Department of Functional Materials was established in 2009 as a new research department focusing on the research of smart engineering materials displaying a unique capability to generate mechanical motion by exploiting physical processes in materials on the structural level in response to external stimuli as heat, light, electric and magnetic fields.
Currently, we investigate martensitic transformations in shape memory alloys, internal stress in smart functional composites, functional metal-polymer composites, electro active polymers combined with superelastic NiTi. We employ various technologies to prepare metals and alloys with controlled microstructure and properties. We prepare nanostructured metals and alloys, biodegradable metals and functionalized nanodiamond coatings for functionalized interfaces between inorganic materials and biomaterials.
The research within the Department of Functional Materials is organized in 3 research groups FMC, MNB and MCM. In addition, the Central SEM/FIB laboratory FUNBIO and Mechanical workshop of the Condensed Matter Division is placed within the Department.
The Department researchers have built and operate a Mechanical testing laboratory equipped with a range of equipment for thermomechanical testing and characterization of deformation processes in functional materials. There is Metallurgical laboratory equipped for alloy casting, heat treatment and crystal growth. Finally, their technological laboratories preparing thin films and coatings using CVD and PVD thin film growth technologies.
Researchers of the Central SEM/FIB laboratory FUNBIO perform research services for users from the whole FZU consisting of material characterization using scanning electron microscopy. Recent progress of the electron microscopy within the laboratories FUNBIO and LEM has enabled a shift of the materials research within the department towards the nanoworld, which has opened new possibilities for our quest for new materials with new functionalities.
In spite of its short history and young staff, the Department of Functional Materials has been very successful in grant research on national as well as international level. It has been also very active in PhD training in collaboration with universities as well as in commercialization of its research results.