B-MRS Newsletter. Year 7, issue 2.


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Newsletter of the
Brazilian Materials
Research Society

Year 7, issue 2. March 11, 2020.

B-MRS News

New B-MRS board. Get to know the members of the new executive board: their academic training, research topics, what they like to do when they are not working and more. See here.

– Swearing-in ceremony. B-MRS new executive board, chaired by Professor Mônica A. Cotta, took office at a ceremony held at IFGW-Unicamp on the morning of February 14, attended by more than 80 people, including authorities from the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, scientific societies, research centers and universities. In their brief speeches recurrent subjects were women in science and the social impact of research. Know more.

– Note in defense of democracy. B-MRS and dozens of Brazilian scientific entities endorsed SBPC’s note in defense of democracy, published on February 26. Know more.

Featured Paper

A research group from the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory developed a memristor and a transistor with hybrid materials (organic – inorganic) and microtubes made of self-rolled nanomembrane. The new components can contribute to the development of smaller, flexible and cheaper devices that combine better performance and lower energy consumption. The works were recently reported in Nano Letters and Nature Communications. Know more.


From Idea to Product

We tell the interesting story of Kevlar, a lightweight and super resistant material used in hundreds of products from dozens of different markets. The story begins with a fundamental science discovery made by a woman without a PhD, who found in the laboratories of the DuPont company, in the middle of the last century, a favorable environment to develop her talent and passion for scientific research. Know more.

stephanie news

News from B-MRS Members

– Prof. Victor Carlos Pandolfelli (DEMa-UFSCar), B-MRS member, received an award from TMS (The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, USA) for papers that show the application of science in solving practical problems. Know more.

19 encontro_banner_560 px

XIX B-MRS Meeting + IUMRS ICEM 2020
(Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, August 30 – September 3, 2020)

Website: www.sbpmat.org.br/19encontro/

Abstract submission is open by April 1st!

Abstract submission. Deadline: April 1st. Guidelines for preparing and submiting abstracts, here. Guidelines for oral and poster presentations, here.

Symposia. The event comprises 29 thematic symposia. See the list, here.

Registration. The registration system is open. July 15 is the deadline for early registration (with discount). The fees include three lunches, besides the coffee breaks and the welcome cocktail. Know more, here.

Exhibitors and sponsors. 15 companies have already confirmed their participation as exhibitors-sponsors of the event. Companies and other organizations interested in participating in the event as exhibitors, sponsors or supporters, can contact Alexandre at comercial@sbpmat.org.br before March 31.

Student awards. Authors of works that are undergraduate, master’s or doctoral students may compete for the B-MRS and ACS Publications awards by submitting extended abstracts after receiving notification of acceptance of their conventional abstracts. More information in the instructions for authors, here.

International plenary lectures. Renowned scientists from China, Italy, Japan and USA have already confirmed their presence as speakers at the event. Know more at the event website.

José Arana Varela Lecture (national plenary lecture). Professor Edson Roberto Leite (LNNano – CNPEM) was chosen by B-MRS to receive this distinction and will give the lecture at the event.

Joaquim da Costa Ribeiro Memorial Lecture. The honor goes to Professor Cid Bartolomeu de Araújo (UFPE), who will give the lecture at the event.

Venue. The event will be held at Rafain Palace Hotel and Conventions, located in Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil). Know more.

Accommodations. See accommodation options from the event official travel agency, here.

Joint event. The event brings together the 19th edition of the B-MRS annual meeting and the 17th edition of the International Conference on Electronic Materials organized every two years by the International Union of Materials Research Societies (IUMRS).

Organization. Professor Gustavo Martini Dalpian (UFABC) is the general coordinator, Carlos Cesar Bof Bufon (LNNano) is the program coordinator and Flavio Leandro de Souza (UFABC) is the general secretary. At the international committee, the event features scientists from America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Know more at the event website.

Reading Tips

– Scientists increase the efficiency of converting CO2 into methanol by developing and using an intelligent membrane, whose nanochannels drain water, but prevent the passage of gases. This membrane can accelerate several industrial processes limited by the presence of water (Science). Know more.

