of Applied Physics in the UA and the Theory of Condensed Matter  in the Madrid Materials Science Institute). The CSIC-UA convention for the creation of an Associated Unit was subscribed in 1996 and has successively been hitherto renewed.
  • The existence of a framework agreement subscribed between the University of Alicante and the multinational enterprise Alcoa on the fabrication of metal matrix composites. Alcoa, which has one of its Spanish plants and a research facility in Alicante recently participated in a FEDER Project granted to the University of Alicante.

On the other hand, it should be highlighted that a large part of the industrial activity in the province of Alicante and its surroundings is related to different aspects of Materials Science and Technology: raw materials, materials extraction, processing, and fabrication of the end products. Many lecturers and professors of the PhD program develop projects of industrial profile and in order to carry them out have access to two pilot plants at the UA. Thus, the Materials Science PhD program that is imparted at the University of Alicante is supported both by an intense research activity in the area of Materials Science and Technology that is carried out in the Faculty of Science and the University Materials Institute of the UA, and by the industrial activities related to the materials from the Comunidad Valenciana and in particular the province of Alicante.

The general objectives of said program would be the following:

  • Provide a post-graduate formation that covers basic and applied aspects of Materials Science
  • Train PhDs who may develop their profesional activity in the industry, research or academic sector.
  • Promote interaction with other Universities and Research Centres which are active in the materials area.
  • Consolidate and potentiate research on Materials Science and Technology.

It must also be highlighted that the PhD program is integrated in the project CAMPUSHABITAT5U, by which the University of Alicante, together with the rest of Unviersitis forming the Valencian Public University System (Sistema Universitario Público Valenciano (SUPV)), obtained, in the 2011 call, the distinction of Campus of International Excellence.

This fact alone indicated that the PhD program in Materials Science is fully integrated in the R+D+I strategy of the University of Alicante.

The objective of CAMPUSHABITAT5U is to enhance and potentiate an intelligent, sustainable, and integrating growth process base don knowledge, innovation, creativity, resource efficiency, employability, and social as well as territorial cohesiveness, being its fundamental characteristics aggregation, inasmuch as it configures a Campus in the Valencian Community which joins efforts and shares knowledge, specialization, inasmuch as it develops a unique excellence project in Spain in the framework of “Habitat and Territory”, interdisciplinarity, since it is a multisecotrial and multidisciplinary campus, based on the interaction of different economic sectors and multiple discipline, and internationalization, since everything that enhances the visibility of the teaching and research international dimension brings talent and further consolidates the network of alliances and partners.

The profile which we aim to reach for PhDs having undertaken this programe is for them to have the skills to develop activities in different industry, research, and teaching sectors. In this way, they may develop their working life within a professional or teaching/research profile in the fields of Materials Science and Technology. Concerning the professional profile, the PhD may take up research and technological development tasks, research project leading, and management within the enterprise activities. Concerning the teacinhg/research profile, the PhD is fully capable of continuing his working life in university teaching and for the development of research tasks in public and private research centres which have R&D departments.

The PhD program offers 20 new positions every year, two of them part-time.

 CAMPUSHABITAS5U currently represents research teams and activities of acknowledged prestige which have been developing international excellence projects with an innovative outlook and socio-economic impact in Habitat and Territory. Thus, another remarkable aspect is the integration of the project in 66 PhD programs (around 1000 students), 97 R+D groups, 39 University Institutes, 3 CSIC mixed research centres, 8 Technology Institutes of the Valencian Community, 36 Chairs, 14 Spin-off industries generated in the last years, 32 filed patents in 2010, 30 annual contracts of technology licencing and more than 5000 researchers and technical support staff in Science Parks.

If you are interested in taking up this PhD program, check all the information on pre-registration and registration by clicking here


The program has received a positive assessment from its graduates (2017/18 survey): Score obtained by the PhD Program (8.9/10)

Doctors working in jobs requiring a PhD degree 87.5%

Acknowledgement of the program, inclusion in the RUCT and publication in the Spanish Official Bulletin (BOE)

The PhD program in Materials Science was acknowledged by the ANECA on 25/09/2013 Check the acknowledgement memoir

Authorized by the regional governent on 28/03/2014

Approved by the Council of Ministers on  23/05/2014 and published in the Spanish National Bulletin12/06/2014

More information in the University Registry of Titles and Centres (Registro Universitario de Títulos y Centros) (RUCT)

This modification has been approved by the ANECA (National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain) and came into effect on 04/01/2018.

ON 15/10/2019 the Council of Universities renewed the Accreditation of the Materials Science PhD program

Check the Reaccreditation report here

The coordinating centre responsible for the PhD Program is the Alicante University Materials Institute (IUMA) located at the Campus of San Vicente of the University of Alicante.

Nuevos institutos Ampliación del Campus

Second floor  0204P2076

Universidad de Alicante 

Apartado de Correos 99,

03080 Alicante

Tfo: 34+965909820
E-mail: ciencia.materiales@ua.es

The coordinator of the PhD Program in Materials Science is: Prof. Diego Cazorla Amorós cazorla@ua.es

Coordinator contact telephone: 965903946

The Academic PhD Board (CAD) of the PhD program in Materials Science has been constituted according to Point 1 of Article 12 of the normative for PhD studies of the UA which is hereby indicated: “The Academic PhD Program Board may be formed by teachers with a PhD belonging to said PhD program who are currently supervising at least one PhD Thesis within the framework of said PhD Program, who have supervised one in the last 6 years, or who have proven their research capability with the justification of at least 2 research activity periods according to the previsions of the Royal Decree 1086/1989 of August 28th on retributions of university teachers.

