5th Brazilian Materials Research Society Meeting (SBPMat)
October 8 - 12, 2006
| Florianópolis, Brazil

In co-operation with the Brazilian MRS
(Sociedade Brasileira de Pesquisas em Materiais)

Days 1,2 - Sunday, Monday


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The 5th Brazilian Materials Research Society Meeting (SBPMat) is underway in Florianópolis, Brazil, at the Costao do Santinho, a lovely beach resort on the island of Santa Caterina. With over 800 attendees anticipated to participate in the meeting, this is expected to be the largest materials research conference ever in Brazil.

"Materials Science & Engineering is more interdisciplinary and more rapidly evolving than at any point in history."
- Peter Green



Prof. Aloisio Nelmo Klein,
Meeting Chair

Prof. Fernando Lázaro,
Brazilian MRS President

The first event of the meeting was an opening session held on Monday evening. It started with a wonderful rendition of the Brazilian national anthem by a local choral group. Next, several meeting organizers and the Brazilian MRS leadership were introduced. Prof. Aloisio Nelmo Klein (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis), meeting chair, welcomed all the meeting attendees, both in Portuguese and English. The president of the Brazilian MRS, Prof. Fernando Lázaro (PUC-Rio), also welcomed the attendees. Session attendees were then treated to some wonderful classical and semi-classical singing and music by the local choral group.


Prof. Peter Green (University of Michigan), currently president of the Materials Research Society, gave the opening lecture on the "Last 100 years in Materials Research and New Challenges". He first briefly outlined the evolution of the field of materials science and engineering (MS&E). The discipline of has its roots within the field of metallurgy, which developed largely from an "art" to a scientifically based discipline during the first half of the last century. MS&E has evolved rapidly during the last 50 years, initially due to the influence of physics and chemistry, and now increasingly with biology. The field has come a long way in the last 20 years with exciting possibilities for the future, including the possibility of materials by design based on specific functionality. Green described several "Grand Challenges" in the field including among other areas the interface between medicine and materials, biomolecular materials, Moore's law, and nanotechnology. However, science funding patterns have changed the culture of research particularly in the United States. The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has had a significant impact. Funding criteria clearly provide new drivers for the field. Also, there is a tendency towards large multi-investigator programs, which affects the type of interdiciplinary research undertaken.

Prof. Peter Green, Univ. Michigan,
and 2006 MRS President

Green then described the evolution of the Materials Research Society (MRS) and the impact it has had on the field, primarily due to meeting programming, which has truly "pushed the envelope" in several critical and new fields in materials research. Finally, he presented a global view of the challenges in the field. Today in many Universities around the world, significant materials research is conducted not only in materials science and engineering (MSE) departments, but in other areas of engineering, as well as in the natural sciences and medicine. Similar trends exist in corporate laboratories where materials research is conducted in different departments. There are also some indications that undergraduate MS&E enrollment in the U.S. in MS&E is dropping at a time when the field is evolving more rapidly than at any time in history. He concluded by suggesting that this is perhaps the most exciting time to be in the field. However, the community has to be aware of all the associated issues and challenges, and tackle them to ensure the continued health of the field of MS&E.



A reception followed the opening lecture. It included Brazilian dances and music, giving a flavor of Brazilian culture particularly for visitors from outside Brazil.


Ceramics for Biological Applications
The first plenary talk of the meeting was given by Prof. Georg Grathwohl (University of Bremen, Germany) on "Bioceramics – Materials Engineering at the Interface to Biology". Ceramics have been developed for high performance applications over the last 2 or 3 decades. These efforts were very helpful when bioceramics started to be designed for special functions in biomedical applications. There is, however, a much broader approach if inorganic non-metallic structures are considered for interactions with living bio-organisms in many ways. Bioceramics may be defined according to various principles when technical ceramics come into contact with biological environments. Four groups of bioceramics can be identified following different functions of both components i.e. the inorganic and bioorganic parts. These functions are related to biogenesis of hard materials, transfer of biological structures to form ceramics (biomorphology), synergetic interactions in Biocers (inorganic/bioorganic hybrids and composites), and bio-related functions of ceramics incorporated into biological systems.

Examples of the first type are dental restorations or hip replacement on the base of high performance oxide ceramics. Biocers are a new class of biologically modified ceramics. Some innovative methods to produce these inorganic/bioorganic composites were described by Grathwohl, and new ways to immobilize bioorganisms in ceramic matrices were demonstrated. The properties of Biocers open new technical pathways in biotechnology, process engineering and related fields. The conversion of biological structures into ceramic parts follows two paths; there is interest in preserving the original biological structure and morphology such as observed in fibers, wood and other biological precursors in the new ceramic materials. However, this also allows for the fabrication of large scale components such as panels, tubes and substrates which cannot be produced by more conventional ceramic technologies. Grathwohl also described the structure of Nacre, which no one has been able to replicate in the lab. Finally, biomineralization is a natural process which provides formation of hard components as e.g. bones, teeth and shells in living organisms. Grathwohl concluded by stressing that the target applications of bioceramics interconnect the four different classes, and these materials have significant potential in the future.

