Interviews with plenary speakers of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting: Anders Hagfeldt (EPFL, Switzerland).


anders-hagfeldtIn the late 1950s, solar cells where used for the first time in artificial satellites. Today, these devices that produce electricity from sunlight thanks to the property of some materials to release electrons when absorbing photons, are part of the energy matrix of many countries, besides being used in all sort of spacecraft. Several technologies based on different materials have been developed to make this sustainable production of electricity. However, research in the area is still very intense. While silicon solar cells dominate the current market, other technologies can compete with silicon in economic and environmental terms.

In a plenary lecture at the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting, Anders Hagfeldt, Professor at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, will talk about recent advances on some solar cells technologies that are alternative to the silicon one, in particular those based on perovskite materials and those based on dye sensitized thin films (known as dye-sensitized solar cells, DSSCs). Hagfeldt has been performing research on both types of solar cells, and succeeded in improving their efficiency using different methods and new materials.

Hagfeldt obtained his diploma of Master of Science in Physics and Chemistry from Uppsala University (Sweden) in 1989 and started his doctoral studies in the same university. In 1993, he concluded his PhD with a thesis on microporous and polycrystalline semiconductor electrodes. Then he went to EPFL, in Switzerland, where he was a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Michael Grätzel, the inventor of the DSSCs.

In 1994 he went back to his alma mater (Uppsala), first as a junior researcher and then as a Professor in Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry. He was a Visiting Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) from 2005 to 2010, and at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (Singapore) from 2008 to 2010. In 2009, he co-founded Dyenamo, a company dedicated to materials and equipment for solar energy applications.

Since 2014, Hagfeldt is a Full Professor of Physical Chemistry at EPFL, where he heads the Laboratory of Photomolecular Science. Besides, he is a Visiting Professor at Uppsala University and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala, and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Anders Hagfeldt´s was ranked in various international lists of highly cited researchers, such as the Thomson Reuter’s list of the top 1% most cited in Chemistry (2014-2016) and the top-100 material scientists of the past decade by Times Higher Education (2011). In fact, Hagfeldt authored above 400 papers with more than 47.000 citations and has an h-index of 103, according to Google Scholar. Moreover, he is the author of 9 patent applications.

Here follows a short interview with Professor Anders Hagfeldt.

SBPMat newsletter: – Could you state, very briefly, which are the main advantages and disadvantages of the different solar cells technologies, in terms of efficiency, cost and other relevant criteria?

Anders Hagfeldt: – When it comes to different technologies, the very dominant technology has been for long time based on silicon material, the “silicon solar cells”. In terms of market share, I think that around 90% of all solar cells stored in the world are silicon solar cells. They are mainly produced in China. Silicon has always had the advantage of being efficient and very stable, robust, durable. So, you can get, for example, guarantees of lifetime of over 20 years. If you go few years back, it was always said that silicon solar cells were too expensive and that they wouldn´t never be competitive with other energy technologies, such as fossil fuels and so on. However, five years ago, the production volume has increased a lot and the prize has became unexpectedly lower. Actually, silicon solar cells can be considered quite cheap today. Therefore, silicon solar cells are very good. They have good performance at low cost and match the price in kilowatt-hour of other energy technologies such as burning liquid hydrocarbons, for example.

The next class of technology is called “thin-film solar cells”, and it comprises two different materials. One is known as CIGS, that comes from copper indium gallium selenide, which is the material that absorbs sunlight. The other material is cadmium telluride (CdTe). The latter solar cells are manufactured in a big company in the United States called First Solar. Both of these technologies have the promise to be cheaper than silicon technology. They are almost as efficient as silicon: 10% to 15% less efficient. Both materials are disposed in very thin films, so the materials cost is low and, probably, they can be produced cheaper than silicon solar cells. Therefore, the key thing for thin films to be able to compete with silicon is to be a little bit higher in efficiency and scaling up the production.

These are the three main commercially available technologies today. If we go to research activities, the most “hype” at the moment is the perovskite solar cell. It had its breakthrough only four years ago, and during these few four years, it has reached similar efficiencies as thin-film solar cells. That has been the fastest development in solar cells. Perovskite solar cells will probably be cheaper than thin-film solar cells, but they are still in a research stage. The main question mark of perovskite solar cells has been on stability. In that point, we have made some breakthroughs. Two papers of us have been accepted by the Science journal reporting very promising stability data for perovskite solar cells. That is something I will report on the Brazil-MRS Meeting as a key or latest result of perovskite technology. It is very exciting, perovskite solar cells are not fundamentally unstable, they show promising stability. However, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of scaling up and further stability testing and development.

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC).
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC).

