ORGANIZATION NAME /
|Center for Research and Development of Functional Materials||Skill in developing functional and nanostructured materials with tailored properties will help the Center for Research and Development of Functional Materials solve problems related to renewable energy, health and the environment
The Center for Research and Development of Functional Materials (CDFM) is an outgrowth of the Multidisciplinary Center for the Development of Ceramic Materials (MCDCM), which received FAPESP funding during the first round of the RIDC Program. At the core of the MCDCM was the ability to synthesize materials with controlled chemical composition, microstructure, and morphology.
Since then, along with the accelerated transformations that have already taken place this century, global needs have changed drastically. Three main concerns are currently emerging to address those needs: renewable energy, health and the environment.
During the same period, the materials science community has been engaged in research and development of functional and nanostructured materials that can be useful in meeting society’s new needs. The CDFM will therefore use its skill in research and development of functional and nanostructured materials with tailored properties to solve problems related to renewable energy, health and the environment.
In terms of innovation and technology transfer, the new RIDC will be directly associated with the basic research program and will act in the following areas: pilot plants for functional nanoparticles; the development of new applications for functional materials; and the establishment of spin-off companies.
With regard to the activities related to education and training, the preferred target audience will be high school teachers, to whom the Center will offer extension courses geared to the use of communication and information technology in science education.
The Center will also offer teaching strategies aimed at improving teacher performance in the classroom. The conceptual mapping technique is one of the main tools that will be used. It will allow teachers to build and relate concepts, represent knowledge in a hierarchical way, share the meaning of knowledge between teachers and students and facilitate learning and scientific reasoning. It also plans to offer a specialized course in science journalism.
|Center for Research, Teaching, and Innovation in Glass||Mapping the glass “genome”
New RIDC develops glass and glass-ceramics, presenting new or improved functionality, such as high mechanical strength and electrical conductivity, biological, optical or catalytic activity – all with promising applications
The Center for Research, Teaching, and Innovation in Glass (CEPIV) seeks to map the glass “genome” and develop new active glass and glass-ceramics with promising applications through fundamental research on structure-property relations using complementary simulation, spectroscopic and functional characterization methods.
The core group of the Center consists of 14 researchers at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCAR) and the University of São Paulo (USP), São Carlos campus – experts in engineering, chemistry and the physics of vitreous materials, glass crystallization and a wide range of structural and functional characterization techniques. They supervise approximately 50 post-docs and students engaged in glass and glass-ceramics research and are embedded in a large Brazilian and international network of collaboration.
The CEPIV will research and develop new glass and glass-ceramics, presenting new or improved functionality, such as high mechanical strength and electrical conductivity, biological, optical or catalytic activity, and/or combinations of these properties. It will seek to obtain a fundamental understanding of these properties based on the structural organization of the materials on varying length scales.
The center will employ state-of-the art NMR, EPR, EXAFS and vibrational spectroscopy to characterize local and medium-range order, as well as the full resolution range of optical and electron microscopes, XRD and microanalyses for elucidating nano and microstructures. Molecular dynamics simulations will complement this comprehensive experimental approach. Using this experimental modeling strategy, the RIDC will further seek a fundamental understanding of glass sintering and crystallization in terms of mechanisms, thermodynamics and kinetics of viscous flow, as well as crystal nucleation and growth, enabling it to control these processes by developing appropriate forming process and thermal treatment protocols.
In a concerted effort, the participating laboratories will jointly investigate a number of important benchmark systems, which are deemed particularly promising for applications either as structural reinforcement materials (dental and bioglass-ceramics), optical materials (laser glass), materials for electrochemical energy storage devices (high-temperature electrolyte seals), and catalytically active systems.
This research agenda will be complemented by continuing education and outreach activities at various levels, as well as by technology development and transfer.