Sodium ion batteries are becoming a real alternative to lithium ion batteries not only for grid storage applications, where cost is the driving force, and comparisons should be made with respect to current Pb-acid batteries, but also for mobile applications, portable electronics, power tools or electric vehicles where high energy density is needed.

We focus our efforts on the search of optimized cathode and anode materials able to meet the requirements for Na-ion batteries technologies. We are exploring Li analogue phases such as Phosphates, Fluorphosphates, Layered oxides, alloys and different types of carbons. Simultaneously we are interested in finding new compositions able to allow fast sodiation/desodiation.

Group Leader

Teofilo Rojo

+34 945 297 108

Parque Tecnologico C/Albert Einstein 48 CP 01510 Minano (Alava) Spain
Teofilo Rojo
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Professor Teófilo Rojo received his PhD from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU ) in 1981, although part of his research was conducted in collaboration with the Laboratoire de Chimie du Solide du CNRS, University of Bordeaux ( France ). He has spent various research periods at the Institute of Condensed Matter Chemistry in Bordeaux, as well as King's College (University of London, UK), the University of Cambridge (UK), and the University of Marburg (Germany). Since 1976, he has held various positions at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). In 1992, he became Full Professor of Inorganic Chemistry. He has been responsible for the third cycle program of the Inorganic Chemistry Department (5 different doctoral programs) and an Interuniversity Master's degree (UPV/EHU and University of Cantabria). In 2010, he was appointed Scientific Director at the research center CIC-Energigune ( dependent on the Basque Government. Currently, CIC-Energigune is one of the European centers with the highest scientific productivity in the field of energy storage and with a clear orientation toward the impact on the competitiveness of the Basque industry.

He has created an internationally recognized research group in solid state chemistry and materials science leading many projects, both scientific (European, national and local) and infrastructural (EPR, Squid..) projects. The researchers of his group belong to both the Faculty of Science and Technology (Bilbao) and the Faculty of Pharmacy (Vitoria-Gasteiz). Over the last four years Professor Rojo has supervised research groups from CIC-Energigune and the University of the Basque Country, managing the area of Materials for Energy in the interuniversity Master of Advanced Materials bringing science and technology together for the benefit of the Basque industry. Professor Rojo is mainly specialized in Solid State Chemistry and Materials Science. His scientific work has been focused on the preparation and study of new materials with potential technological applications. He has started working on molecular materials moving to condensed transition metal systems (mixed oxides, phosphates,...) with superconductivity and magnetoresistence properties. This research was extended towards the preparation of new materials with potential application in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) operating at intermediate temperature. In addition, Professor Rojo has developed a new generation of nanostructured catalysts which are offering promising electrochemical performances in Li-air batteries.

In recent years and due to his expertise in materials, his research has also been focused on the nanotechnology field. He prepared biocompatible magnetic nanomaterials for use in the in vivo diagnosis or hyperthermia. One of the major contributions in this area is related to the determination of the origin of magnetism in Au nanoparticles and the unusual magnetic behavior observed in Cu nanoparticles. Moreover, his group has prepared functionalized water-soluble nanoparticles which are good candidates for the hyperthermia treatment of cancerous tissue.

After his incorporation to CIC energiGUNE and apart from the effort needed to launch this new research activity (team building, equipment acquisition, and research line definition) he has focused his research on the study of materials for both lithium and beyond-lithium based batteries to improve the power and energy density helping local companies to improve their competitive positioning relying on this new technology. Professor Rojo established world-class research line in the field of Na-ion batteries several years before this topic started to be mainstream.  He published the first review commenting on the recent advances and challenges of the Na-ion batteries (Energy& Environment Science, 2012; IF=15.45), which has been cited more than 280 times. It is also worth mentioning the patent describing a sodium ceramic electrolyte battery working at room temperature, which exhibits higher energy density than the well-known sodium-sulfur batteries working at high temperature. As Scientific Director, several European projects and Marie -Curie grants were obtained by the CIC-Energigune in 2013.  It is also worth noting the graphene-related project with a funding of 1000k € for a period of ten years with a Consortium of 76 European Research groups.

