Luís Mafra
  Principal Researcher  
  phone: +351 234 370 620  
  extension: 23 578  
  department: Chemistry  
  office: 15.3.  
  group: 1 - inorganic functional nanomaterials and organic-inorganic hybrids
  line: 1 - information and communication technology
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Short CV

Luís Mafra. b 1978, is currently a Principal Researcher and Manager of the Solid-state NMR (ssNMR) facility at CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro. Got his BSc/MSc degree at NOVA University of Lisbon in 2003. In 2006, he obtained a dual PhD degree from University of Caen (Laboratoire de Catalyse et Spectrochimie), France & University of Aveiro, Portugal, working on ssNMR spectroscopy. During his PhD he developed NMR methodology to study the structure of hybrid materials, mostly using 1H high-resolution CRAMPS NMR techniques and methods to observe quadrupolar nuclei. In 2007, he joined CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials as Assistant Researcher. In 2011, Invited Researcher, Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung, Mainz, Germany. Luís Mafra has received various invitations, honors & awards recognizing his career achievements: 2014, promoted to Principal Researcher at CICECO under the national "Investigator FCT" competitive program. 2014, Adjunct Senior Lecturer honorary title, Sydney University (Australia). 2012, guest scientist, University of Oviedo, (Spain) with a research excellence fellowship (Futtalent program). 2006, recipient of Celestino da Costa/Jean Perrin prize. 2009, António Xavier Bruker prize. His current research interests include the combination of advanced solid-state (ssNMR) techniques with XRD and computational methods to study the intermolecular interactions of small molecules (pharmaceuticals) and porous materials relevant for heterogeneous catalysis and gas capture applications. He is regularly invited for International events where he contributed with about ∼33 talks and ∼23 invited talks at international conferences; 20 invited oral presentations in research centres overseas. Published ~76 peer-reviewed full papers listed at the SCI and 5 book chapters related to ssNMR. He is also a member of the editorial board of the solid-state NMR journal (Elsevier) and regular reviewer of projects from governmental funding agencies abroad. Since 2010, he has been deeply involved in technology transfer and collaborative research with multiple private companies.

- Access my metrics in WEB OF SCIENCE searching by AUTHOR:(mafra l*) AND ADDRESS: (ciceco)


Scientific Interests

In methodology:
- Development of solid-state NMR methods involving resolution enhancement schemes for 1H observation to record high-resolution 1D/2D NMR spectra using CRAMPS methods combined or not with “ultra-fast” MAS technology (up to 100 kHz);
- Sensitivity enhancement methods for the observation of quadrupolar spins and new methods for more robust heteronuclear recoupling between spin-1/2 and spin>1/2 nuclei;
- Use of the GIPAW-DFT approach to calculate NMR tensors in small molecules.

In applications:
- NMR characterization of extended systems (e.g., inorganic-(bio)organic hybrids, porous materials) relevant in heterogeneous catalysis (NMR study of Lewis and Brønsted acidity) with a particular interest for studying modified nanoporous solid sorbents with potential for gas capture/sorption of gases labeled in key NMR-friendly isotopes (e.g., 13CO2 in a gas mixture mimicking flue gas streams);
- Combining high-resolution 1H solid-state NMR recoupling methods, X-ray diffraction and computational ap- proaches to study crystal packing interactions on pharmaceuticals and materials (NMR crystallography);
- Study drug-drug and drug-host interactions of molecular scaffolds as drug delivery systems.

Present Research Group

Present members:


- Supervision of Paul Wiper (postdoctoral worker). Project between UA and BP Amoco Chemical Company and BP Chemicals, Ltd: Development and application of high-resolution solid-state NMR methods to study molecular sieve catalysts of industrial interest.
- Supervision (with Prof. João Rocha and Prof. Beat Meier, ETH Zürich) of Mariana Sardo (postdoctoral worker). Project: Employing high-resolution solid-state NMR at high magic-angle spinning frequencies for structural determination of microcrystalline proteins. (SFRH/BPD/65978/2009).
- Co-supervision (with Prof. João Rocha) of Sérgio Santos (postdoctoral worker). Project: NMR crystallography of powdered solids: a combined computational and experimental investigation. (SFRH/BPD/64752/2009).
- Supervision (in co-tutelle with Prof. Santiago García-Granda, Univ. of Oviedo, Spain) of Oleksii Pustovarenko (PhD student). Project: Modifications of nanoporous hybrid materials for gas conversion. November 2011
- Supervision (with Dr. Eurico Cabrita) of Lin Tian (postdoctoral worker). Project: Development of high-resolution 1H solid-state NMR methods and applications on materials and molecules of biological interest. (PTDC/QUIQUI/ 100998/2008).