– Brazilian advances in perovskite synthesis and characterization: scientists are able to produce new 2D perovskite and also individually map nanometric grains of perovskite films, opening possibilities for the application of these materials in LEDs and solar cells (Chemistry of Materials and Science Advances). Know more.


Pan American Ceramics Congress and Ferroelectrics Meeting of Americas (PACC-FMAs 2020). Panamá (Panamá). July 19 – 23, 2020. Site.

International Conference on Science and Technology of Synthetic Materials (ICSM 2020). Glasgow (UK). July 26 – 31, 2020. Site.

XVIII International Congress on Rheology. Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). August 2 – 7, 2020. Site.

XIX B-MRS Meeting + 2020 IUMRS ICEM (International Conference on Electronic Materials). Foz do Iguaçu, PR (Brazil). August 30 – September 3, 2020. Site.

XLI Congresso Brasileiro de Aplicações de Vácuo na Indústria e na Ciência. Foz do Iguaçu, PR (Brazil). October 5 – 7, 2020. Site.

5th International Conference of Surfaces, Coatings and NanoStructured Materials – Americas (NANOSMAT-Americas). Foz do Iguaçu, PR (Brazil). October 7 – 10, 2020. Site.

7th Meeting on Self Assembly Structures in Solution and at Interfaces (AutoOrg). Bento Gonçalves, RS (Brazil). November 4 – 6, 2020. Site.

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You can suggest news, opportunities, events or reading tips in the materials field to be covered by B-MRS Newsletter. Write to comunicacao@sbpmat.org.br.



Featured paper: Nanomembrane microtubes and hybrid materials for advanced electronic devices.

Some of the challenges of the next generation of smartphones, sensors and other electronic devices can be solved with the help of nanomembrane microtubes (sheets made from various materials with nanometric thicknesses and micrometric lateral dimensions, which can be self-rolled and form microtubes).

In the city of Campinas (São Paulo State), at the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory of the National Center for Research in Energy and Materials (LNNano / CNPEM), a group of scientists has developed expertise in processes for the synthesis, manufacture and characterization of nanomembranes and their applications. In papers published in January and February of this year in the journals Nano Letters and Nature Communications, the authors explore some nanomembrane potentials, mainly related to their flexibility and dimensions, to develop new memristors and transistors – two widely used electronic devices.

More precisely, the LNNano researchers show that nanomembrane microtubes can be key parts in the manufacture of promising components using organic and hybrid materials (organic-inorganic) such as memristors and transistors. Thus, the novelties proposed in the articles can contribute to the development of even smaller, flexible, portable, cheaper devices and equipment that combine better performance and more low energy consumption features.

In an interview with the B-MRS Newsletter, Carlos Cesar Bof Bufon, corresponding author of both articles, talks about the scientific, technological and social impact of the research and about the skills and infrastructure involved in carrying it out. Bufon is a researcher and head of the Devices Division at LNNano/CNPEM.

B-MRS Newsletter: The articles present advances, developed at LNNano, in technologies for electronic devices (transistors and memristors). In your opinion, what are the main technological and/or scientific contributions of these articles?

Carlos Cesar Bof Bufon: The work entitled “Ambipolar Resistive Switching in an Ultrathin Surface-Supported Metal–Organic Framework Vertical Heterojunction” published in Nano Letters (DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b04355), reports the development of a new type of memristor using structures called Surface-Supported Metal-Organic Frameworks (SURMOFs). SURMOFs are hybrid structures composed of metallic ions connected by organic ligands. The structure is highly organized on surfaces covered with chemically active self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). There are more than 70 thousand types of metal-organic structures (MOFs) that can be prepared as SURMOFs to confer new features to electronic devices. In addition to the unique properties, its considerable mechanical flexibility and low cost arouse interest in the scientific community for applications. However, in the case of a hybrid material consisting of organic and inorganic elements, the integration of this class of nanomaterials becomes a technological challenge. To circumvent this limitation, this work presents a new architecture for the integration of these SURMOFs structures for the development of a new type of memristor. The proposed architecture is based on the upper electrical contact of SURMOF HKUST-1 ultrathin films using self-rolled metal nanomembranes (microtubes). The SURMOF films explored in this work have thicknesses of the order of 20 nanometers. This new architecture opens up promising paths in the area of electronic devices based on SURMOFs, as well as providing a technological platform for conducting studies not yet reported in the literature for this class of materials. For example, the investigation of how electrical charges are conducted in layers of ultrathin SURMOFs.