The integrants of each PhD Program who find themselves in any of the aforementioned situations will decide the number of teachers that may be part of the Academic Board and will proceed to their election. The Academic Board will be formed by at least one representative of each of the research groups that constitute the PhD Program.

Following this rule, the CAD named a Permanent Commission, a body formed by representatives of all research groups and which has the functions of CAD and may make the same decisions. This Commission is composed of:

Diego Cazorla Amorós (President)

Mª Carmen Román Martínez (Secretary)

Antonio Canals Hernández

Roberto Gómez Torregrosa

María Ángeles Díaz García

Manuel Martínez Escandell

Mª José Illán Gómez

Emilia Morallón Núñez

Functions of the Academic Board

  • To establish requirements and additional criteria for the selection and admission of students in a PhD program and solve any possible issues based upon them.
  • To assign a tutor and a supervisor to the PhD student, as well as to modify them in the cases contemplated in the present normative.
  • To authorize the extensions to the PhD studies under the conditions contemplated in the present normative.
  • To evaluate annually the research plan and the document of PhD activities together with the reports which the tutor and supervisor will issue to that effect.
  • To propose the composition of the Tribunal responsible for assessing the PhD Theses and give the authorization for their defence.
  • To authorize privacy protection of PhD Theses under exceptional circumstances linked to protection processes of transfer of knowledge, as it may be the case it, among others, the participation of private companies in the program of in the School, the existence of confidentiality agreements with enterprises or the possibility of generating patents which may affect the contents of the Thesis.
  • To authorize stays and activities outside Spain of the PhD students aimed towards the achieving the “International Doctor” degree.
  • To name as many internal subcommissions as deemed necessary for the adequate development of its activities.

The University of Alicante has an Internal Quality Assurance System (SIGC) for the Doctoral School (EDUA), adequated to the criteria of the AUDIT model, and approved by the Evaluation Commission of the ANECA on May 30th 2017.

Both the manual and the procedures are available from this link.


The EDUA has, through the Quality Assurance Commission in which all the PhD programs are represented by the quality coordinators, among its objectives to guarantee the quality of its PhD programs, keep and renew adequately its formative offer as well as approve, monitor, and revise the management of the doctoral process of those PhD programs.

Quality Assurance Commission of the PhD Program

The Materials Science PhD program has a Quality Assurance Commission which is the organism responsible for the Quality Assurance System. This commission is composed of the head of the University Materials Institute and teaching staff of the different departments that participate in the PhD program. At present the members of the commission are:

  • Diego Cazorla Amorós
  • Antonio Canals Hernández
  • María Díaz García
  • Roberto Gómez Torregrosa
  • Mª José Illán Gómez
  • Manuel Martínez Escandell
  • Emilia Morallón Núñez
  • M. Carmen Román Martínez.

Preliminary List of Received Aplications

Performance report PhD Program

Satisfaction surveys teaching/research staff, studentsy trayectoria profesional y empleabilidad  egresados

Title Improvement Plan

AVAP evaluation results report


These activities are compulsory for students from all PhD studies of the University of Alicante

  • Information management and recovery tools (8 hours)
  • Objectives and ends of research (6 hours)
  • Scientific communication models (12 hours)
  • Knowledge transfer models (14 hours)

Please consult here the activities program



Throughout the PhD years, the PHD student must certify at least 10 seminars of this kind. For their certification the student will have to provide the following form signed by the person responsible for said seminar.

A report including the title of the seminars with the approval of the PhD supervisor will be included in the PhD student activities document.


These will be celebrated annually coinciding with the Scientific Meetings organized by the IUMA on January.

The PhD students will participate in a PhD Students Workshop in which the students belonging to the program will present and defend the work which they have carried out during the previous year.

Before their Viva, the PhD students must have attended at least 3 workshops of this kind.

The students must attend the presentations and the document assessing their participation will be included in the PhD student activities document. A brief summary of the presentations which the student has attended, with the approval of the PhD supervisor, will be attached to the PhD student activities document.

Phd Students workshops program


Attendance to scientific meetings, conferences, workshops, colloquia, etc. which are related to the subject of the PhD Project and by the performing scientific communications. The activity will include the preparation, submission of the manuscript, and the public presentations (in case of acceptance) of the work.

The students must attend at least 3 of such activities throughout their PhD years.

The certificate of attendance of the scientific communication event and the bibliographic reference of the proceedings of the event will be included in the PhD student activities document. A brief summary of the presentations which the student has attended, with the approval of the PhD supervisor, will be attached to the PhD student activities document.


Specific formative activity consisting of the mobility of the PhD student to a University or Higher Education Centre different from that in which the student is registered for the undertaking of research tasks related to his/her PhD subject. The performance of this activity is conditioned by the existence of mobility grants which the students may apply for and obtain.

