Department of Functional Materials

was established as a new research department within the Condensed Matter Division of the Institute of Physics of the ASCR in January 2009. It brought together researchers working in the field of functional engineering materials and nanostructured diamond thin films.

Since 2009 the Department  has evolved significantly. 3 research groups  working in the areas of  multiferroic materials, biophysics  and magnetic nanosystems, which developed within the Department, gradually left it before the end of 2018. A  new research group originating from the past Department of Metals focussing structural materials joined the Department in 2017. Currently, the Department of Functional Materials consists of 3 research groups, scanning electron microscopy laboratory and mechanical workshop.

Current research focusses on  active or passive functionality imprinted to the materials on the structural level, in particular:

  • martensitically transforming shape memory alloys in various forms from bulk  to thin filaments and thin films and development of their engineering applications
  • preparation, characterization, and functionalization of carbon materials in different forms covering nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) coatings, nanodiamond particles (NDP) and monocrystalline diamonds (SCD) and graphene based layers
  • preparation, characterization and theory of modern structural metallic materials – starting from single crystals via oriented bi- and tricrystals up to materials with purposely created nanocrystalline structures. 

Research in the Department has always been closely linked to engineering applications.

Recent Key Results

Nanosegregation and embrittlement at interfaces: P. Lejček, M. Šob, V. Paidar: Interfacial segregation and grain boundary embrittlement: An overview and critical assessment of experimental data and calculated resultsProgress in Materials Science 87 (2017) 83–139. 

Localized deformation of NiTi by 3D-XRD:    P. Sedmák, J. Pilch, L.Heller, J. Kopeček, J. Wright, P. Sedlák, M. Frost, P. Šittner, Grain-resolved analysis of localized deformation in nickel-titanium wire under tensile load, Science 353, 559-562 (2016)  FREE link, See also Special Topics

Nanodiamonds for sensing and imaging in biology:  V.Petráková et al, Imaging of transfection and intracellular release of intact, non-labeled DNA using fluorescent nanodiamonds, Nanoscale, 8, 12002-12012 (2016);  J.Havlík, M.Gulka,V.Petráková, M. Krečmarová et al  , Benchtop Fluorination of Fluorescent Nanodiamonds on a Preparative Scale: Toward Unusually Hydrophilic Bright Particles, Advanced functional Materials, 26 4134-4143 (2016);  V.Petráková et al,Charge-sensitive fluorescent nanosensors created from nanodiamonds , Nanoscale 7 , 12307 – 12311(2015),  V.Petráková et al Boosting nanodiamond fluorescence: towards development of brighter probes, Nanoscale 2013 Apr;5(8):3208-11; 

Functional textiles with NiTi shape memory alloy filaments:  L. Heller, NiTi textile technology;  J Seibold, E Müller, K Volenec, P Sittner, L Heller, J Pilch  Medical Device (2016) US 09216100;    J. Pilch, P.Sittner, Method of heat treatment .. US20120018413 A1;    J. Hanuš, A. Richter, P. Rydlo, L. Heller Pressure and/or force sensor (2015): Patent No. 304873

Diamond layer protecting zirconium cladding in nuclear reactors:   P. Ashcheulov, R. Škoda, J. Škarohlíd, A. Taylor, F. Fendrych, I.Kratochvílová, Layer Protecting the Surface of Zirconium Used in Nuclear Reactors Recent Pat. Nanotechnology 10,  59 - 65(2016) See also related patent


Department of Functional Materials

Institute of Physics of the CAS

Na Slovance 2, 182 21, Prague, Czech Republic



Tel: +420 266 052 613

Fax: +420 286 890 527


Head of Department

Name Surname Phone Email
Petr Šittner +420 266 052 657

Deputy Head of Department

Name Surname Phone Email
Luděk Heller +420 266 053 351
Pavel Lejček +420 266 052 167


Name Surname Phone Email
Marcela Boháčková +420 266 052 613

Copyright © 2015 OFM AV ČR, v. v. i.