XV B-MRS Meeting/ XV Encontro da SBPMat: multimedia report.


The comprehensive and diverse range of activities of the program was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the fifteenth edition of the annual event of the Brazilian Materials Research Society, the XV B-MRS Meeting. The organizing committee of the event, led by Professors Ana Flávia Nogueira (IQ-Unicamp, Brazil) and Mônica Alonso Cotta (IFGW-Unicamp, Brazil), envisaged and made possible a technical program consisting of tutorials, laboratory visits, plenary lectures, panel discussions, oral presentations, poster sessions, technical lectures of companies and exhibition stands.

Chairlady of the event Mônica Cotta: diverse themes and formats over 11 hours of sessions. 

The proposal was overwhelmingly and enthusiastically accepted by the participants of the event, who packed auditoriums, halls and exhibitors area of the convention center Expo D. Pedro, in Campinas (state of São Paulo), to get to know, present and discuss recent advances and perspectives of Materials Science and Engineering. The number of participants registered (about 1,800) exceeded the expectations of the organizing team, given Brazil`s current resource scarcity.

Chairlady Ana Flávia Nogueira: grateful and satisfied with the results achieved in a difficult environment.

The various presentations and interactions during the event were mainly in English, but many different accents could be heard.  In fact, the event was attended by participants from 23 countries from North and South America, Europe and Asia. Internationalization was also present in the organization of the meeting, through the symposium coordinators from Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and USA, and obviously from Brazil.

Alguns dos coordenadores dos simpósios posam com as chairladies e o presidente da SBPMat no hall de entrada do centro de convenções.
Some of the coordinators of the symposia alongside the chairladies and B-MRS president at the entrance hall of the convention center.

 

In the numerous sessions, advances and perspectives were discussed regarding the various types of materials (nanomaterials, biomaterials, two-dimensional, surface and interface materials, electronic organic materials, electroceramics, advanced metals, nanocellulose, semiconductors and superconductors, among other). Not only research but also technology and innovation in materials were included in the presentations and discussions, which covered methods for the discovery of new materials, manufacturing processes, studies on structure and properties of materials, and experimental and theoretical techniques to perform them. There were also countless references to material applications in segments such as energy, health, transportation, packaging, electronics and photonics, and others, including the presentation of cases in which research and development have generated innovation. These moments showed the strong relationship of materials research with the economic growth of countries, with improved quality of life and with the preservation of our planet’s natural resources.

B-MRS president Osvaldo N. de Oliveira Jr: Relationship of materials research with society is stronger than ever.

In fact, it was sustainability that guided the organizers of the event to not print the program books at this year’s meeting. Instead, the participants had a good internet connection and an app that could be downloaded to their mobile devices using a QR code provided at the entrance of the convention center or available in the virtual stores of Google and Apple. The app also included a QR code reader through which participants could obtain the abstracts of the papers presented in the poster sessions.

The XV B-MRS Meeting received support from the Brazilian funding agencies Capes, CNPq and FAPESP, as well as other entities, and sponsorship of the exhibiting companies.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON TUTORIALS AND VISIT TO CNPEM

dscn8706
Pesquisa de impacto na tarde de domingo.

The intensive schedule began on Sunday afternoon, before the opening of the event, with two tutorials. For nearly 3 hours, more than 200 participants learned about high-impact research, in particular concerning the publication of scientific articles with helpful pointers from Professor Valtencir Zucolotto (IFSC-USP, Brazil). The author of over 140 papers published in international journals, with more than 4,000 citations according to Google Scholar, Zucolotto developed and teaches courses on this subject in Brazil and abroad.

In parallel, in another room of the convention center, about 30 participants hunched over their laptops received theoretical and practical training in computer simulations by professors Pedro Autreto (UFABC, Brazil) and Ricardo Paupitz (UNESP, Brazil).

O grupo que visitou o CNPEM nas obras do Sirius, posando no gigantesco anel que armazenará elétrons acelerados.
The group that visited the CNPEM, standing at the giant ring that will hold accelerated electrons at Sirius.

While the tutorials took place at Expo D. Pedro, about 10 kilometers away, a third group of participants of the XV B-MRS Meeting, composed of senior researchers from Brazil and abroad, visited the synchrotron light, nanotechnology and biosciences national laboratories, open to the international scientific community, which comprise the National Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM). The group also toured the under-construction facilities of Sirius, which will be the second fourth-generation synchrotron light source of the world when it opens before the end of this decade.