International Center of Materials Research (UCSB)
The second plenary talk of the day was given by Prof. Anthony Cheetham, describing the International Center for Materials Research (ICMR) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). On a broader note, he also discussed international collaborations in materials research and the importance of involving students and younger scientists in such colloborations. The stated mission of the ICMR is to promote global excellence in materials science and engineering through research and educational programs. In addition to international materials research collaborations, the center aims to provide international experience for young scientists as well as enhance the capacity of developing countries in materials science by engagement and network building.

Cheetham described the organizational structure of ICMR and its various international activities, including key colloborative institutions, exchange programs for students from both US and non-US institutions, various workshops conducted over the past couple of years, and the highly successful summer schools conducted at UCSB and elsewhere. In 2006, roughly 400 scientists and engineers from ~40 countries will have participated in ICMR programs. He urged the audience to tell colleagues and students about ICMR and its activities, and encouraged people to suggest topics for summer schools, and also apply to programs. He also suggested that Latin American could and should become more involved with ICMR and its international activities. Addition information is available on the ICMR Website.



Designing Bio-Hybrid Materials Using Sol-Gel
Since encapsulation of a biomolecules in a silica matrix was first demonstrated a decade ago, the field has exploded, with various hormones, proteins, liposomes, and bacteria encapsulated in porous silica matrices. Prof. Bruce Dunn (Univ. California, Los Angeles, USA) described the use of the sol-gel technique to encapsulate various biomolecules that retain their characteristic reactivity and chemical function. It has been found that encapsulation within a sol-gel matrix stabilizes the biomolecules, with corresponding improvements in thermal resistance, longer storage stability, as well as resistance to chemical environments. There are numerous potential and possible applications of these materials, a crucial one being the ability to fabricate designer sensors. Dunn described the use of sol-gel immobilized antibodies to detect cortisol levels in astronauts to monitor their stress levels, which could be critical in long duration space flights since there is no current in-flight biosensor to do the job.

               Credit: Bruce Dunn, UCLA

Dunn also discussed the use of biohybrid materials for forming biofuel cells, based on enzyme encapsulation, that continuously change the chemical energy of a fuel and oxidant directly to electrical energy by utilizing enzymes to catalyze oxidation and reduction reactions. He described the development of nanostructured electrodes for biofuel cells by integrating a 3-D network of carbon nanotubes acting as 3-D nanowiring in the non-conductive silica matrix. The biofuel cells can be integrated to form a battery by connecting the biofuel cells in series and using fluidic chambers. He also described recent work on the development of a photo-biofuel cell. Sol-gel synthesis thus clearly provides flexible architectures and unique design capabilities.
[View extended abstract]

Duplicating the Superhydrophobic Surface of a Lotus Leaf
The topology of a lotus leaf (Nelumbo Nucifera) is truly remarkable because it imparts the leaf with superhydrophobicity. The contact angle of a drop of water on the leaf is greater than 150°. Marcus Cordosa, in his presentation in Portuguese, described the use of a simple laser microstructuring process to try to replicate the lotus leaf topology to improve the hydrophobicity of an azopolymer. The azopolymer was exposed to a laser beam interference pattern using polarized argon ion laser (488 nm) at 350 mW/cm2 for 20 minutes, resulting in a surface relief grating mechanism that caused microstructuring of the polymer. The contact of the polymer increased from 85.5° to 90.7°, corresponding to a 5% increase in the contact angle of the polymer.
[View extended abstract]

Focused Ion Beam (FIB) Applications in Nanofabrication, Microscopy, and Microanalysis
Phillip E. Russell (North Carolina State University) gave an invited talk on the applications of the ion microscope. He talked about the main features which include the ion source (gallium ions), the focusing mechanism (electrostatic) and the fact that ions look like cannon balls to most specimens they are examining. The ions tend to knock out atoms which enable the measuring or counting of the material under investigation. The images obtained using FIB are very similar to the backscattered electron images obtained in a scanning electron microscope in that channeling contrast can be obtained where the ions are channeled down the rows of atoms and are not readily backscattered. The ion beam can be used to etch a surface and, in fact, the number one use of ion beam etching is to prepare thin samples for the transmission electron microscope. Sputtering of materials from a surface where the beam is almost tangential to the surface occurs at a rate that is 5 times the rate for normal incidence.