The acreditative certificate of the stay issued by the unit responsible for the stay at the University of Research Centre, as well as the report on the work performed during the stay, with the approval of the PhD supervisor, will be attached to the PhD student activities document.


Compulsory activities:Attendance to seminars, courses and scientific meetings: Each PhD student must attend, at least three activities of this kind which are celebrated outside the University of Alicante

Activities subject to funding availability: A stay of at least 12 weeks in a foreign research centre in order to achieve the “International Doctor” mention as long as funding is granted for this task (see above)

The research areas that are developed in the PhD program are the following:

- Adhesives, Rubbers, and Adhesion Phenomena

- Adhesives and polymers for medical use

- Heterogeneous Catalysis

- Environmental Decontamination

- Organic electronics and photonics

- Electrochemistry: Novel Materials

- Semiconductor Electrochemistry

- Surface Electrochemistry and Electrocatalysis

- Spectroelectrochemistry and Modeling

- Statistical Physics and Physics of Condensed Matter

- Interaction of Charged Particles with Matter

- Carbon Materials

- Composite Materials

- Polymeric Materials

- Intelligent polymeric materials

- Novel Nanoparticle-based Analytical Techniques

- Electrochemical Processes

- Computantional and Quantum Chemistry

- Adsorbent Solids

- Analytical Techniques for Materials Characterization


Adhesives, Rubbers and Adhesion Phenomena

The formation of adhesive joints requires knowing the characteristics of the substrates that will be joined, the adhesives and the determinant parameters in adhesion. Additionally, it requires adequate evaluation of the adhesion and durability of the adhesive joints.

Thus, research is carried out on the following aspects:

- Surface treatments of polymers and elastomers: Mechanical treatments, chemical treatments, radiation treatments.

- Characterization of the treated surfaces by means of contact angle, IR-ATR spectroscopy, XPS and SEM.

- Formulation and characterization of adhesives.

- Optimization and characterization of adhesion, with special emphasis on the preferential rupture weak layers.

- Evaluation of adhesión by means of different types of assays and characterization of the separated surfaces (IR-ATR spectroscopy, XPS, SEM).

- Study and improvemente of the durability of adhesive joints.

- Adhesive-substrate interphase analysis.

- Improvement of the adhesion process on natural stone.

- Bioadhesion and bioadhesives.

- Natural adhesives.

- Adhesives for medical use.

Group responsible for this research area: Adhesion


Adhesives and polymers for medical use

The use of biometarials in medicine has established itself in the last decade. However, there are limitations in the functionality of present biomaterials, centered essentially on adhesives. This new research line is focused on developing new adhesives for external and internal use based o polymeric materials, whose properties are controlled by their structure.

Group responsible for this research area: Adhesion


Heterogeneous Catalysis

The preparation of solid heterogeneous catalysts, both in bulk and supported form is studied. An ample variety of materials is used as supports: inorganic oxides, zeolites, mesoporous silicas, carbon materials as well as composite materials such as supported zeolite membranes. The active phases are fundamentally metals, metallic oxides and coordination compounds. The interest of these materials lies in their application as catalysts in specific reactions which may be of oxidation, hydrogenation, polymerization, and in general reactions of interest in fine chemistry and decontamination processes that may take place in gas or liquid phase. Another aspect of great relevance is the characterization of said catalysts, which is carried out by means of a wide range of experimental techniques, which allows correlating the structure and surface properties of these materials with their catalytic properties.

Groups responsible for this research area:

Advanced Materials Laboratory

Carbon Materials and Environment


Enviromental decontamination

The preparation and study of adsorbents, catalysts and photocatalysts is studied. These materials must be adequate for the solution of environmental problems such as the removal of volatile organic compounds from air, which are normally generated from solvents or by the removal of toxic elements or compounds (and/or their possible recovery given their high economic value) in aqueous phase. Another topic of interest is the removal of SO2 and NOx generated from stationary combustion sources by means of carbon materials doped with metals that show activity and selectivity towards the capture/abatement of both pollutants. Finally, the combined removal of NOx and soot generated in diesel fuel emissions by catalytic processes is also investigated.

The adsorbents extend from carbon materials with amorphous structure to 3-D nanostructured materials such as zeolites, ordered silica materials, titania nanotubes, etc. Adequate modifications in the synthetic route allow modification and adaptation of both the porosity and the surface chemistry of these materials for a specific decontamination application. Additionally, these materials may act as catalyst supports. Catalysts may be of a very different and varied chemical nature depending on the type of process, and encompass from alkaline, alkaline-earth or transition metal-doped carbon materials to bulk transition and lanthanide metal oxides (TiO2, CeO2) and mixed oxides of the perovskite, ceria-zirconia, etc. type, doped with noble and standard metals .

With respect to photocatalysts, mainly semiconductor oxides are studied, among which titania is a prominent example.