Photograph of a microchip fabricated using photolithography, and illustration of the electrical contact on the SURMOF performed by the strained metallic nanomembrane after the rolled-up process. The chip has 81 mm2 and contains 32 memristors.
Photograph of a microchip fabricated using photolithography, and illustration of the electrical contact on the SURMOF performed by the strained metallic nanomembrane after the rolled-up process. The chip has 81 mm2 and contains 32 memristors.

The work entitled “Edge-driven nanomembrane-based vertical organic transistors showing a multi-sensing capability” published in Nature Communications (doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-14661-x) presents the development of a vertical organic transistor platform. Transistors are the main components for electronic circuits and processors. Compared to inorganic transistors, the organic ones have the advantages of low-cost and easy fabrication, which makes them attractive for flexible electronic devices in several areas. A significant advantage of vertical transistors is their easy integration with light-emitting devices and photodetectors in the formation of integrated optoelectronic systems. The devices presented in this work were processed entirely using conventional microfabrication and photolithography techniques, which is an advantage of technological feasibility. One of the main differences of these new transistors is related to the use of self-rolled metallic nanomembranes as drain electrodes, thus promoting the formation of a smooth mechanical contact with the organic semiconductor layer. In this architecture, the organic semiconductor layer can reach thicknesses below 50 nanometers. The manufactured devices showed high current densities (~ 0.5 A / cm2) with low operating voltages (≤ 3 V). Based on our theoretical study, it was possible to predict an improvement in the structure of the transistor, resulting in projections of devices with current densities of up to 10 A / cm2. Such values, obtained at low operating voltages on a platform composed of active organic layers, highlights the potential of these devices to be integrated with flexible and portable electronic applications in the future. Besides, the new transistors were able to detect different levels of humidity and light, thanks to the device platform based on self-rolled nanomembranes. Therefore, the developed transistors also have great potential for advancing next-generation sensor technology.

 Scanning electron microscopy image (artificially colored) of the vertical organic transistor based on rolled nanomembrane (yellow tones). The incident radiation and the water molecules (artificially placed) illustrate the multiple sensitivity characteristics of the new electronic device.

Scanning electron microscopy image (artificially colored) of the vertical organic transistor based on rolled nanomembrane (yellow tones). The incident radiation and the water molecules (artificially placed) illustrate the multiple sensitivity characteristics of the new electronic device.

B-MRS Newsletter: How could the results of the articles impact people’s daily lives (social impact)? Do you think that the proposed technologies could replace those currently used or create new applications? If so, what would be the advantages of these new technologies developed at LNNano? Would it still need many steps to bring the results of the articles to the market?

Carlos Cesar Bof Bufon: Memristor is considered one of the four fundamental electronic components. On a computer, it is capable of performing information processing and storage functions. In this work, the behavior of a memristor was observed in conditions of high relative humidity (between 90-70%). Analogous to a sponge, the water molecules present in the environment are absorbed by SURMOF nanopores. In a given electric field, these molecules facilitate the conduction of electrons within the material by changing its electrical resistance. The difference in electrical resistance can reach 1 million times using low operating voltages, less than 2 V. In a practical application, this difference can correspond to the binary states 0 and 1. The total fabrication of the device was carried out with conventional techniques photolithography, compatible with industrial scale production. The fact that it depends on the humidity for its operation does not limit its commercial application, as this can be easily bypassed through encapsulation processes, common in the electronic device industry.

The manufacture of organic transistors in vertical architecture using curled nanomembranes as drain electrodes allows the reduction of the region of interest to less than 50 nanometers (more than a thousand times less than the thickness of a hair). This implies a significant advance in the electronics industry, because the portability of electronic applications, such as smartphones, computers and televisions, depends on the reduction in the number and size of transistors. The mechanism of operation of the device reported in this work expands the current understanding of vertical organic transistors, showing that current densities can be improved by performing careful manipulations in the spatial structure of the intermediate metallic electrode (source). Besides, the preparation of transistor microchips was carried out using microfabrication techniques compatible with the industrial scale. Thus, these devices can be easily integrated into electronic applications with a few additional steps, such as encapsulating microchips, to prevent degradation of organic materials.