 

SUNDAY NIGHT: OPENING CEREMONY, TRIBUTES AND COCKTAIL

In the evening, at 7:30, almost 700 people occupied the largest room in the convention center to attend the official opening session of the event. “Meetings like this are celebrations of what scientists and technologists can do for the world, for humanity”, said the president of SBPMat, formally opening the XV B-MRS Meeting. On the stage, in addition to Professor Novais de Oliveira (IFSC-USP, Brazil), the table included the chairladies of the event and Professor Roberto Mendonça Faria (IFSC-USP, Brazil) representing the International Union of Materials Research Societies (IUMRS). They thanked the organizers and supporters, whished the participants a good event and announced some information about the event.

A partir da esquerda, Ana Flávia Nogueira, Osvaldo Novais de Oliveira Jr, Roberto Faria e Mônica Cotta.
From the right, Ana Flávia Nogueira, Osvaldo Novais de Oliveira Jr, Roberto Faria e Mônica Cotta.

Next, tributes were paid to two scientists, who besides having actively participated in the history of B-MRS, developed international impact studies in the materials field. The first tribute was to Professor José Arana Varela, who passed away last May at age 72. Varela, who made important contributions in the field of ceramics (electroceramics, thin films, nanostructured ceramics, applications in sensors and varistors, among others), was one of the founders and presidents of B-MRS. A former student and friend of Varela, Professor Edson Roberto Leite (UFSCar, Brazil), gave a presentation on the scientific career of his former mentor, highlighting his pioneering work, his international recognition and his success in collaborating with companies. Leite used photographic slides to highlight Varela’s greatest legacy: friends and former students who continue his work. In fact, the next day many of these former students and friends also made a tribute to the master in one of the event symposia (“X Brazilian Electroceramics Symposium – In Honor of Prof. Dr. Jose Arana Varela”).

José Arana Varela presente na homanegem póstuma.
José Arana Varela was present through the In Memoriam tribute.

Before announcing the other tribute at the event opening, Professor Novais de Oliveira Junior took the floor to announce that SBPMat would soon launch its new site and showed a demo version. One of the objectives of the site, explained the president, is to highlight scientific images produced by the materials community, placing them as a background image on all pages, and he then invited those present to send their images.

Distinção para Aldo Craievich.
Distinction to Aldo Craievich.

The second tribute of the night was a distinction that B-MRS awards annually to scientists with outstanding carreer, asking them to present a lecture (Memorial Lecture “Joaquim da Costa Ribeiro”). The scientist elected was Professor Aldo Craievich (IF-USP, Brazil). Argentine, Craievich developed his research career mainly in Brazil and France. In addition to having made outstanding contributions to the study of structures and structural transformations in solids, the scientist was one of the protagonists in the design, construction and operation of the National Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS), located in CNPEM, whose research resources have impacted the international Materials community – mainly the Latin American community. Craievich also participated in the creation process of B-MRS from the very beginning.

In his memorial lecture on advanced materials characterization, Professor Craievich drew attention to a limitation of one of the most widely used techniques to determine the structure of materials, X-ray diffraction. In a historical perspective, he commented on the important discoveries achieved over more than 100 years of using X-ray diffraction. However, the results obtained by this technique, explained Craievich, only show the average of the numerous data captured at the various locations of the sample and in consecutive sampling moments. Therefore, the X-ray diffraction cannot describe situations that are outside the average, but have great influence on the material properties: the material defects and the configurations formed by atoms in motion for very short time scales. These limitations, Craievich commented, began to be overcome with the use of fourth-generation (e.g., synchrotron light sources such as Sirius) and fifth-generation (e.g., the free electron laser) X-ray sources. At the end of a presentation abundant in scientific references, he presented a comic-strip of the famous Argentine cartoonist Quino to prompt future users of advanced X-ray sources to innovate in their experiments, and using photographs he shared some personal memories. See the file of Aldo Craievich´s presentation.

Instrumentos feitos com sucata nas mãos dos Bate-Lata... e do prof. Lei Jiang.
Scrap-materials instruments in the hands of Bate-Lata… and in plenary speaker Lei Jiang hands.

