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Functional Materials

Functional materials represent a fast growing set of advanced materials and composites, some properties of which (shape, electrical conductivity, mechanical properties, color etc.) are responsive to external stimuli (thermal, electrical, mechanical, light etc.). These can include, for example, ferroelectricity, thermoelectricity, piezoelectricity, magnetism, energy storage functions, magneto and electrostrictive materials for sensors and actuators, phase transforming materials, shape memory alloys or modern functional coatings and films. Functional materials are found in all classes of materials - ceramics, metals, polymers and organic molecules.

Our research activities concern mainly functional materials and composites capable of generating mechanical motion, based on physical principles intrinsic to the material itself.  Such Functional Engineering Materials, in contrast to structural materials employed for their mechanical properties, are being developed for their unique functions being either intrinsic to them or artificially engineered.  Let's mention for example the thermally activated shape memory alloys, crystals actuated by magnetic field or electroactive polymers. Processing functional engineering materials is of critical importance as processing can often be used to enhance particular functional properties. The field is fast growing as clearly evidenced by the development of engineering devices utilizing functional materials from micrometer to meter size reported in the literature.

WWW links to functional materials

WWW links to collaborators

Laboratoire 3S-R

SmartLab Texas AM



ID22 (previously ID31) at ESRF

NASA Glen RC Advance Metallic Division


NAL Bangalore

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