Smart materials in focus

Researchers at Linköping University in advanced functional materials, AFM, which is a strategic research initiative from the Swedish government, are arranging an international conference presenting the most recent results in materials science.

Material researchMaterial science research at LiU. Photo credit: Thor BalkhedThe latest breakthroughs in materials science will be showcased at an international two-day conference, AFM2018, at Vildmarkshotellet, Kolmården, 22-23 August 2018.

New functional materials have a huge potential to contribute to making life better for many people, and easing the transition to a more sustainable and resource-efficient society. It is now possible to construct materials atom by atom, and these materials can be given tailored properties. Further, they can be designed by modelling and simulation from theoretical calculations in supercomputers.

The new materials have many applications: efficient solar cells manufactured from organic materials, in cheap plastic, to convert the sun’s rays to electricity. When installed on a window, they can also contribute to regulating room temperature and reducing energy consumption. Soft electronics can be connected to the nervous system and prevent pain signals being propagated. Forests are a major resource of the raw materials used in new materials, where, for example, cellulose is a perfect material for electrodes, and the lignin in trees can be used as the fuel in fuel cells. Graphene is a two-dimensional material that acts as a highly sensitive sensor, while fluorescent materials can help to locate infections.

These are just a few of the interesting research applications that will be presented during the AFM2018 conference.

Chinese collaboration

Researchers active at Linköping University will present their results, together with invited speakers from Chalmers University of Technology and Uppsala University in Sweden, and universities in Germany, Switzerland and China. Researchers from the Institute of Functional Nano and Soft Materials, FUNSOM, at Soochow University in eastern China, will present several papers. LiU has worked in close collaboration with this institute for some years.

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