At around 8:45 pm, after the tributes and presentations, music, food and drink awaited the audience at the other side of the doors. Music was provided by the Bate Lata group, made up of children and adolescents associated to a program of sociocultural inclusion through music. The young musicians sang and played well-known popular Brazilian music, using traditional instruments and other instruments manufactured by them from scrap materials (clothesline, oil cans). The cocktail menu (bean broth, drumsticks, croquettes, cold beer and soft drinks) provided the mood of a São Paulo state bar. The confraternization resulted in many encounters and renewed encounters, anticipating the interactions and camaraderie that would reign until the end of the event.

ORAL AND POSTER SESSIONS OF THE SYMPOSIA. EXHIBITORS.

Between Monday and Thursday, more than 2,000 contributions were presented by their authors (undergraduate students to senior researchers) in the 20 thematic symposiums, in the form of posters, oral presentations and invited talks.

sala-simposio    poster1    poster2

The event program also included two workshops, composed mainly of invited presentations. One was completely organized by students of the University Chapters of SBPMat. Another discussed sustainable development of materials with applications in social impact areas.

At the exhibition, the number of exhibitors set a record in the history of meetings of the society: there were 43 institutions and companies displaying their products and services (mostly scientific instruments) in the stands and in the 12 technical presentations.

Coffee breaks de manhã e de tarde: participantes repõem energias com café, suco e doces quitutes, enquanto interagem entre si e com os expositores.
Morning and afternoon coffee breaks: participants replenish their energy with coffee, juice and sweets, while interacting with each other and with the exhibitors.

DISCUSSION PANELS AT LUNCH TIME

At the time usually designated for lunch, from 12:00 to 2:00 pm, in this edition of the event it was possible to nourish the body while nourishing the intellect with the discussions that took place in the panel discussions.

Almoço e oportunidade na Alemanha.
Almoço + oportunidades na Alemanha.

On Monday, the session organized by the campaign “Research in Germany” of the German government, which also sponsored the snacks, presented research opportunities in Germany. About 80 participants, sitting at round tables, attended presentations of the German Academic Exchange Agency (DAAD), of “Research in Germany” campaign and of researchers who work or have worked in German institutions. First, a panorama of the robust education and research German was presented (thousands of various research institutions, about 2.5 to 2.8% of their GDP invested in R&D, 600 thousand people working in this segment). In the last decade, as it was said, the system has increased the number of foreign researchers – a number that already exceeds fifty thousand. Also shown were several grant opportunities and other resources that can be used by Brazilian academics of all levels of educational training to develop research projects in Germany, as well as the links to find more information. Finally, German researchers spoke briefly about their institutions and research groups on advanced materials, materials for electronics and optoelectronics, and medicine/biomaterials. The “Science Lunch”, as this session was called, ended in a very participatory format: public and speakers seated at the round tables while interacting, possibly about potential collaborations. Six archives of the presentations in this session are available at  B-MRS Slideshare.

meet-editors
Panel of editors. From the lefts: Sinnott, Smith, Novais de Oliveira (moderator), Samuel e Weiss.

The issue of scientific writing and publication, which had already been discussed Sunday afternoon, resumed on Tuesday at lunchtime. The session, called “Meet the editors” consisted of a discussion panel that brought together a director and the editors-in-chief of scientific journals of the area to talk about the publication of scientific articles. The panelists were: Ifor Samuel (editor-in-chief of Synthetic Metals, from Elsevier, the first journal devoted to organic electronics), Paul Weiss (editor-in-chief of ACS Nano, of the American Chemical Society, impact factor 13,334), Susan Sinnott (chief editor of Computational Materials Science, Elsevier) and Tim Smith (director at the publishing house of the Institute of Physics, IOP). While the audience of about 80 people, savored snacks, sweets, juices and fruits offered by IOP, the editors briefly presented their journals and Tim Smith talked about the set of publications of IOP Publishing in the Materials area. Smith explained that this group of journals recorded a 560% increase in articles downloaded from Brazil in the last 10 years. He also announced that IOP Publishing will conduct a pilot project (experimental) of double-blind peer reviews from January to December 2017, as an option for authors of the journal Materials Research Express. In this mode, the names and affiliations of the authors are removed from the articles before they are sent to the reviewers. The project, Smith said, will be done in response to the demands from sectors of the Materials and Life Sciences communities. A central theme of the speeches of the panelists regarded suggestion to authors who want their articles published (see box). At the end of the session, the panelists answered several questions from the audience.