 

The other technology I will talk about is dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC), which is also in research or demonstration level. They are lower in efficiency, so, what we look for in that technology today is niche applications. These cells are based on dyes, which means that you can make them in different colors, and use them in windows, buildings and so on. At the moment, DSSC cannot compete with silicon for large scale, but there is interest for buildings, consumer electronics, rechargeable batteries, keyboards and so on.

SBPMat newsletter: – In your opinion, which are the main next challenges in the field of solar cell research and development?

Anders Hagfeldt: – I can divide this answer in two parts.

Firstly, there is still room and it is still important to make solar cells more efficient to lower the cost of the kilowatt-hour produced. There is a kind of dream target I see. This is not really in my expertise, but I listen to more industrial people talking about U.S. dollar cents per kilowatt-hour (how much costs for solar cell to produce a kilowatt-hour). And it seems that now this cost can go down to 4 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is very good, but it could be cheaper. People say that it can go down to 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. The best thing you can do today to lower the cost per kilowatt-hour of solar cells is to try to increase their efficiency. That is where you see the potential of the perovskite solar cells, because they have had such a fast development and they are already at the same level of established technologies. It seems promising that these perovskite solar cells can show even higher efficiencies than the silicon ones. That is a big challenge but I think it is not impossible.

The second thing is that solar cells is intermittent, that means that they only produce electricity when there is sunshine. During nights and evenings, this is a problem. I come from Sweden that is a country where more electricity is needed when there is less sunshine. That means that you also have to find the storage for electricity.

These key challenges are not for solar cell itself, but for the whole picture of solar energy.

More and more solar cells are being used to produce electricity, but that creates problems to the utility grid, because there can be too much electricity when it is sunny day and too little when it is not sunshine. Therefore, we need to work on storage. I think that for small scale, batteries are interesting, but for larger scale, we need to find how to produce fuel from sunlight or from the electricity produced. And that can be hydrogen, that is something people look into a lot, but also for example methanol.

SBPMat newsletter: – Leave an invitation for our readers to attend your plenary lecture “The Versatility of Mesoscopic Solar Cells”.

Anders Hagfeldt: – I am very happy to go to Brazil. I have been around before, some years back, but I am very excited to meet new people to discuss our research at the meeting. Everyone will be very welcome and I will be very happy to discuss all kind of ideas and questions.

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Link to the abstract of Anders Hagfeldt´s plenary lecture at the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting: http://sbpmat.org.br/15encontro/speakers/abstracts/9.pdf

Interviews with plenary speakers of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting: Paul S. Weiss (UCLA, USA).


paul-weissTaking precise measurements of atoms and molecules. Accurately control molecules so that they form specific nanostructures or work together to achieve desired results. The nanoscientist Paul Weiss will address this and much more at the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting. Weiss is Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and editor-in-chief of ACS Nano journal. At the annual SBPMat event, in addition to delivering the plenary lecture, Weiss will also participate in a roundtable to discuss scientific publication along with the public and editors of other journals.

Paul Weiss received his S.B and S.M degrees in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980, after conducting research in high-resolution laser spectroscopy. His doctoral research, also in Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley, was about excited atom reactions in crossed molecular beams.

In 1986, the year he concluded his PhD, his advisor, Yuan T. Lee, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contribution to the study of the dynamics of chemical elementary processes. Soon after his doctorate, Weiss began working at Bell Laboratories as a post-doc studying the effects of surface chemistry and gas-surface collisions on semiconductor surface electronic properties. In 1988, he worked at IBM Almaden Research Center, where he remained as a visiting scientist until the following year. There his work was on scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) with one of the STM pioneers, Donald Eigler. STM, which lead to a major breakthrough in nanotechnology by enabling the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules, would become one of Weiss’s favorite techniques.

In 1989, Weiss joined the faculty of Pennsylvania State University (PennState), where he continued his work with STM, expanding the technique and studying atoms and molecules. From 2001 to 2002 he was the director of the Center for Molecular Nanofabrication and Devices of PennState. In 2005 he was designated Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Physics departments at the university.

It was also at PennState that Weiss met the scientist Anne Andrews, with whom he is married to this day. Andrews was responsible for convincing Weiss to apply his expertise and knowledge on nanoscience in the study of the human brain. In this field, and in collaboration with Andrews and other scientists, Weiss has been committed to developing tools to study the interactions between neurons, which take place through electrical and chemical signals in nanometric spaces.

Concomitantly, Paul Weiss participated in the creation of the scientific journal ACS Nano (2015 impact factor of 13,334) and has been editor in chief since the journal’s first edition, published in August 2007. In 2008, the journal received a major distinction, the PROSE Award for Best New Journal in Science, Technology, and Medicine from the Association of American Publishers.