Groups responsible for this research area:

Advanced Materials Laboratory

Carbon Materials and Environment

Organic electronics and photonics

  • The Research are of organic electronics and photonics aims at the study of the optical and electronic properties of organic materials and the fabrication of optoelectronic devices. At present the research line that has greater relevance is thin fil organic lasers. This includes the study of different aspects:The study of novel organic materials that may act as laser active materials, by means of active collaborations with Organic Chemistry and Quantum Chemistry groups in order to model the properties at molecular level.
  • Characterization of the spontaneous amplified emission properties  of the materials in the configuration of waveguides.
  • Fabrication of lasers with distributed feedback (DFB) by holographic methods and by nanoprinting lithography.
  • Application of lasers in the field of sensors.
  • Study of the interaction of lasers with plasmonic systems.

An additional research line is dedicated to the study of photoconductive and photorefractive materials.

Group responsible for this research area: Physics of Condensed Matter

Electrochemistry: Novel Materials

- Conducting polymers: Study of the preparation by electrochemical and chemical methods of conducting polymers. Characterization of these polymers by different techniques such as cyclic voltammetry, FTIR spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy and electrochemical quartz microbalance. Application of the obtained polymers in electrocatalysis and in electrochemical sensors. Modification of the obtained polymers by the incorporation of functional groups.

- Electrochemical characterization of carbon materials: Study of the electrochemical properties of different carbon materials such as activated carbons, carbon fibers and activated carbon fibers, etc. Modification of their surface chemistry and porosity. Application in the preparation of supported catalysts and development of supercapacitors.

- Synthesis by different techniques (chemical or electrochemical) and metallic oxide-based electrocatalysts characterization.

Groups responsible for this research area:

Applied Electrochemistry and Electrocatalysis

Surface Electrochemistry

Electrocatalysis and Polymer Electrochemistry

Semiconductor Electrochemistry

Study of the stationary and non-stationary responses of semiconductor electrodes and in particular of nanostructured oxide thin films. Apart from studies of fundamental nature (interfacial and charge transfer, sensitivity enhancement process,…) research will be oriented towards potential applications such as photo- and sonoelectrocatalysis (with aims towards water decontamination) or photoelectrochemical solar cells.

Nanostructured electrodes of semiconducting oxides. Preparation, characterization of oxides and mixtures, with special emphasis on titanium oxide. Photoelectrochemical response for the oxidation of water and organic compounds. Doping. Modification with metals and with simple adsorbates. UV-Vis and vibrational spectroscopies. Heterogeneous photo(electro)catalysis with decontamination aims.

Photoelectrochemistry of rutile single crystals. Sensitivity of the photoelectrochemical response to the surface structure in the oxidation of simple organic compounds. Characterization by STM and AFM.

Nanostructured photoanodes for solar cells. Sensitivity enhancement of the nanostructured oxides by quantum dots (QD). Synthesis and stabilization of the quantum dots. Direct linking oxide/QD and molecule-mediated: effects on the performance of the photoanode.

Ordered nanostructures (nanoparticles, nanocolumns) based on semiconductors. Thin semiconductor films, semiconductor/polymer, semiconductor/metal: preparation by chemical and electrochemical methods. Electrochromic and photochromic properties. Self-cleaning coatings. Other chemican and optoelectronic properties. Self-cleaning coatings. Other chemical and optoelectronic properties. Integration in solar cells.

Sonoelectrochemistry. Influence of the ultrasound field in the electrochemical response of the semiconductors (oxides). Joint effects of ultrasonic and luminous irradiation. Heterogeneous sono(electro)catalysis with decontamination aims.

Groups responsible for this research area:

Photochemistry and Semiconductor Electrochemistry

 Electrochemistry and Spectroelectrochemistry and Modelling

Surface Electrochemistry and Electrocatalysis

In this research area the following topics are investigated:

- Surfaces Electrochemistry: Study of the behavior of metal single crystal electrodes (Pt, Au, Pd, Rh). Structural and thermodynamic studies of the electrode/solution interphase. Catalytic behavior of well-defined electrodes in model reactions (formic acid and methanol oxidation, oxygen reduction…). Effect of steps and of long-range bidimensional order in the behavior of these electrodes. Effect of the nanoparticles surface structure in their electrochemical behavior.

- Nanoparticles: The electrocatalytic properties of nanoparticles of single metals and of binary and ternary alloys will be studied taking Pt as the base metal. The objective is to find an electrocatalyst based on these nanoparticles that is effective for the oxidation of H2+CO mixtures used mainly in reformed methanol fuel cell feeds, not ruling out the use of these nanoparticles for other oxidation or reduction reactions.

- Electrocatalysis: The objective is the preparation and characterization of metallic and bimetallic electrocatalysts for the oxidation of different organic and inorganic compounds. Development of supported electrocatalysts prepared by different techniques such as: pyrolisis, chemical and electrochemical deposition. Furthermore, the processes involved and oxidation mechanisms of these substances are studies by different in situ techniques: scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-Ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

- Spectroelectrochemistry: Application of the different spectroscopic techniques available coupled to the electrochemical system (FTIR, UV-Vis, Raman spectroscopy). By these in situ techniques a study of the species adsorbed and formed during the oxidation or reduction process will be carried out.

Groups responsible for this research area:

Applied Electrochemistry and Electrocatalysis

Surface Electrochemistry

Electrocatalysis and Polymer Electrochemistry

Spectroelectrochemistry and Modeling

Preparation of nanostructured deposits active in SERS and SEIRAS, of metals and their alloys, on inactive substrates, by means of different methods (chemical, electrochemical, by deposition…). In situ studies by Raman micro-spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy of the interphase between these deposits and the electrolytic solutions. Application in adsorption and electrocatalysis studies. Comparison with the behavior of single crystal surfaces. Spectroelectrochemical study of the kinetics of the anions adsorption/desorption processes.