box1_en

 

box2enIn the discussion on Wednesday, the theme was the contribution of materials research concerning the generation of technological innovation and competitiveness in companies. The theme was addressed with the presentation of Brazilian cases where innovations are generated from research and development projects carried out jointly by university and industrial enterprises. The panel was coordinated by a scholar of technological innovation, Professor Ruy Quadros (Geosciences Institute, Department of Science and Technology Policy, UNICAMP, Brazil). Quadros opened the session by explaining that in the last 15 years, in a slow and continuous process, companies in Brazil have become more innovative. However, he pointed out that resources for innovation (including cultural) in companies are still incipient, hence the important role of public research in the process. Next, the leader of innovation management of Mahle, André Ferrarese, Master in Mechanical Engineering from USP, presented the company: a multinational supplier of systems of the automotive industry, which has 11 technology centers in the world (with 1,950 employees), with one center in Brazil, in the city of Jundiaí (São Paulo state). To launch an average of 4 new products per year, the company begins the process of innovation with about 130 new ideas, which turn into 23 projects. Throughout the process, Mahle collaborates with various international actors: research institutes, universities, suppliers… Ferrarese presented, in particular, the Brazilian case of a consortium in which Mahle participates, which is dedicated to pre-competitive research (knowledge generation and technology development phase, prior to product development). Tribo-Flex (name of the consortium that refers to their study subject, the Tribology of flex engines) brings together automotive companies, including direct competitors like Fiat, Renault and Volkswagen, as well as research institutions and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). The goal is to generate and disseminate scientific knowledge on topics of interest to companies. In the context of the consortium, experimental and theoretical studies, tests, courses, presentations at scientific events, and publication of articles were carried out. The origins of the consortium, Ferrarese explained, go back to 2009 when during an international crisis, some Mahle employees took advantage of their reduced work hours to attend university once a week. The relationship between industry and academia was transformed into the exchange of challenges, later into proposals and finally into projects that already have significant results in reducing the problems of engine components, in addition to preparing masters and doctors who can efficiently bridge the gap between industry and academia. See the file of the presentation.

pdi
Discussion on RD&I in Brazil.

The second company represented in the panel was Braskem, also a multinational company, but born in Brazil in 2002. A major petrochemical in the Americas and world leader in the production of biopolymers, the company has over 300 professionals working in the area of innovation, guided by an international scientific board of experts in areas relevant to the company. The company has already generated over 900 patents. Vinícius Galhard Grassi, leader of Polymer Science in the company, who has a Master`s degree in Materials Engineering and PhD in Chemistry from UFRGS, defended in the panel that both the university and companies are necessary for innovation. “Everyone does their part”, he said, showing in a slide the participation of each actor in the various stages of the innovation process (discovery, basic and applied research, product development and production). Companies need to aim at profit and cannot only promote science, said Grassi. Therefore, skills and resources that would be very costly to maintain internally, such as advanced characterization and frontier knowledge, are acquired at the university, where they already exist. Grassi also presented a series of Braskem’s innovation projects at various stages of development: self-healing plastics, smart polymeric packaging and a new polypropylene resin for producing foams, which after 10 years of project has just been released.

The third and final presentation of the discussion panel was given by Professor Milton Mori, executive director of Inova UNICAMP Innovation agency. Mori told briefly about the agency’s history and results. Inova UNICAMP is dedicated to identifying and promoting opportunities to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship. The agency provides assistance to researchers in the partnerships with companies, support in the patenting process of inventions and their dissemination and licensing, courses, awards and competitions. It also manages the Science and Technology Park of UNICAMP. Founded in 2003, Inova offers a portfolio of over a thousand patents (of which 13% of the technologies are co-authored by UNICAMP and companies). Mori also highlighted the daughter-companies of UNICAMP (as another way to transform the knowledge generated at the university into innovation), which currently generate nearly 22 thousand jobs, according to the calculations of Inova.