In 2009, he joined the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was named Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Furthermore, he received, until 2014, the Fred Kavli Chair in Nanosystems Sciences and the directorship of the California NanoSystems Institute, a multidisciplinary institute of research and innovation in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Weiss has also been leading at UCLA a research group that gathers together chemists, physicists, biologists, materials scientists, electrical and mechanical engineers and computer scientists.

Paul Weiss was a visiting professor at the University of Washington (1996 – 1997) and at Kyoto University (1998 and 2000). In 2015, he was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the California Institute of Technology, and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University.

Paul Weiss has published over 300 papers and has approximately 20 patents. According to Google Scholar he has an h-index of 60 and more than 16,000 citations. He has given over 600 invited, plenary, keynote, and named lectures. Weiss has received many awards and distinctions for his research, teaching and scientific publishing. He is an elected senior fellow of IEEE, an elected fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Vacuum Society, and an honorary fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society.

He is currently Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at UCLA. He is also Visiting Professor at Nanyang Technological University and continues to work as editor in chief of ACS Nano. Paul S. Weiss also holds a UC Presidential Chair at UCLA.

Here is a brief interview with this speaker of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting:

SBPMat newsletter: – In your opinion, what are your main contributions on the themes of your plenary lecture? Could you also share with us a couple of references pertaining to publications on these subjects?

Paul Weiss: – In our work, we explore the ultimate limits of miniaturization. We have assembled and operated the smallest switches and motors in the world. To do that, we have put together two sets of capabilities. First, we designed and applied new microscopes and microscopies that can simultaneously measure structure, function, and spectra, with submolecular resolution. In the other, we have developed the ability to place individual molecules into precisely controlled environments. We combine these to understand functional mechanisms and to design new molecules and assemblies to test our ideas.

Try these papers:

Controlling Motion at the Nanoscale: Rise of the Molecular Machines, J. M. Abendroth, O. S. Bushuyev, P. S. Weiss, and C. J. BarrettACS Nano 9, 7746 (2015). (Abstract or Article or PDF)

Molecular Switches and Motors on Surfaces, B. K. Pathem, S. A. Claridge, Y. B. Zheng, and P. S. Weiss, Annual Review of Physical Chemistry 64, 605 (2013). (Abstract or PDF)

From the Bottom Up: Dimensional Control and Characterization in Molecular Monolayers, S. A. Claridge, W.-S. Liao, J. C. Thomas, Y. Zhao, H. Cao, S. Cheunkar, A. C. Serino, A. M. Andrews, and P. S. Weiss, Chemical Society Reviews 42, 2725 (2013). (Abstract or Article or PDF)

SBPMat newsletter: –  You are part of the team that created ACS Nano, launched in 2007, right? Could you tell us which elements you attribute to the success of the journal, reflected in its impact factor and the awards received

Paul Weiss: – Yes, I was the founding editor-in-chief and continue in that role.

We decided to create a forward-looking journal in which we would lay out the challenges and opportunities for the field, in order to guide and to accelerate advances. We felt that while there are many journals that published communications in nanoscience and nanotechnology, there was not a strong journal that published comprehensive work, on which others could build. This situation, we decided, was holding back our field. We set out to find the most diverse set of curious editors from different fields and we set the journal up to be extremely fast and fair to all authors. Only scientists make decisions and it takes at least two scientists to make decisions to decline manuscripts. Our editors have conversations every day on where the field is going and what are true advances. We have made it intellectually stimulating for ourselves and we believe also for our readers. The result is that we can see the real impact on the worlds of science, engineering, medicine, and beyond. We published the technology roadmaps proposing the BRAIN Initiative in the US and beyond and the new Microbiome Initiative. Stay tuned for more!

Nanotools for Neuroscience and Brain Activity Mapping, A. P. Alivisatos, A. M. Andrews, E. S. Boyden, M. Chun, G. M. Church, K. Deisseroth, J. P. Donoghue, S. E. Fraser, J. Lippincott-Schwartz, L. L. Looger, S. Masmanidis, P. L. McEuen, A. V. Nurmikko, H. Park, D. S. Peterka, C. Reid, M. L. Roukes, A. Scherer, T. J. Sejnowski, K. L. Shepard, D. Tsao, G. Turrigiano, P. S. Weiss, C. Xu, R. Yuste, and X. Zhuang, ACS Nano 7, 1850 (2013). (Abstract or Article or PDF)

Tools for the Microbiome: Nano and Beyond, J. S. Biteen, P. C. Blainey, M. Chun, G. M. Church, P. C. Dorrestein, S. E. Fraser, J. A. Gilbert, J. K. Jansson, R. Knight, J. F. Miller, A. Ozcan, K. A. Prather, E. G. Ruby, P. A. Silver, S. Taha, G. van den Engh, P. S. Weiss, G. C. L. Wong, A. T. Wright, and T. D. Young, ACS Nano 10, 6 (2016). (Abstract or Article orPDF)

SBPMat newsletter: –  Please leave an invitation to our readers to attend your plenary lecture “Cooperative Function in Atomically Precise Nanoscale Assemblies” in the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting.