Theoretical studies of the effect of surface crystal orientation and of the type of site on adsorption: calculations on optimized geometries and adsorption energies by means of the Density Functional Theory. Theoretical estimation or the armonic vibrational frequencies and adsorbates Raman and infrared intensities. Analysis of the chemisorption bond. Study of coadsorption and of the interactions in adsorbed layers. Effect of an electric field on geometries and adsorption energies, and on the vibrational frequencies (Stark effect). Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics simulations of structures and phase transitions in adsorbed layers.

Group responsible for this research area:

Electrochemistry and Spectroelectrochemistry and Modelling


Statistical Physics and Physics of Condensed Matter

In this research area the following topics are investigated:

1) Organic Electronics and Photonics, which also covers to areas: (a) Fabrication of solid-state organic lasers with feedback distributed by holographic lithography and characterization (absorption properties, luminescence, guided modes, amplified spontaneous emission and laser emission); (b) Preparation of composite polymeric materials and characterization of their photoconductive and photorefractive properties.

2) Basic aspects of the fabrication and properties of metallic matrix composites (with ceramics and carbon materials): Apparent viscosity of alloys in semisolid state and liquid metals with ceramic particles. Measurement of the surface tension of liquid metals and alloys with boiling point no higher than 1000ºC by the maximum bubble pressure technique, in particular alloys of silver and aluminum. Threshold pressure and infiltration kinetics of metals in ceramic performs. Evaluation and modeling of thermal properties (in particular thermal expansion and conductivity) of composite materials. Basic aspects of the wear resistance of metallic matrix composite materials.

3) Theory of Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics. Electronic structure and transport in metallic nanocontacts, molecules and nanoscopic systems in general. Study of the electron-electron, electron-phonon, and electron-magnon interaction effects, either with the Density Functional Theory or with model Hamiltonians. Vortexes in superconductor nanostructures. Electronic structure and transport in semiconductor quantum dots. Photomagnetism in magnetic semiconductors. Quantum dots of diluted magnetic semiconductors. Transport through chaotic and regular cavities. Synchronization in biological systems. Trains of “spikes” in neurons. Molecular dynamics calculations in non-equilibrium systems: collision cascades, shockwaves, nanostructures deformation. Multi-scale modeling of the evolution of the microstructure in irradiated materials. Electronic structure of graphene.

4) Experimental study of electronic transport in nanosystems.

Group responsible for this research area:

Physics of Condensed Matter


Interaction of Charged Particles with Matter

Calculation and simulation of the slowing down and energy loss of light ion and electron beams with matter. The electronic and nuclear interactions that are produced as these particles advance through the solid are taken into account, and as a result of this analysis their energy, angular, and charge state distribution of these particles as a function of their initial energy is obtained.

Dielectric properties of solids.- The dielectric properties of a solid are modeled by the sum of type Mermin functions in order to describe the excitation of the external electrons of the solid and by the generalized oscillator strengths in order to describe the excitations of the electrons corresponding to the inner layers. This realistic description of the solids is very useful for the calculation of the slowing down of energetic particles in solids.

Neighboring effects in the interactions of molecules and clusters with solids.- We analyze neighboring or interference effects that result when many charged particles, that form a molecule or an aggregate, incide in a correlated way on a solid. This phenomenon is due to the interference of the potentials that is generated by each one of the charged particles in the solid, and is responsible for the loss of energy of the particles forming the molecule being different from the one suffered by the particles that travel independently.

Interaction of light ion beams with materials of biological interest.- The electronic properties of materials such as water or polymers are modeled in a realistic way. Simulation of the energy distribution as a function of the depth of proton beams and carbon beams in liquid water, determination of the Bragg peak, application to different cases of interest in ion beam radiotherapy.

Interaction of energetic particles with nanosystems.- Study of ion channeling through nanotubes and fullerites. Analysis of the influence of the different interaction potentials and models for the energy loss of the projectile in the results that the program generates (energy, angular, and spatial distributions, fractions of particles…)

Group responsible for this research area:

Interaction of Charged Particles with Matter


Carbon Materials

Study of the preparation of advanced carbon materials (carbon fibers, graphites, activated carbons, carbon nanotubes, carbon nanofibers, carbon monoliths, composite materials) from different raw materials (mineral carbon, oil residues, carbon-based polymeric materials, agricultural and industrial by-products), analyzing both the effect of the precursor employed and the methods or experimental procedures followed in the development of the microstructure and final properties of the synthesized materials.

Groups responsible for this research area:

Advanced Materials Laboratory

Carbon Materials and Environment


Composite Materials

The preparation and characterization of metal-ceramic, ceramic-ceramic, carbon-carbon, carbon-ceramic and carbon-metal composite materials is studied. Many diverse synthesis methods are followed, from the direct mixing of components to infiltration processes of the reinforcements into matrix performs, and the physical, mechanical, thermal and electric properties are analyzed.