Phillip Russell and Jacobus Swart
(Session Chair) get ready to start

Ion beam etching can be used to prepare very fine diamond probes, can be used to etch materials such as PMMA (using water in combination with the beam) and can be used to deposit materials in the presence of organometallic gases. Beams can be used to create patterns (such as holes) at the ends of optical fibers and can etch out devices from an array of devices and still maintain the working device. They can also be used to form interconnects. In summary, FIB is versatile for ion imaging, sputtering and gas assisted etching and deposition. Commercial systems are mature and FIB can be used to prepare specimens for SEM, TEM and STEM. Damage can be avoided or removed and the technique is ideal for nanofabrication.
[View extended abstract]

Micro-Spectroscopies Extended to the Softer X-ray Domain
Delphine Vantelon of SOLEIL described the use of new, third generation brilliant synchrotron-based X-ray sources to study complex systems. One of the examples she cited was the examination of cement where the presence of various elements could be traced. One of the more interesting applications is the study of corrosion in medieval stained glass and ancient ferrous artifacts. She showed how the new sources could be used for high temperature and high pressure studies.

[View extended abstract]

Scandia-Stabilized Zirconia (SCSZ) obtained by the Polyacrilamide Technique
Reginald Muccillo of IPEN (Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares) in his presentation (in Portuguese) talked about the production of stabilized zirconia compounds that are used for solid oxide fuel cells. He described how the polyacrylamide method produced powders without secondary phases and, using laser scattering, how the amount of organic compound content depends on the degree of agglomeration. Impedance spectroscopy results showed how the polyacrylamide method produces the highest value of electrical conductivity in 10ScSZ.
[View extended abstract]

Grain Growth and Impedance Spectroscopy of CeGdO Solid Electrolyte
E.N.S. Mucillo of IPEN described in his talk (in Portuguese) the requirements of ceramics for solid oxide fuel cells: high electronic conductivity, low electronic transference numbers, phase stability from room temperature up to 1100°C, thermal expansion and chemistry compatible with other materials and good mechanical strength. She described details of the fabrication process and the measurements on the CeGdO material. Her conclusions were that nanosized powders of Gd-doped ceria can be prepared by the oxalate co-precipitation route and that grain growth proceeds by impurity drag (boundary control) or lattice diffusion (pore control). Electrical resistivity of sintered ceramics is not dependent on most of the synthesis parameters. Mucillo also suggested that the mechanism of crystallite growth requires further studies.
[View extended abstract]



Shimadzu Biotech introduces high-performance TOF mass spectrometer
Shimadzu Biotech recently introduced the AXIMA-TOF2, its new MALDI based high-performance TOF-TOF mass spectrometer. Representing the next generation in high-energy collision induced dissociation (CID) MS/MS instrumentation, the AXIMA-TOF2 brings enhanced flexibility to Life Science laboratories, significantly extending the type of analyses they can provide. With Shimadzu Biotech's intuitive software bundled as standard, the AXIMA-TOF2 is ideal for use in open-access lab environments, delivering maximum results while requiring the minimum in user input. As a result, the system is equally robust and reliable whether employed by novices, or expert users, while the inclusion of industry standard XML data exporting allows it to integrate easily and seamlessly into any workflow. Visit us in the exhibit area to learn more or on the Web at http://www.shimadzu-biotech.net.


McPherson Raman Workstation - A total spectroscopy solution
The McPherson, Inc. Raman Workstation, a total spectroscopy solution, is complete and optimized for a given application and wavelength range. The Raman Workstation, a unique open architectural, single stage Raman instrument, provides high throughput and low scatter. All elements are mounted, aligned and integrated with a research grade 350 nm, f/4.8 spectrometer with CCD and software. The user friendly single stage instrument assures good signal to noise and ease of use for detection of Raman shifted above about 300 wavenumbers from the Raleigh scatter. Used for Raman or PL, it is ideally suited for research, analytical and teaching laboratories. Visit our representative, Instrutecnica Comercio Representaçoes e Serviços, in the exhibit area or contact Erik Schoeffel at McPherson, at erik.schoeffel@mcphersoninc.com or on the Web at http://www.mcphersoninc.com for more information.

Dilution refrigerator (DR) system from Janis Research
The first complete JDR-500 dilution refrigerator (DR) system has recently been built, tested and commissioned at Janis Research's main facility. This system has been designed for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to be used in cryogenic sensors research and development effort. This study required a special DR stage, equipped with customized infrared radiation shields for maximum light-tightness and magnetic vacuum (magnetic field below Earth's magnetic field) . To learn more, visit our representative, Instrutecnica Comercio Representaçoes e Serviços, in the exhibit area or contact Ann Carroll at Janis, at acarroll@janis.com or on the Web at http://www.janis.com/p-gm-jt_cryocoolers.html.


Superior environmental chamber from Ambios Technology
Ambios Technology offers a superior environmental chamber for isolating high resolution metrology instrumentation from building vibrations, interior acoustic noise, and thermally induced drift. The new Isochamber provides 30dB of acoustic isolation, and features an integral 0.5Hz vibration isolation platform from Minus K Technology. This translates to better than 99% isolation efficiency acoustically and mechanically in key frequency regimes. To learn more, visit our representative, Instrutecnica Comercio Representaçoes e Serviços, in the exhibit area or contact Tim Van Slambrouck at Ambios, at tim@ambiostech.com or on the Web at http://www.ambiostech.com.



© Materials Research Society, 2006