Paul Weiss: – I hope you will join me at the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting for a discussion of how we can explore and understand function at the nanoscale and what it teaches us about the world around us.


Link to the abstract of the XV B-MRS Meeting plenary talk “Cooperative Function in Atomically Precise Nanoscale Assemblies”: http://sbpmat.org.br/15encontro/speakers/abstracts/3.pdf

B-MRS (SBPMat) newsletter. English edition. Year 3, issue 8.


 

Brazilian Materials Research Society (SBPMat) newsletter

News update from Brazil for the Materials community

English edition. Year 3, issue 8. 
XV Brazil-MRS (SBPMat) Meeting - Campinas (SP), Sept 25-29, 2016 

1,909 abstracts have been accepted to be presented at the XV SBPMat/ Brazil-MRS Meeting. 

Registration: Registration for the event is open. Here.

Awards. In addition to the Bernhard Gross Award, this year there will also be an ACS award (American Chemical Society). The winners have to be present at the closing ceremony in order to receive the prizes (Sept 29, from 11h45 to 14h00).

Program. The short and full (symposium by symposium) versions are available on the website. Here.

Special Sessions – Science Lunch “Research in Germany”, Sept 26, from 12h00 to 14h00. This session will bring together scientists and funding agencies from Germany to discuss research opportunities in that country. Limited availability. Learn more and complete your registration free of charge, here.

Special Sessions – Meet the Editors, Sept 27, from 12h00 to 14h00. The round table “Meet the editors” will host Paul Weiss (editor-in-chief of ACS Nano), Susan Sinnott (editor-in-chief of Computational Materials Science), Ifor Samuel (editor-in-chief of Synthetic Metals) and Tim Smith (IOP Publishing director) who will discuss scientific publication. Limited availability. Free registration in the registration form of the meeting, where activities can be selected. 

Special Sessions – Materials Research and Innovation, Sept 28, from 12h00 to 14h00. This panel will bring together representatives of Mahle, Braskem and Inova-Unicamp, who will present cases of university-industry collaboration for R&D in Brazil and discuss the role of materials research in innovation. Limited availability. Free registration in the registration form of the meeting, where activities can be selected. 

Tutorials: Two tutorials will be offered on Sept 25 from 14h00 to 17h00 to those registered at the event, at no extra cost. One tutorial is on computer simulations of atomic systems using Reactive Force Fields (theory and practice). The second, organized by Professor Valtencir Zucolotto, will address the capabilities required to make high-impact science, including scientific writing. Free registration in the registration form of the meeting, where activities can be selected. 

Publication of contributions: The papers presented at the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting may be submitted by their authors for peer review for publication in IOP scientific journals. More info.

Plenary sessions:  View the abstracts of the plenary lectures and the memorial lecture of our event and bios of the scientists presenting them. Here.

Exhibition: It will comprise 43 stands.

Accommodation and tickets: See the list of the travel agency “Follow Up” with hotels, hostels, guesthouses and the forms to book flights. Here. 

Vacation packages: The Follow Up website also suggests tour packages for before and after the event. Here.

Venue: See video of the city of Campinas and folder about the Expo Dom Pedro convention center. 

Organizers: This edition of the event is coordinated by Prof. Ana Flávia Nogueira (Unicamp, Institute of Chemistry) and Prof. Mônica Alonso Cotta (Unicamp, “Gleb Wataghin” Institute of Physics). See who are the members of the local committee and view the photos of the organizers. Here.

SBPMat news
SBPMat is pleased to announce that the XVI SBPMat/ Brazil-MRS Meeting will be held in Gramado (RS) from 24 to 28 10 to 14 September 2017.
Featured paper 

A study developed in Brazil by means of computer simulations showed that a defect in two-dimensional bismuth nanoribbon atom network generates conductive states in regions of the nanoribbons that should be in an insulating state. This work contributes to the study of a class of recently discovered materials, the topological insulators, and it was published in the scientific journal Nano Letters. See our story about the paper. 