Former members:


June 2011 - June 2012
-Supervision (with Dr. José Gomes) of Carlos Rezende (BI grant holder). Project: Development of high-resolution 1H solid-state NMR methods and applications on materials and molecules of biological interest. (PTDC/QUIQUI/ 100998/2008).
March 2011 - June 2011
-Co-supervision (with Dr. Juergen Senker, University of Bayreuth, Germany) of Julia Wack (visitor PhD student). January 2010 - August 2011
-Co-supervision of Yin-feng Han (postdoctoral worker). Project: Design, synthesis and properties of multi-functional transition-lanthanide chiral metal-bioorganic frameworks. (SFRH/BPD/46268/2009).
October 2009 - October 2010
-Supervision of Inês Alves under Initiation Research Grant (BII). Project: Estudos de RMN de materiais com interesse biológico e farmacológico. English translation: NMR studies of materials of biological and pharmaceutical interest. (BII 09 - CICECO).
Since April 2008
-Supervision of Renée Siegel (postdoctoral worker) in methodological developments involving quadrupolar and 1H spins and applications using solid-state NMR spectroscopy. (SFRH/BPD/44355/2008).
January 2008 - January 2009
Co-supervision of Leonel Alegre (postdoctoral worker). Project: From ancient pigments to modern paints: unveiling the secrets of Art with a little help from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance techniques. (SFRH/BPD/40505/2007).
October 2007 - August 2008
Supervision of Cristina Coelho (postdoctoral worker). Project: Development and application of 1H high-resolution NMR techniques to study hybrid solid materials. (SFRH/BPD/34136/2006).
July - August 2007
Supervision of Irina Stan, visiting Ph.D. student from Laboratoire de Catalyse et Spectrochimie, Université de Caen. Project: Basic concepts of solid-state NMR and optimisation of the 1H-14N R3 HETCOR sequence.

Present projects

Main FCT projects:
- PTDC/QUI-QUI/100998/2008
- PTDC/QUI-QUI/098892/2008
- PTDC/QUI-QUI/113678/2009


Main projects with industry:
2012-2014: BP Amoco Chemical Company and BP Chemicals, Ltd (500 kEuros)

Selected Publications

Čendak, T., Sequeira, L., Sardo, M., Valente, A., Pinto, M. P., Mafra, L., Detecting proton-transfer in CO2 species chemisorbed on amine-modifi ed mesoporous silicas using 13 C NMR chemical shift anisotropy and smart control of amine surface density. Chem. Eur. J., 2018, Accepted.

Mafra, L., Čendak, T., Schneider, S., Wiper, P. V., Pires, J., Gomes, J. R. B., Pinto, M., The structure of chemisorbed CO 2 species in amine-functionalized mesoporous silicas studied by solid-state NMR and computer modeling. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 139 (2017) 389-408.

Wiper, P. V., Amelse, J., Mafra, L., Multinuclear solid-state NMR characterization of the Brønsted/Lewis acid properties in the BP HAMS-1B (H-[B]-ZSM-5) borosilicate molecular sieve using adsorbed TMPO and TBPO probe molecules. J. Catal., 316 (2014) 240-250.

Mafra, L. and Klinowski, J., Advanced solid-state NMR techniques for the study of molecular sieves. In Encyclopedia of Magnetic Resonance, (Eds Harris, R.K. and Wasylishen, R.), Wiley, 2012, (DOI: 10.1002/9780470034590.emrstm1307).

Mafra, L., Santos, S.M., Siegel, R., Alves, I., Paz, F., Dudenko, D. and Spiess, H. W., Packing interactions in hydrated and anhydrous forms of the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin: a solid-state NMR, X-ray diffraction and computer simulation study. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134 (2012) 71-74.

Sardo, M., Siegel, R., Santos, S. M., Rocha, J., Gomes, J. R. B., Mafra, L., Combining Multinuclear High-Resolution Solid-State MAS NMR and Computational Methods for Resonance Assignment of Glutathione Tripeptide. J. Phys. Chem. A, 116 (2012) 6711-6719.

Siegel, R., Domingues, E., De Sousa, R., Jérôme, F., Morais, C. M., Bion, N., Ferreira, P., Mafra, L., Understanding the high catalytic activity of propylsulfonic acid-functionalized periodic mesoporous benzenesilicas by high-resolution 1H solid-state NMR spectroscopy. J. Mater. Chem., 22 (2012) 7412-7419.

Mafra, L., Siegel, R., Fernandez, C., Schneider, D., Aussenac, F. and Rocha, J., High-resolution 1H homonuclear dipolar recoupling NMR spectra of biological solids at MAS rates up to 67 kHz. J. Magn. Reson., 199 (2009) 111-114.

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