Childhood and youth in Linares

I was born in La Zarza, Badajoz, Spain. But at the age of two my family moved to Linares, in the province of Jaén,Spain. At that time it was an industrial town with galena mines producing tons of lead, and a car factory which was actually the true motor of the city. In Linares I finished my secondary studies at theHuarte de San juan Seconday School.

University student in Granada

After coming to Granada for studying Physics at the School of Sciences, this became my hometown for the following 40 years. After graduating in Physics I was accepted as assistant at the Department of Thermodynamics, where I prepared my Ph.D. thesis under the advise of Profs. González Caballero and Pardo Sánchez. My thesis dealt with the electrokinetics (electrophoresis, conductivity, electroviscous effects,..) of clays and polymer particles. In fact, it is the physics of dispersed particles of the nanometer to micrometer size that focussed most of my research in later years.

Post-docs in Bristol and Potsdam, N.Y.

My stays in Bristol, U.K., and Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y., USA, were essential for my continuation in the field of nanoparticles production and characterization. Professor Ottewill in Bristol was very well known for his research on the synthesis of polystyrene spheres, their stability and electrokinetic characterization. In Clarkson University Egon Matijevic produced a great variety of inorganic nanoparticles using original methods, which have been reproduced for many years. I will always be indebted to both of them for giving a solid basis to my starting work.

Tenure at the University of Granada

At those times the political system in Spain was rapidly changing, and the possibilities of obtaining a permanent position appeared uncertain, almost as much as they are now. Fortunately, I succeeded in becoming assistant professor of Applied Physics in 1986 and professor in 1998. The support of my group and my Ph.D. advisors were unvaluable for this. Since then, all my career proceeded at the Department of Applied Physics of the University of Granada.