Department of Functional Materials

was established as a new modern interdisciplinary research department within the Condensed Matter Division of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in January 2009.

The new department was formed by two research teams of mostly young researchers working in the field of functional engineering materials and nanostructured diamond thin films. Since 2009 the research teams have been continuously building their experimental facilities, expertise and services. The department has developed its infrastructure for educating master and PhD students in collaboration with Czech universities (MFF UK, TUL, FJFI CVUT, FBMI CVUT and VUT Brno) and joint training of international PhD students in collaboration with foreign universities, mainly from France, China and Taiwan. Currently, 3-5 PhD students  graduate annually within the department. A new  FIB-SEM laboratory,  which was built with the help of FUNBIO-SAFMAT infrastructure project and institutional investition support of the ASCR,  currently provides user access not only for research teams from the institute but also to external users.

Since 2009, the department researchers have been very active in the research within large number of national as well as  European research projects. The department organized several prestigeous  workshops and international research conferences in Prague. Research in the Department has always been very closely linked to engineering applications and technology transfer.

Alongside the continuous development of its research directions, the department  has evolved significantly in time. Three additional research groups MSM, PPB and MNS nucleated within the department since 2009 in the field of  multiferroic materials, biophysics  and magnetic nanosystems, respectively.   These research groups quickly developed  its own identity and left the department with their facilities and students for other FZU departments before the end of the year 2018. At the same time, new research group from previous Department of metals with a long history in the research of modern structural materials joined the department with their facilities in 2017.  Because of this somehow turbulent development, the current department is rather different from that envisioned in 2009. Many colleagues who significantly contributed to  the rise of the department are not its members anymore.

The current Department of Functional Materials consists of 3 research groups FMC, MNB and MCMscanning electron microscopy laboratory and mechanical workshop.

Research of the department focusses on  active or passive functionality imprinted to the solid state materials on the structural level, in particular:

A Special Topic Website presents selected research results of the department which could not be presented in the research articles, particularly to videos, animations, data resources and datapresenting tools.


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

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