People in the Materials Community
Professor Victor Carlos Pandolfelli (DEMa-UFSCar) was chosen to serve as one of the editors-in-chief of the journal Ceramics International (Elsevier). More.
Interviews with plenary speakers of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting
Imagine yourself inserting in a computer the material properties you desire for a specific application and obtaining the project of the most appropriate material. This is a promise of Computational Materials Science, and it will be addressed by Prof. Susan Sinnott in a plenary lecture of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting. Sinnott is Professor and Director of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Pennsylvania State University (USA) and editor-in-chief of the journal Computational Materials Science. Her scientific production, with more than 10,000 citations, includes important contributions to the development of simulation tools for heterogeneous material systems at the atomic scale. See our interview with the scientist. 

 

Reading tips

Research carried out with the participation of Brazilian scientists advances in the understanding of magnetic noise, which generates imperfections in magnetic materials applications (based on paper of Physical Review Letters). Here.

Events
  • XV Brazil-MRS Meeting (XV Encontro da SBPMat). Campinas, SP (Brazil). September, 25 to 29, 2016. Site. 
  • Aerospace Technology 2016. Stockholm (Sweden). October, 11 to 12, 2016. Site.
  • AutoOrg 2016. 5th Meeting on self-assembly structures in solutions and at interfaces. Florianópolis, SC (Brazil). November, 2 to 4, 2016. Site. 
  • I Simpósio Nacional de Nanobiotecnologia; II Workshop de Nanobiotecnologia da UFMG – Avanços & Aplicações. Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). December, 1 to 2, 2016. Site.

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SBPMat newsletter. English edition. Year 3, issue 7.


 

Brazilian Materials Research Society (SBPMat) newsletter

News update from Brazil for the Materials community

English edition. Year 3, issue 7.
XV Brazil-MRS (SBPMat) Meeting - Campinas (SP), Sept 25-29, 2016 

1,909 abstracts have been accepted to be presented at the XV SBPMat/ Brazil-MRS Meeting. 

Registration: Registration for the event is now open. Early registration discount deadline is 31 August. Here.

Awards: Those interested in participating in the event’s student prize competition, the Bernhard Gross Award, which selects one oral and one poster presentation in each symposium, must submit an extended abstract by August 22. Know more in the instructions to authors.  

Special sessions. Organized by the initiative “Research in Germany”, the “Science Lunch” (September 26 from 12 am to 2 pm) will bring together scientists and funding agencies from Germany to discuss research opportunities in that country. Learn more about it. On September 27, also from 12 am to 2 pm,  the round table “Meet the editors” will host Paul Weiss (editor in chief of ACS Nano), Susan Sinnot (editor in chief of the Computational Materials Science) and Tim Smith (IOP Publishing director) who will discuss scientific publication. The links to register (free) for these activities will soon be published in the SBPMat website.

Tutorials: Two tutorials will be offered on the afternoon of September 25 to those registered for the event at no extra cost. One is on computer simulations on atomic systems using Reactive Force Fields (theory and practice). The second, organized by Professor Valtencir Zucolotto, will address capabilities required to make high-impact science, including scientific writing. Reserve your place during registration.  

Publication of contributions: The papers presented at the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting may be submitted by their authors for peer review for publication in IOP scientific journals. More info.

Plenary sessions:  View the abstracts of the plenary lectures and the memorial lecture of our event and bios of the scientists presenting them. Here.

Exhibitors: More than 30 companies have already got places in our exhibition. Companies interested in participating in the event with stands and other forms of dissemination should contact Alexandre, via the e-mail comercial@sbpmat.org.br.

Accommodation and tickets: See the list of the travel agency “Follow Up” with hotels, hostels, guesthouses and the forms to book flights. Here. 

Vacation packages: The Follow Up website also suggests tour packages for before and after the event. Here.

Venue: See video of the city of Campinas and folder about the Expo Dom Pedro convention center. 

Organizers: This edition of the event is coordinated by Prof. Ana Flávia Nogueira (Unicamp, Institute of Chemistry) and Prof. Mônica Alonso Cotta (Unicamp, “Gleb Wataghin” Institute of Physics). See who are the members of the local committee and view the photos of the organizers. Here.

Featured paper 

A team of scientists from Brazilian institutions have made a contribution to the field of hydrogen production, with the aim of using this technology as an alternative fuel. The researchers first developed a new method to produce metal oxide nanoparticles from ionic liquids. The team then tested the performance of the obtained nanoparticles as catalysts of a hydrogen production process from abundant renewable resources. The study was reported in a paper recently published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A. See our story about the paper.

