Advanced Functional Materials - AFM

Advanced functional materials is an interdisciplinary effort in high-quality material research at Linköping University. The aim is to promote groundbreaking research in materials science and contribute to the world's transition towards a sustainable future.

Advanced Functional Materials - AFM


The history of humanity is deeply connected to the advancements of new materials. When humans began using stone for tools, a new era began. When more effective materials became available, a new chapter for humanity also began. Our history is often also the history of new materials.

Considering the importance of innovations in materials research, the Swedish government tasked Linköping University (LiU) with creating a strategic research environment focused on advanced functional materials. Here, since 2012, researchers have developed an international and interdisciplinary laboratory environment which contributes at the highest level to the creation of knowledge in the field.

The aim is to meet the needs for new materials required for the global society to transition to a sustainable future. Just as ancient craftsmen learned to master bronze and iron, AFM's materials researchers are working on developing new materials that will help us enter humanity's next chapter.


AFM finances projects working with hard materials, soft materials, as well as theory and modeling. The long-term goal of AFM is to facilitate the advancement of materials science to a position where trial and error can be exchanged for methods with high enough precision for new functions of materials to be anticipated and designed as needed.
We envision that science focused on the atomic/molecular-scale design of new materials will provide solutions to broadly-based societal issues, including jobs, health, energy, environment, and sustainability.

AFM encompasses 240 researchers organized into interactive collaborating teams. Materials science is a top research priority at Linköping University, with grants totaling >190 MSEK/yr, and we are strongly supported by industry and institutes.

AFM is extremely productive as judged by both academic and societal metrics. Under AFM's umbrella, research is conducted at the highest level, and the Swedish Research Council (VR), the Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF), and Vinnova classify it as excellent to outstanding.

AFM in numbers

High productivity

Since 2012, over 1300 publications mention AFM in their their acknowledgements. * 

250 researchers

AFM finances projects that involve around 250 researchers in three LiU departments. *

39 projects

At AFM, 39 projects in material science are conducted concurrently with various forms of project funding. *
*See Our Research page for more information.


Research highlights

Researcher holds a piece of cloth infront of face.

13 June 2024

Your clothes will soon be extra muscles

Textile muscles is a young research field. In the long run, the technology can be built into clothes that can give an extra boost during heavy lifting, give hugs at a distance and help the visually impaired navigate the urban environment.

Sheet of glass with droplet.

16 May 2024

Next-generation sustainable electronics are doped with air

Researchers at LiU have developed a new method where organic semiconductors can become more conductive with the help of air as a dopant. The study is a significant step towards future sustainable organic semiconductors.

Battery om fingertip.

14 May 2024

Eco-friendly and affordable battery for low-income countries

A battery made from zinc and lignin that can be used over 8000 times. This has been developed by researchers at LiU with a vision to provide a cheap and sustainable battery solution for countries where access to electricity is limited.

Stories from AFM

New material for the future of optical communication

Perovskites are a completely new type of material with a range of interesting applications, in for example cheap and efficient solar cells and light-emitting diodes. Here, LiU researchers demonstrate how an inorganic perovskite transfers both text and music, quickly and efficiently.

Storing energy in roses 

Eleni Stavrinidou leads a research group at the Laboratory for Organic Electronics that works on electronic plants. The research has led to an entirely new interdisciplinary research field with enormous potential to benefit society

Heat and light sensitivity with hybrid nanooptics

Inspired by the behavior of natural skin, researchers have developed a sensor that will be suitable for use with electronic skin. It can measure changes in body temperature and respond to both sunlight and warm touch.

Upcoming activities at AFM

AFM Conference - A networking hub for advanced functional materials 

Every other year, AFM hosts a conference focusing on advanced functional materials. 

The conference serves as a meeting point to both integrate and expand the professional network. The purpose of the conference, besides spreading knowledge about materials research, is to establish new projects and collaborations. Doctoral students, researchers, and professors come together to discuss and be inspired by each other's work. There is room for interaction and discussion of everything from strategies to final results. With a common denominator, materials science, the conference opens up discussions on challenges and opportunities in the field. A highly anticipated event that recurs both regionally and internationally. The next AFM conference will be held on August 20-22, 2024.

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