PARTY

ruda
The meeting party.

On Wednesday night, about 200 participants of the meeting gathered under a different context: the party of the event. The venue chosen was Rudá, a bar and dance hall often frequented by students – an abounding group in Campinas, and particularly in Barão Geraldo, which has several higher education institutions. 

Participants of the event began arriving shortly after 9:00 pm, but the party really started only after the arrival of the B-MRS president, a little before 11:00 pm. In fact, Professor Osvaldo Novais de Oliveira Junior showed that his expertise is not only in science but also at parties. After he talked to the DJ, the party perked up and several people started dancing forró.

The party was attended mainly by the students, but some professors, including some of the plenary speakers were also there.

 

PLENARY LECTURES

penaria
Hundreds of people attended the inspiring plenary lectures of the event.

One of the event highlights were the seven plenary lectures, in which scientists who are international protagonists in their research topics presented themes that are at the frontier of knowledge, ranging from basic research to products already on the market. To the satisfaction of the plenarists and organizers of the event, all plenary sessions were assisted by full auditoriums, with nearly 600 participants.

elvira
Elvira Fortunato

The first plenary of the event was delivered on Monday at 8:30 am by Professor Elvira Fortunato, director of the Materials Research Center (CENIMAT) of the University of New Lisbon (Portugal). Among the many important awards, this year she received the Blaise Pascal Medal for Materials Science from the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC). The speech of the Portuguese researcher focused on two materials for transistors, alternatives to silicon (usually used as semiconductor as well as insulator), that are more environmentally friendly and with some additional advantages. Firstly, Fortunato referred to the metal oxides, such as IGZO and ZTO. Besides displaying excellent performance as semiconductors, she explained, these materials offer high transparency – greatly desirable in displays – among other advantages. Metal oxides are already part of prototype screens that are on the market and which also continue being studied to reduce their manufacturing cost. The second alternative material presented by the speaker was no less than the role of paper, which she used to develop the award-winning paper-based transistor, where cellulose not only functions as a support but also as insulator. Flexible, lightweight, recyclable and cheap, Paper-e® opens up numerous application possibilities, from biosensors made in a common printer to intelligent electronic packaging, which when connected to the so-called “internet of things”, automatically updates the information it displays. To make the paper manufacturing process greener and faster, the CENIMAT group uses bacteria. Within two or three days in vinegar, they produce a nanocellulose which may have distinct properties with respect to plant cellulose, such as the desired transparency. See presentation of Elvira Fortunato.

Lei Jiang
Lei Jiang

The afternoon plenary on Monday, delivered by Professor Lei Jiang (of the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry – Chinese Academy of Sciences), primarily explained the extreme states of wettability, such as superhydrophobic surfaces, an area where the number of publications has increased dramatically in the last decade. Jiang began his presentation with an introduction about his way of doing research, which can be summarized as learning from nature, by observing it and drawing simple principles (discovery), to then imitate it (invention) and finally transfer this knowledge to industrial applications. Using microscopes and other relatively simple equipment, Jiang and his collaborators have analyzed the structure, in various micro and nanoscale resolutions, of surfaces of natural plants and animals in contact with water or oil, which have properties that are of interest to humans. Examples: the antifogging properties of mosquito eyes, the leaves of rice and lotus that do not get wet or dirty, butterfly wings in which water flows only in certain directions, the cobwebs and cacti that collect and store water efficiently, the underwater superoleophobicity behavior of fish scales. Inspired by these structures, Jiang designs and develops materials (polymers, ceramic thin films, hydrogels, photonic crystals, and others) and very useful devices (for water collecting systems, for water purification or for generating electricity, among many others). These discoveries and inventions have yielded Jiang and his team a collection of patents and publications in high impact journals, such as Nature, Nature Materials, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Materials, Accounts of Chemical Research, Small and Journal of the American Chemical Society, among others. Moreover, several of the inventions are already circulating in society, outside the laboratory, such as hydro and oleophobic ties and scarves, which always remain clean; tempered-glass installed in public buildings in Beijing that clean themselves thanks to their superhydrophobic surface;  water-oil separation systems that traverse the world’s seas in more than 700 ships, and even an innovative printing system, already used to print newspapers, based on materials with special wettability. In developing countries, research, including basic research, must play a role in economic growth, Jiang said in the lecture, referencing an article of the Brazilian physicist José Goldemberg, published in Science in 1998. During the lecture, the Chinese scientist also referred to a principle observed in nature in various Eastern and Western philosophical works throughout the history of mankind (dialectics, ying yang, i ching), the binary systems whose elements cooperate with each other. For this interaction to occur, giving rise to a new phenomenon, said Jiang, the elements must be at a certain distance, the distance of cooperation, which should be considered in the design of smart materials.