Interviews with plenary speakers of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting
Organic semiconductors do not mystify Professor Ifor Samuel, leader and founder of a research group and a R&D center on this subject at the University of St Andrews (Scotland). In his daily routine Prof. Samuel not only strives to thoroughly understand these materials, but also to find new applications for them in different fields, from dermatologic medicine to the detection of explosives. In addition to his hundreds of articles published with over 12,000 citations, Prof. Samuel has several patents which have been licensed to companies. In the XV Brazil-MRS SBPMat Meeting, he will deliver a plenary lecture on optoelectronics based on organic semiconductors. Here.
Reading tips
International science communication

  • Optoelectronic skin: ultrathin, flexible, stretchable and soft film adheres to the skin and functions as sensor and display (based on paper of Science Advances). Here.
  • Brazilian physicists study for the first time the atomic vibrations at the edges of “black phosphorus”, a promising material for application in various devices (based on paper of Nature Communications). Here.
  • After modifying their microstructure, cements receive additives and for the first time they become phosphorescent. Here.

Journals

  • New journal of the series Nature Partner Journals: “npj 2D Materials and Applications”. More.

Metrics

  • A list of 300 researchers of Materials Science and Engineering most cited in the world, based on the Scopus database, includes two plenary speakers at the XV Brazil-MRS SBPMat Meeting: Lei Jiang and Anders Hagfeldt. See list.  

History of Materials Research in Brazil

  • An article in the Pesquisa Fapesp magazine briefly recounts the history of the Chemistry Institute of Araraquara (Unesp) and some of its laboratories, actively engaged in Materials Science and Engineering. Here.
Events
  • Workshop: “Photodynamic processes: shining light on sensing and actuating in biological systems“. Santo André, SP (Brazil). August, 8 to 12, 2016. Site.
  • Primeira Escola de Pesquisadores da USP. São Carlos, SP (Brazil). August, 10 to 11, 2016. Site.
  • XXV International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy (ICORS2016). Fortaleza, CE (Brazil). August, 14 to 19, 2016. Site.
  • 26th LNLS Annual Users´ Meeting (RAU). Campinas, SP (Brazil). August, 24 to 25, 2016. Site.
  • XV Brazil-MRS Meeting (XV Encontro da SBPMat). Campinas, SP (Brazil). September, 25 to 29, 2016. Site.
  • Aerospace Technology 2016. Stockholm (Sweden). October, 11 to 12, 2016. Site.

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SBPMat newsletter. English edition. Year 3, issue 6.


 

Brazilian Materials Research Society (SBPMat) newsletter
News update from Brazil for the Materials community

English edition. Year 3, issue 6. 

XV Brazil-MRS (SBPMat) Meeting - Campinas (SP), Sept 25-29, 2016 

The XV SBPMat Meeting received approximately 2,000 abstracts.

Registration: Registration for the event is now open. Early registration discount deadline is 31 August. Here.

Program: Two tutorials will be offered on the afternoon of September 25 to those registered for the event at no extra cost. One is on computer simulations on atomic systems using Reactive Force Fields (theory and practice). The second, organized by Professor Valtencir Zucolotto, will address capabilities required to make high-impact science, including scientific writing. Reserve your place during registration. 

Authors: Acceptance notifications will be sent to the authors by July 10. 

Awards: Those interested in participating in the event’s student prize competition, the Bernhard Gross Award, which selects one oral and one poster presentation in each symposium, must submit an extended abstract by August 22. Know more in the instructions to authors.  

Publication of contributions: The papers presented at the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting may be submitted by their authors for peer review for publication in IOP scientific journals. More info.

Exhibitors: More than 30 companies have already got places in our exhibition. Companies interested in participating in the event with stands and other forms of dissemination should contact Alexandre, via the e-mail comercial@sbpmat.org.br.

Plenary sessions:  View the abstracts of the plenary lectures and the memorial lecture of our event and bios of the scientists presenting them. Here.

Accommodation and tickets: See the list of the travel agency “Follow Up” with hotels, hostels, guesthouses and the forms to book flights. Here. 

Vacation packages: The Follow Up website also suggests tour packages for before and after the event. Here.

Venue: See video of the city of Campinas and folder about the Expo Dom Pedro convention center. 

Organizers: This edition of the event is coordinated by Prof. Ana Flávia Nogueira (Unicamp, Institute of Chemistry) and Prof. Mônica Alonso Cotta (Unicamp, “Gleb Wataghin” Institute of Physics). See who are the members of the local committee and view the photos of the organizers. Here.

Featured paper 

A nanomedicine study performed at the Brazilian Federal University of Goias shows that magnetic nanoparticles smaller than 10 nm and composed of more than one material have optimum nano-heating properties for the treatment of cancer by hyperthermia. The two authors of the study reached these conclusions based on diverse evidence, including in vivo studies and results obtained through an innovative theoretical method that they developed. This work was reported in a paper published in Nanoscale. See our story about the study.

