Functional materials

As the 21st century develops, functional materials present a major driver for scientific and technological progress. This exciting theme encompasses the design, synthesis, characterisation and rationalisation of a range of functional solids, with applications in energy conversion and storage, gas separation, sensors, information storage and cryogenic refrigeration.

Interests in this research theme are application-driven and cover the synthesis and characterisation of novel materials, in some cases under extreme conditions. In-depth rationalisation using computational modelling often provides a detailed level of understanding to feedback to material design.

The design, controlled synthesis and application of functional materials is central to many fields of research, and so the functional materials theme impacts directly on other EaStCHEM research themes, particularly on catalysis and synthesis and energy, environmental, and sustainable chemistry.

A vital first step in the design of advanced materials is understanding and characterising their structure on a range of lengthscales, and so researchers in the functional materials theme are often actively involved themselves, or through close collaboration, with work in the structural chemistry and chemical dynamics theme.

EaStCHEM's particular research strengths in functional materials are in the areas of:

  • magnetic and multiferroic materials
  • porous materials
  • energy materials
  • opto(electronic) materials
  • polymers
  • extreme conditions
  • structural characterisation of functional materials
  • computational modelling of materials
  • structure-property relationships
  • supramolecular chemistry and nanomaterials.