susan
Susan Sinnott

On Tuesday, the event program began with a plenary lecture on computer modeling in nano and atomic scales by Professor Susan Sinnot, director of the department  of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University (USA) and editor-in-chief of the journal Computational Materials Science (Elsevier). Throughout the presentation, Sinnott related the methods available and shared examples of their use in research on MAX phases, nickel-based superalloys, silicon copper-oxide interfaces and deformation of metals. The lecture showed that computational methods help explain the experimental behavior of materials, they are able to make predictions about their properties, help in the discovery of new materials, are critical to design “tailored” materials for certain applications, and also indicate the best routes to manufacture them. At the end of the lecture, professor Sinnott listed some of the limitations to be overcome in order to improve the computational materials science and expand its use, not only in academia but also in industry. For example, make error bars more accurate and more standard, and achieve greater integration in processing, characterization and simulation of materials. See presentation of Susan Sinnott.

Ado Jorio
Ado Jorio

A Brazilian scientist, professor at UFMG and with one of the highest H indexes in Brazil (75) was the plenary speaker on Tuesday. Ado Jorio talked about one of his specialities, the characterization of carbon nanostructures by optical techniques (particularly Raman spectroscopy), which, in few words, shed light on matter and measure what happens in the interaction, said Jorio. In these techniques, light is the probe in contact with matter, which he investigates. However, the wavelength of light is at least hundreds of nanometers greater than the study object. This characteristic limits the research… or presents opportunities to go further. Throughout the presentation professor Jorio showed a series of results, from the beginning of this century, in the study of carbon nanostructures, many of these achieved by improving the instrumentation. After sharing tips to enable looking into the tiny intimacy of the carbon structures by optical techniques, Jorio pointed to an interesting branch of his research work. He has participated in studies of the “Indian black earth” found in the Brazilian Amazon, which generally has very poor soil. This soil, however, displays high fertility because of the presence of carbon materials, which remained stable for hundreds of years. Using nanoscience characterization techniques, Jorio and colleagues found particular characteristics on the grain size of these carbon materials. These results can help develop in the laboratory a new black earth that can be used not only in agriculture but also as a way to store carbon sequestered from the atmosphere, where it contributes to global warming. See presentation of Ado Jorio.

ifor
Ifor Samuel

On Wednesday morning, the plenary room received the audience with a beautiful photograph of northern lights over the sky of St. Andrews (Scotland) projected onto the video screens. This image anticipated that the speaker, Ifor Samuel, was a professor of the ancient University of St. Andrews (founded in 1413) and that the talk would have much to do with light, specifically with how humans make use of it by means of optoelectronic devices. Optoelectronics, said Samuel, is an area that makes use of the ability of some materials to convert electrons into light and light into electricity, to create devices. In Organic Optoelectronics, the basis of these devices is conjugated polymers, organic materials that can conduct electricity. The discovery and development of these polymers, explained Samuel, was the subject of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000. Organic semiconductors have interesting features when compared to the conventional ones. They are flexible and light, and are manufactured by means of simple and inexpensive processes, its properties can be adjusted by changing its structure, and they also emit light. With these characteristics, they have numerous applications, some of which are already on the market. One of the best known is the flexible OLED screen, but there are many others and more are yet to come. In his plenary lecture, Samuel presented some new applications of these materials, developed in the Organic Semiconductor Centre at the University of St. Andrews, under his direction. In the area of Biology and Medicine, Professor Samuel showed, for example, a small light emitting device, thin, wearable and disposable, which allows ambulatory treatment of skin cancer by photodynamic therapy. The device has been tested in patients with excellent results both in terms of healing lesions as well as the comfort of treatment. In the communications area, Samuel listed a number of devices for data transmission via LiFi (a type of WiFi which uses a part of visible light of the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit information at high speed). In the field of sensors, he showed polymer lasers that can efficiently detect explosives. Many of the developments achieved by Samuel and his collaborators have generated patents, which are mostly licensed to companies. See presentation of Ifor Samuel.