People in the Materials community 

We interviewed professor Sidney Ribeiro (UNESP), a full member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences since May. Ribeiro is a recognized author of impacting studies on materials containing rare earth ions with applications in photonics and biomedicine. He is also active in mentoring and training researchers (having supervised over one hundred studies) and transforming research into products. In his message to younger scientists he spoke about the love of science, which is natural in children and must be preserved by the educational system, and which transforms the researcher’s work into a favorite occupation. See our interview.

Professor Fernando Lázaro Freire Junior, former president of SBPMat, became the director of the Physics Department of PUC-Rio. Here.
Interviews with plenary speakers of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting
Plants and animals are important sources of knowledge and inspiration for Professor Lei Jiang and his group. In their laboratories at the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry in Beijing (China), they develop smart materials, e.g., interfaces that switch between superhydrophilicity and superhydrophobicity. The findings of professor Lei Jiang, in addition to generating publications that received tens of thousands of citations, yielded products which are already widely used. Learn more about this Chinese scientist, his way of doing science, his discoveries and his scientific and also philosophical concept of binary cooperative complementary materials. Here.
Special: Kavli Prize for AFM inventors
Gerd Binnig (IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, Switzerland), Christoph Gerber (University of Basel, Switzerland) and Calvin Quate (Stanford University, USA) received the 2016 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience in recognition of their development of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). Since its creation, the AFM advances nanoscience and nanotechnology due to the possibilities it offers to study and modify surfaces with atomic resolution and precision. More. 
Reading tips
  • First stable magnet of only 1 atom provides possibilities to store and process information at the atomic scale (based on paper in Science). Here.
  • Biomineralization: Scientists shed light on the origin of hardness in biominerals as calcite, associated to the incorporation of impurities (based on paper in Nature Materials). Here. 
  • Thomson Reuters released its annual report of scientific journal impact factors. Here are some highlights of materials journals selected by the websites Materials Today (Elsevier) and Materials Views (Wiley)
Events
  • XXV International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy (ICORS2016). Fortaleza, CE (Brazil). August, 14 to 19, 2016. Site.
  • 26th LNLS Annual Users´ Meeting (RAU). Campinas, SP (Brazil). August, 24 to 25, 2016. Site.
  • XV Brazil-MRS Meeting (XV Encontro da SBPMat). Campinas, SP (Brazil). September, 25 to 29, 2016. Site.
  • Aerospace Technology 2016. Stockholm (Sweden). October, 11 to 12, 2016. Site.


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Interviews with plenary speakers of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting: Lei Jiang (Chinese Academy of Science, China).


By studying spider webs, fish scales, lotus leaves and cactus, the Chinese scientist Lei Jiang (Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry – Chinese Academy of Science) and his group have developed artificial systems that can be extremely useful for human being. For example, surfaces that exhibit superphobic or superphilic properties concerning water, oil and air. Professor Jiang´s surfaces and interfaces can also be intelligent and switch from superhydrophilicity to superhydrophobicity.

Prof. Jiang will come to Brazil at the end of September to present all these discoveries, and also the concept of “binary cooperative complementary nanomaterials” (BCCNMs), in a plenary lecture of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting.

Lei Jiang obtained a B.S. in solid-state physics in 1987 and a M.S. in physical chemistry in 1990 from Jilin University of China. Then, he embraced doctoral studies in the same university. After a period in the University of Tokyo (Japan), he obtained his Ph.D. diploma in physical chemistry from Jilin University of China. From 1994 to 1996, he was postdoctoral fellow in the Akira Fujishima‘s group at Tokyo University of Science. Then, he remained in Japan as a researcher of Kanagawa Academy of Sciences and Technology. In 1999, he joined, as a Professor, the Institute of Chemistry at CAS. From 2004 to 2006, he also served as Chief Scientist of the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China.

Prof. Jiang (H index=92) is author of two books, 8 review papers and book chapters, and over 500 papers including articles in Nature, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Materials, among many other high-impact journals. He holds dozens of granted patents and patent applications. His publications have been cited more than 38,000 times.

Lei Jiang is academician of CAS since 2009, foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering since 2016, fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry since 2010, and fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) since 2012. Jiang acts in the boards of scientific journals Small, Advanced Functional Materials, Advanced Materials Interfaces, NPG Asia Materials, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry and Materials Research Innovations. He has received many awards and honors granted by Chinese entities. His contributions have also been recognized with the TWAS Chemistry Award in 2011 and the MRS Mid-Career Researcher Award in 2014.

Here follows an interview with Professor Jiang.

SBPMat newsletter: – Explain in a few words your approach to learning from nature.