The two concepts of devices based on nanomembranes expand the possibilities for the use of hybrid materials in electronics. As much as there is a tendency to substitute one technology for another, the concepts developed in our works seek to open new frontiers and possibilities through the design of functional structures from their fundamental elements such as atoms and molecules.

All the technologies that we develop in the area of devices at LNNano/CNPEM are firmly grounded in two focus: the understanding of the fundamental concepts that govern the properties of the components, and their technological application. These two papers started fundamentally from scratch. In terms of technology readiness level (TRL), the devices have reached the functional validation of the components in the laboratory environment. Within the TRL scale, we achieved the fourth level out of a total of 9 – the latter being commercialization. It is also worth mentioning that the next level of development must involve the participation of the productive sector, which is who can accelerate the research towards the market.

B-MRS Newsletter: Briefly tell us the story of the works reported in the two articles: how and when the idea came up, whether it was necessary to gather very different skills, the infrastructure used, curiosities etc.

Carlos Cesar Bof Bufon: The works are the result of different stories, but were developed in the same research group sharing the idea of exploring the potential of nanomembranes in the area of functional devices. This theme is part of my Young Researcher project financed in 2016 by FAPESP. The idea of applying SURMOFs as a memristor, using nanomembranes as the top contact, was developed together with the post-doctorate Dr. Luiz Gustavo Simão Albano. Our research group started evaluating the feasibility of using SURMOFs as functional materials in devices about 3 years ago. Since then, the group has been continuously establishing the implementation of synthesis and integration routes for applications in the areas of electronic components. The work was carried out entirely at LNNano/CNPEM, and has a list of co-authors who actively contributed to making this work possible: Tatiana P. Vello (growth of SURMOFs), Davi HS de Camargo (manufacture of devices and illustrations), Ricardo ML da Silva (device manufacturing), Dr. Antonio CM Padilha (DFT simulations) and Prof. Dr. Adalberto Fazzio (DFT simulations).

The work with the transistor follows the same pattern as the memristor – a combination of functional materials and nanomembranes. About 15 years ago, I became interested in the potential of using nanostructured layers as fundamental blocks in vertical electronics. Once I was aware of the work of Prof. Ivo Humlegem, from UFPR (died 2018), in the area of vertical transistors, a series of advantages and challenges caught my attention. The idea of the work came by anticipating that an improvement of the performance of vertical transistors could be achieved with the use of a drain electrode based on nanomembrane combined with a patterned intermediate electrode (source) using photolithography. In May 2018, Dr. Ali Nawaz (a former student of Prof. Ivo!), started the execution of the project at LNNano/CNPEM. Being a complex project, the advanced infrastructures for processing and characterizing LNNano/CNPEM devices were essential. And like the memristor, the research depended on a set of varied expertise. During the project, Dr. Leandro Merces provided critical assistance in the investigation of the theoretical aspects of the devices, while collaborators Davi Camargo (specialist in microfabrication) and Denise de Andrade (graduate trainee at the State University of Ponta Grossa), provided the entire work the necessary technical support.

Main authors of the papers. From the left: Carlos Cesar Bof Bufon, Luíz Gustavo Simão Albano and Ali Nawaz.
Main authors of the papers. From the left: Carlos Cesar Bof Bufon, Luíz Gustavo Simão Albano and Ali Nawaz.


[Papers: Ambipolar Resistive Switching in an Ultrathin Surface-Supported Metal–Organic Framework Vertical Heterojunction. Luiz G. S. Albano, Tatiana P. Vello, Davi H. S. de Camargo, Ricardo M. L. da Silva, Antonio C. M. Padilha, Adalberto Fazzio, Carlos C. B. Bufon. Nano Lett. 2020, 20, 2, 1080-1088. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b04355 and Edge-driven nanomembrane-based vertical organic transistors showing a multi-sensing capability. Ali Nawaz, Leandro Merces, Denise M. de Andrade, Davi H. S. de Camargo & Carlos C. Bof Bufon. Nature Communications volume 11, Article number: 841 (2020). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-14661-x ].