Groups responsible for this research area:

Advanced Materials Laboratory

Carbon Materials and Environment

Polymeric Materials

The study of polymeric materials requires knowing about their synthesis methods, structure, properties and applications. Among the different synthesis methods we may find the Atom Transfer Radical Polimerization, which is a homogeneous or heterogenous catalized process, which allows the user to obtain polymers with a narrow molecular weight distribution for many applications such as the fabrication of adhesives, catalyst supports, and polymeric matrices in composite materials among others.

In the fabrication of composite materials with polymeric matrix the development of an adequate adherence of the joint between fiber and matrix is necessary, with an adequate interaction in their interphase, given that the matrix acts as the mean which delivers the external applied forces to the fibers. For this reason it is mandatory to consider the adhesion phenomena which take place between the polymeric matrix and the fiber.

On the other hand, it is possible to develop nanostructured polymeric materials from the emulsion polymerization of polyurethanes and acrylic polymers by ATRP (Atom Transfer Radical Polimerization) for their application as adhesives and as catalyst supports. The surface chemistry of the synthesized polymer plays a key role in this application, which may be modified by the functionalization of the polymer during its synthesis, as by the performing of surface treatments on the synthesized polymers. In order to achieve this, characterization of the treated surfaces is required by contact angle measurements, IR spectroscopy, XPS, SEM, TEM, and AFM microscopy, among others.

Group responsible for this research area:

Advanced Materials Laboratory

Intelligent polymeric Materials

Many animals and plants in nature possess “intelligent” behavior, that is, they react to an external stimulus without altering their usual functions. Given that proteins are implicated in these natural processes, and that many proteins are polymeric materials, this new research area is centered on developing new polymeric materials and adhesives that present shape memory and/or self-healing properties.

Group responsible for this research area: Adhesion

Development of Novel Nanoparticle-based Analytical Techniques

The use of both carbon and magnetic nanoparticles has created a revolution in the field of Analytical Chemistry in the last years. Thus, research is being conducted in the possible applications of both types of particles, with special emphasis on the latter. Novel coatings based on the latter type of particles that may improve selectivity and sensitivity in measurements. Particles coated with a suitable solvent (conventional organic solvent, surfactant, ionic liquids, etc.) are introduced in the solution under study and after the necessary time lapse these particles are extracted from solution and analyzed by the selected technique (chromatography or spectral).

Objectives and expected results

Develop new microextraction methodologies based on carbon or magnetic nanoparticles coated with a suitable reagent.

We expect to obtain:

Novel microextraction systems based in carbon and/or magnetic nanoparticles coated with a suitable reagent that allows improving selectivity and sensitivity of the determinations carried out by chromatographic and/or elemental spectroscopy techniques, and

Formation of researchers and PhDs in the research area.

Group responsible for this research area:

Atomic-Mass Spectroscopy and Analytic Chemistry under Extreme Conditions


Electrochemical Processes

In this research area these topics are investigated:

- Electrochemical synthesis: Electrochemical processes are created and optimized for the direct or indirect synthesis of products that may have utility in the chemistry or pharmaceutical productive sector. The processes are developed both in aqueous and non-aqueous systems and the processes are optimized from laboratory scale to pre-industrial pilot plant scale.

- Wastewater treatment: Development and optimization of electrochemical processes to tackle different wastewater problems such as: presence of organic matter which is difficult to decompose, salinity or toxic metals, among other. The techniques employed are electrodialysis, electrocoagulation, sonoelectrochemistry and direct or indirect electrochemical oxidation or reduction.

- Electrochemical Engineering: Study of the different aspects involved in the design and development of an electrochemical reactor. Aspects like fluid hydrodynamics, transport phenomena, current distribution and its interrelation with reactor design are tackled. Energy aspects within scaling-up and development of the reactor to the industrial level are also analyzed.

- Sonoelectrochemistry: Study of the treatment of different contaminants by electrochemical methods and its combination with other technologies, in particular for the treatment of liquid residues. Apart from studies of fundamental nature (electrocatalysis, electric field interaction with other energy sources), research will be oriented towards applications in water as well as in other kinds of solvents.

Groups responsible for this research area:

Applied Electrochemistry and Electrocatalysis

Surface Electrochemistry

Electrocatalysis and Polymer Electrochemistry


Computational and Quantum Chemistry

This research area may be fragmented in different areas, such as:

  • Study and improvement of the correlation energy functionals, with special emphasis in those cases where any dependence is found in the two body density matrix.
  • Calculations of curves and potential energy surfaces, both of the fundamental and excited states, for systems of small and medium size.
  • Theoretical study of the conductance through molecular systems, using monodeterminantal function (HF and/or DFT).

Theoretical analysis of the molecular structure of systems of interest due to their magnetic character. This is carried out with classical quantum methods and with those of the DFT theory.

Groups responsible for this research area:

Quantum Chemistry


Adsorbent Solids

Research is carried out on the preparation and characterization of adsorbents, mainly activated carbons, zeolites, mesoporous silicas and clays. In the majority of adsorbents its preparation is intended towards different forms, such as granular or as pellets, monoliths, fibers, cloths, felts, etc. The effects of the variables of the synthetic process on the specific surface, pore size distribution and surface chemistry of the prepared materials is studied.

Groups responsible for this research area:

Advanced Materials Laboratory

Carbon Materials and Environment

Analytical Techniques dedicated to Materials Analysis: Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Spectroscopy (ICP-OES and ICP-MS)

Inorganic elemental analysis techniques based on Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP-OES and ICP-MS) are a very powerful tool in the characterization of novel materials. However, in many cases they suffer from a lack of selectivity and/or selectivity. Thus, research is being carried out on new and more efficient nebulizers and nebulizer chambers. Special attention is paid to nebulizers that operate with flows of a few microlitres per minute (micronebulizers). A novel research area related to the use of lasers as a system for sample introduction in atomic techniques or as signal generator (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) is studied.

Objectives and expected results

Research is carried out on the development of novel simple introduction systems in order to enhance sensitivity and reduce interference in spectroscopic spectral techniques based on inductively coupled plasma.

We expect to obtain:

1. More efficient nebulizers and nebulizer chambers, and

2. Formation of researchers and PhDs in the research area.

Group responsible for this research area:

Atomic-Mass Spectroscopy and Analytic Chemistry under Extreme Conditions

The indicated departments and their research groups participate in the PhD program through the following research teams:



Each year the PhD program offers 20 new positions, two of them part-time.

In the case of opting for the part-time tuition both the criteria and the admissions protocols remain unmodified. If a student would like to modify his/her type of tuition, he/she must apply to the CAD justifying the motivation for such change.



The recommended Access profile for this Curriculum corresponds to people with a Degree in Chemistry of Physics and to Chemical Engineers of Materials Engineers who have successfully completed a Masters Course in Materials Science or in a related theme (for example, Materials Chemistry, Materials Nanoscience, etc.) and who have attained the basic specific skills of these courses/degrees.

Aquellos estudiantes cuyo itinerario curricular no se ajusta al perfil de ingreso recomendado, pero que deseen cursar el programa de doctorado en Ciencia de Materiales, deberán demostrar conocimientos de los aspectos fundamentales recogidos en los grados en Química o en Física, en lo equivalente a las asignaturas de Física, Química Inorgánica, Química Analítica, Química Orgánica y Química Física. Además, deberán cursar el Máster en Ciencia de Materiales o similar. Con esta formación la Comisión Académica del Doctorado podrá aprobar la admisión del alumno, aplicando los criterios de admisión recogidos en la memoria. Para cualquier duda sobre el procedimiento a seguir, pueden contactar con el coordinador del programa de doctorado (ver sección “órgano responsable”).



The Academic PhD Program Board (CAD) is the organism responsible for the application of the criteria established by the PhD program, being responsible for the admissions process and disseminating them through the information systems. This is done prior to access and the admission of PHD students.

The admissions criteria will be based on the merit and capability of the applicants according to their academic certificates and their Curriculum Vitae

  • Academic access record for the PhD program (90%): The academic record of the degree/engineering degree will amount for 60% of the score and the Masters course record will amount for 30%.
  • Curriculum vitae (10%). In this section the publication of research articles or patents, attending conferences, courses related to the PhD program, etc.
  • B1 English level except for those students whose mother tongue is English.

In order to access the PhD program the candidates must have knowledge of at least one of the official languages of the Comunidad Valenciana (Valencia region) or English.

Admissions of students must be approved by the Academic PhD Materials Science Program Board (CAD) and ratified by the centre coordinating the program, being in this case the University of Alicante Materials Institute.

From the University of Alicante Materials Institute, priority access will be given to students having taken the Masters Course in Materials Science. 



All students interested in the PhD Program in Materials Science whose previous studies correspond to the science branch, that is, who have a Degree in Chemistry or Physics as well as Chemical and Materials Engineers who lack some knowledge in Materials Science or Technology may be admitted provided that they commit to partake in formative complements.

Specific formative complements will be necessary if the previous studies of the student do not match the access profile indicated in Section 3.1, that is, those students having a Degree in Chemistry or Physics or being Chemical and Materials Engineers, have not undertaken Masters studies related to Materials Science and Technology. Furthermore, these complements will be compulsory for those students accessing the PhD program with a Degree whose duration must be of at least 300 credits and who have not completed research credits equivalent in formative value to the research credits from the Masters studies.

These complements are composed of subjects from the Masters Course in Materials Science which is actually being taught at the University of Alicante


The Masters course in Materials Science is divided into a fundamentals module and a specialization module which is organized in seven subjects related with the research areas of the research teams.

The fundamentals module includes the following subjects:

- Solid state chemistry.

- Solid state physics.

- Physical chemistry of surfaces.

- Characterization techniques I. X-Ray, neutron and electron scattering, microscopies.

- Characterization techniques II. Spectroscopic techniques, surface techniques.

The specialization module comprises the following subjects:

- Introduction to carbon materials science and technology.

- Applications of carbon materials.

- Fundamentals of adsorption and catalysis.

- Heterogeneous catalysis.

- Transient techniques applied to the study of solid-gas interactions.

- Thermal analysis.

- In situ vibrational spectroscopies for the characterization of interphases.

- Magnetic and superconducting materials: phenomenology and fundamentals

- Materials with applications in photonics.

- Semiconductors: fundamentals and devices.

- Composites.

- Conducting polymers: Fundamentals and applications.

- Materials for energy and environmental applications.

- Polymer science.

- Analysis methods for polymeric materials.

- Surface electrochemistry.

- Electrochemistry of semiconducting materials.

- Electrocatalysis, electrocatalytic materials, and application in electrochemistry processes.

- Corrosion and protection.

- Modelling in Materials science: introduction to atomic simulations and Monte Carlo methods.

- Computational calculation of molecular structures.

- Introduction to density functional theory.

- Numerical calculus techniques applied to Physics and Chemistry.

The contents, skills, and objectives of these subjects are all compiled in the Masters Course in Materials Science web page


The Academic Board will establish if any previous studies from the students must be complemented for the development of the PhD in Materials Science, and if applicable, the student’s supervisor will indicate the subject which the student must take up.

The specific complementary formative plan will be drafted taking into account the necessary formation with fundamental character (subjects from the fundamentals module of the Masters Course in Materials Science) and the specialization studies in relation with the research area assigned in the PhD studies (subjects from the specialization module in the Masters Course in Materials Science). The specific formative plan (which must not exceed 20 ECTS credits) must be corroborated by the Academic PhD Program Board (CAD) and approved by the board of the University Materials Institute.

The formative complements must be passed within a maximum period of time of three terms (4-month periods) for full-time students and five terms for part-time students. Failure to do so will cause the student to be expelled from the program.

Given that the specific formative complements may be from subjects or modules from the Masters course, they will, in terms of public prices and students grant allocation, be considered to be formation at PhD level.


Check in the EDUA web page the pre-registration and tuition periods as well as the access requirements in order to take part in PhD studies.



Final admission of a PhD student in a PhD program brings forth the assignment of a Tutor appointed by the Academic Commission of the corresponding PhD Program. He/She will be a PhD with proven research experience ascribed to the Unit or School organizing the program. The tutor may or may not be the same as the PhD Supervisor.

To this effect, proven research experience is defined by:

  • Obtaining the recognition of a research period according to RD 1086/1989 of August 28.
  • The accreditation of his/her research by an official quality assessment body.

When the personnel involved does not belong to the Spanish university systems, his/her accreditation will be acknowledged by the ruling body of the Doctoral School given the following conditions:

  • Concerning foreign academic staff, he/she will have to prove having supervised three PhD Theses in the last 6 years, or possess a favourable report from an official quality assessment body.
  • For people not being foreign academic staff, participation in R+D+I projects, PhD Theses supervision, and research and professional career will be taken into account.

In general terms, the Tutor will have the following tasks:

(i) Ensure the interaction with the Academic Commission of the PhD Program, and, likewise, with the PhD Supervisor;

(ii) Ensure the adequacy of the guidelines of the formative Program and the research activity of the PhD student, and

(iii) Guide the student in the teaching and research activities of the program.

The Academic Commission of the PhD Program, after hearing the PhD student, may modify the appointment of the Tutor in any moment during the course of the PhD, as long as justificatory reasons are presented.



  • There is a large number of grant in order to undertake PhD studies. For more information click here.
  • Ir order to file for mobility and obtain the International Doctor Mention, the EDUA offers anual grants.
  • Grants funded directly by the PhD Program in Materials Science. The PhD program in Materials Science offers 5 grants each year. These grants cover the academic tutelage and tuition expenses (up to 1500 Euro) in the Masters Course in Materials Science of the University of Alicante, if this Masters Course has been already undertaken.

Application submission: From the day after its publication in the BOUA 14/04/2021 until 11:59 PM of 28/05/2021

Application Form

List of accepted applications

Final lists of accepted and excluded applications

Preliminary reolustion of granted financial aids

Resolución definitiva ayudas

  • Grants from the Materials Science doctorate program. The Materials Science doctorate program offers 10 grants, which cover the costs of academic tuition in the Materials Science doctorate up to 300€

Application submission: From the day after its publication in the BOUA 31/03/2021 until 11:59 PM of 28/05/2021

Application Form

Preliminary list of accepted applications

Final list of accepted applications

Preliminary resolution of granted financial aids

Resolución definitva ayudas

  • The appointed commission to evaluate the applications is formed by

Diego Cazorla Amorós (president)

M Carmen Román Martínez (secretary)

Antonio Rodes member

Antonio Sepúlveda member

Emilia Morallón member


Check here all the information relative to the drafting of the PhD Thesis as well as the deposit and defence process.

In this other web address (https://edua.ua.es/es/informacion/estudiantes/informacion-para-estudiantes.html) you will find all the information relative to PhD Thesis development: calendar, use of RAPI, drafting of a research plan, etc.

The PhD Program in Materials Science, regulated by the Royal Decree (R.D.) 99/2011 substitutes the PhD programs of the same name regulated by previous decrees such as R.D. 778/1998,  or 1393/2007. The last versions of this PhD obtained the Quality Mention (the program regulated by the decree 778/98) and the Mention towards excellence (regulated by the decree 1393/2007)

Thus, as results from the program those obtained in the last years in the different adaptation of the PhD program are presented. In successive updates the results corresponding to the new PhD Program will be included.



In previous years
In the 2016-2019 period




Current working status of Materials Science PhD Program Alumni