Lei Jiang: – We learn from nature mainly focusing on biological interfaces with superwettability, and then we investigated the correlation between the multiscale structures and superwettability. After that we design target molecules to prepare bioinspired functional materials with promising applications, such as self-cleaning coatings, water/oil separation, water collection, and energy conversion. Finally, by combining two complementary properties and achieving reversible switching between them, we were able to develop bioinspired smart interfacial materials with superwettability.

SBPMat newsletter: – Do you and your group perform nature observation by yourselves?

Lei Jiang: – Yes, we perform nature observation by ourselves.

SBPMat newsletter: – Do you search for specific plants or animals having in mind specific applications?

Lei Jiang: – Yes, we mainly focus on specific plants or animals with superwettability.

SBPMat newsletter: – Do you work in collaboration with biologists and materials engineers from other groups to understand nature and produce the artificial materials systems?

Lei Jiang: – Yes, we always work in collaboration with other groups, who are focused on materials, mechanics, biology etc., to understand nature and produce the artificial materials systems.

SBPMat newsletter: – Are there products in the market, or almost there, based on your discoveries? How were they created (through patent licensing, spinoff companies, joint development)?

Lei Jiang: – We have transferred several research findings in the laboratory to practical products in the market. Until now, we have cofounded 3 technology companies.  As one of the very first commercially available bioinspired material produced in large scale, our superhydrophilic coatings have been applied to landmark buildings such as the China National Grand Theatre, and the Beijing International Airport. Our oil/water separation system has also been applied to more than 630 ships travelling around the world. Based on the materials with special wettability, a bioinspired green printing technology is also currently being used to print newspapers by many publishers.

SBPMat newsletter: – To those readers who may be very curious about your concept of “binary cooperative complementary nanomaterials”, please say a couple of words about it. Is there a philosophical idea behind that concept?

Lei Jiang: – Binary cooperative complementary materials, consisting of two components with entirely opposite physiochemical properties at the nanoscale, are presented as a novel principle for the design and construct of functional materials. By summarizing recent achievement in materials science, it can be found that the cooperative interaction distance between the pair of complementary properties must be comparable with the scale of related physical or chemical parameter. When the binary components are in the cooperative distance, the cooperation between these building blocks becomes dominant and endows the macroscopic materials with unique properties and advanced functionalities that cannot be achieved by either of building blocks. The law of unity and interpenetration of opposites was proposed in “Dialectics of Nature,” an unfinished 1883 work by Friedrich Engels. He stated “Everywhere we look in nature, we see the dynamic co-existence of opposing tendencies. This creative tension is what gives life and motion.” Dialectic was derived from the works of philosophers G. W. F. Hegel (1831) and Heraclitus (500 BC), who thought that everything was constantly changing and that all things consisted of two opposite elements that could change into each other. Ancient Chinese philosophers also utilized “Yin” and “Yang” as two basic polarities of the universe to interpret the binary cooperative complementary phenomenon in nature and the universe. However, Engels simply thought the idea of “Yin” and “Yang” was just an embryo of dialectics in ancient China. However, Chinese philosophers had already studied the evolution process and unity of two opposite elements quantitatively. For example, “I Ching” (1000–750 BC), an ancient Chinese book of changes, stated that 64 Yin-Yang combinations known as “64-gua” are possible with hexagrams (patterns of 6 broken and unbroken lines).

Please find the details about “binary cooperative complementary materials” in ” Science China Materials, 2016, 59, 239–246, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40843-016-5051-6 ”

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Link to the abstract of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting plenary talk “Smart Interfacial Materials from Super-Wettability to Binary Cooperative Complementary Systems”: http://sbpmat.org.br/15encontro/speakers/abstracts/5.pdf

Publication of contributed manuscripts of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting.


The Brazilian Materials Research Society (SBPMat) and the Institute of Physics (IOP) have extended the collaboration from previous years. In 2016, authors of contributions presented at the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting will be able to submit manuscripts to peer review evaluation in a longer list of IOP scientific journals, which now includes nine titles.

After undergoing the standard IOP review process, papers accepted for publication will be posted in an online compilation dedicated to SBPMat. Today 13 papers presented at the XIV B-MRS meeting, in 2015, have been published and feature now in this collection. More information on the submissions will be announced soon on the website of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting and SBPMat newsletter.

List of IOP journals included in 2016:

·        2D Materials

·        Biomedical Materials

·        Biomedical Physics and Engineering Express

·        Journals of Physics: Condensed Matter

·        Journals of Physics D: Applied Physics

·        Materials Research Express

·        Nanotechnology

·        Semiconductor Science and Technology

·        Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering