In the current year 2021, the Institute of Physical Chemistry Rocasolano (IQFR) reaches 75 years of activity in the Rockefeller building.

In the current year 2021, the Institute of Physical Chemistry Rocasolano (IQFR) reaches 75 years of activity in the Rockefeller building on Serrano street in Madrid. On March 1th, 1946 (B.O.E.- of 4.04.1946) the C.S.I.C. created the Institute of Physical Chemistry “A.G. de Rocasolano ”, through a decree issued by the Minister of Education J. Ibáñez Martín. The institute was initially formed by the Sections of Pure Physical Chemistry, Electrochemistry, physical chemistry of industrial processes and Biological Physical Chemistry (1). In addition, other sections were located in the Universities of Madrid, Barcelona, Santiago, Seville, Zaragoza and Valladolid. The first Director was Prof. Antonio Rius (1890-1973), with Octavio R. Foz (1908-1973) as Deputy Director, and Manuel Colomina (1915-1995) as Secretary. Most of the researchers came from the Physical Chemistry Section of the Alonso Barba Institute of Chemistry, leaded by Prof. Rius. Additional personnel came from the Alonso de Santa Cruz Institute of Physics. These two centers had been created in November 1939 at the same time as the CSIC. (1)

The new institute, like its two predecessors, were based in the Rockefeller building, a model research building built in 1932 for the National Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios (1) (2) which had survived the war disaster intact. In the mid-1960s the Alonso Barba and Alonso de Santa Cruz institutes were moved to new buildings, and the IQFR expanded to occupy the entire Rockefeller. In the following two decades a large number of researchers at the IQFR designed and developed advanced instrumental techniques, many of them unique in Spain, supported by excellent technical IQFR’s services (mechanical, glass blowing, electrical and electronic), infrastructures (liquid nitrogen production, carbon dioxide snow, gas distribution systems, refrigeration, etc.) and the best library devoted to Chemistry and Physics in the country. Many of these researchers and technicians led the subsequent development of the Institute itself (1), as well as the creation of new institutes at the CSIC (Catalysis, Structure of Matter) and new laboratories in various areas of the Physical Chemistry in Spanish universities, contributing to improve our Science and Technology system.

1- Física y Química en la colina de los chopos. 75 años de investigación en el edificio Rockefeller. C. González y A. Santamaría eds. CSIC, 2009.

2- Biblioteca BIQFR