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. 2 new research groups  active in biophysics and magnetic nanosystem areas were created but left the Department before 2017. A  new research group originating from the past Department of Metals focussing structural materials joined the Department in 2017. Currently, the Department includes 4 research groups and a scanning electron microscopy laboratory.

The department researches build upon the idea of active or passive functionality imprinted to the materials on the structural level.

Current research focusses:

  • martensitically transforming shape memory alloys in various forms from bulk  to thin filaments and thin films and development of their engineering applications
  • multiferroic materials combining ferromagnetism with martensitic transformations.
  • 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

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
Oleg Heczko +420 266 052 714 / 2362 / 2879


Name Surname Phone Email
Marcela Boháčková +420 266 052 613



Congratulation to Milos Jirsa for awarding to become

Invitation to Department seminar on February 22, AM 9-11, Main lecture hall Na Slovance



Since December 1, 2016 the Department hosts Technical Support Unit of the Condensed Matter Divisi

Since December 1, 2016 the department has a new research group Materials with Controlled Microstructu

Congratulation to Petr  Ashcheulov who was awarded by a  2 years  project supporting international collaboration of postdocs.

Thursday September 22, 2016  10.00  Main lecture room Slovanka

Oleg Heczko was appointed as a chairmen of ICFSMA 2019 conference to be held in June 2019 in Prague.

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