As a result of this active research, Professor Rojo has published over 500 articles in international scientific journals, having received more than 15000 citations, with an index h = 57. He has co-authored twelve book chapters and is co-editor of two books.  He has also published five reviews requested by different international journals of high impact factor such as Energy& Environment Science (IF=15.45) and Acc Chem Res. (IF: 20.83). He is co-author of five patents related to magnetic and energy materials. Of special note is the PCT patent recently obtained about the first nanohybrid polymer electrolytes for lithium and sodium ion batteries.

Regarding the training and development of talents, Professor Rojo has supervised 27 Ph. D Theses (many of them with distinction) and more than 35 graduate and Master Theses. As a matter of fact, some of the doctors are now working as Full Professors (2), Titular (4), Asociado (1) or Agregado (1) at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Besides this, 2 Titular Professors and 1 Professor Contratado have been offered contracts and are working at other Spanish Universities, plus  one Titular Professor at the UANL university (Mexico). In addition, 2 doctors are working in high responsibility posts in companies and the rest in national and international research centers such as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). 

Professor Rojo has also showed great interest in the knowledge and technology transfer. He has more than 600 contributions to International and National Conferences, and has been the President of both organizing and scientific committees of more than 40 international and national Conferences. It is worth mentioning the conference "Power our Future 2012" that was the 1st International Forum on Progress and Trends in Battery and Capacitor Technologies organized in Vitoria-Gasteiz.  The second and third edition "Power our future 2014" and "Power our Future 2017" were also held in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Prof. Rojo was also the organizer of the "1st International Symposium on Na Batteries" (2013) and the Chairman of the" 8th International Conference on Advanced Lithium Batteries for Automobile Applications" (Bilbao, 2015) reinforcing the Basque Country activities in the international scope as well as providing a way of technology transfer to the Basque companies of this sector.

Regarding managerial responsibilities and experience, besides his current position at the CIC-Energigune he has been Director of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry (UPV/EHU) (1989-1991), (1993-1996), (1997-2001) and (2004-2008). He has also been Director of the magnetic measurements Laboratory in the University of the Basque Country since 1997. It is worth mentioning that he was the pioneer in the installation of the first equipment of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) in Spain, which allowed the group to be the leader in this field in the country. Moreover, he was the organizer of the first Spanish School in Electron Paramagnetic Resonance creating the Spanish EPR group. He was the President of Solid State Chemistry and Materials Science Group (2000-2010) and Vice-President of the Inorganic Chemistry Group of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (RSEQ)(2007-2010).

The academic and research activity of Professor Rojo has been recognized both at a national and international level. He was awarded the Prize of Inorganic Chemistry by the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry en 2013. From the international point of view, he is acting or has acted as Member of Editorial Board of several journals such as Journal Materials Chemistry, Journal of Inorganic Materials, Open Journal of Inorganic Chemistry and Batteries Office. He is an evaluator of various prestigious international journals such as Angewandte Chemie, Nature Materials, Nature Communication, Energy & Environmental Sciences, Advanced Functional Materials, Chemical Communications, Chemistry of Materials.

Apart from his scientific work, Professor Rojo is serving the scientific community in various fields. He is an Executive Board Member of the Division on Solid State and Materials Chemistry (DSSMC) of the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS). He is also an evaluator of projects of the Department of Energy (DOE) from the USA and of European Projects in the program Horizonte 2020, as well as for the agency AERES for the evaluation of the Research and Higher Education in France. Regarding National Commissions, he is an evaluator of various Agencies such as CNEAI,ANEP,ANECA,UNIBASQ...., and assessor of the Basque Academy of Sciences JAKIUNDE.

On February 2015, he was appointed as an Academic Member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Exacts, Physical and Natural Sciences. From 2014 to 2016 he was an executive board member of the EuCheMs Solid State and Materials Chemistry division and in 2016 he was appointed as a Member of the Working Party on Chemistry and Energy of EuCheMS (European Chemical Science), European Association for scientific discussion in all fields of chemistry related to energy applications.  


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