paul
Paul Weiss

The speaker on Wednesday afternoon was Paul Weiss, distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry and of materials science and engineering at UCLA (USA) and founding editor-in-chief of ACS Nano. During the lecture, the audience could know about the skills developed by Weiss, his research group and collaborators for conducting experimental research with molecules, not only to understand their structure and function but also to control them. Paul Weiss shared with the public a series of experiments in which molecules were individually isolated, displaced, placed in controlled environments, stimulated with light, modified, measured and encouraged to form self-assembled structures with specific functions. These scientific achievements have occurred thanks to the knowledge and expertise developed over years of work, and hundreds or thousands of measurements performed on instruments refined by the group. Knowledge and expertise which also helps Paul Weiss to carry out a study project concerning the features and disorders of the brain together with a number of collaborators – including his wife Anne Andrews, responsible for convincing him to devote efforts to a nano and chemical approach of neuroscience.

Anders Hagfeldt
Anders Hagfeldt

As with all the other lectures, the last plenary lecture of the event clearly exposed the connection of materials research with the needs of society. In this case, the theme was solar cells, devices that produce electricity from sunlight, which is a source of renewable, clean, safe and practically inexhaustible energy. The speaker was Professor Anders Hagfeldt (EPFL, Switzerland), one of the most cited scientists in the world. There are several technologies at different stages of development in the area of solar cells, and they differ mainly by the material responsible for releasing electrons in response to the absorption of photons. In his plenary lecture, Hagfeldt referred to two technologies that are still in the research phase: perovskite solar cells (PSCs) and the dye-sensitized ones (DSSCs). The scientist spoke briefly about the history of the development of both technologies. In the case of DSSCs, the first solar cell with good efficiency in converting light to electricity was done in 1991 and reached the 7.1% mark.  Today, 15 years later, the dye used is still the same (it could not be replaced) and its efficiency reached 14.3%. This value is similar to the starting point, 4 years ago, of PSCs, which now reach 22.1% efficiency, but it still does not exhibit stability. If, on the one hand DSSCs cannot replace competing technologies because of their low efficiency, on the other hand, Hagfeldt suggested, they can take ownership of some niches where they make a difference because of their color, low cost and because they are easy to manufacture. In fact, this was the technology chosen to compose kits for homemade solar cells, distributed in secondary schools in Sweden, Hagfeldt’s country of origin. The speaker also showed a number of attempts, some of them very successful, to increase efficiency and stability of solar cells from innovations in manufacture processes and composition of materials, in device structure and in by combinating various materials. See presentation of Anders Hagfeldt.

CLOSING SESSION

The closing session of the fifteenth edition of the annual SBPMat meeting began around noon with a few words and slides by Professor Mônica Cotta. The chairlady highlighted the public rooms full with participants, the packed program, the high participation and interaction of the public and the large number of participants – in spite of the fact that Campinas is not a tourist attraction, she joked. After thanking everyone who collaborated in the organization (SBPMat team, student volunteers) and to all who attended the event, she reminded everyone that the next SBPMat meeting will be in Gramado (RS) and announced that the chairman will be Professor Daniel Weibel (UFRGS).

Then, Professor Osvaldo Novais de Oliveira Junior, representing SBPMat, and Professor Rodrigo Martins, representing the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) as a former president, signed a cooperation agreement between the two societies to promote scientific collaboration between researchers from Brazil and Europe and in particular to encourage the participation of SBPMat members in the events of E-MRS and members of the E-MRS in the SBPMat meetings, both as participants as well as symposium coordinators.

The event ended in a mood of celebration, with the presentation of awards to student authors for the best work presentations of the event. Professor Ana Flavia Nogueira gave thirteen Bernhard Gross awards, granted by SBPMat to the best contribution of each symposium. Then, Professor Cátia Ornelas (UNICAMP), chair of the Brazilian chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), gave the ACS awards to the best five works among the winners of the Bernhard Gross award. These students received a cash prize, sponsored by ACS, in addition to the certificate. Then, Professor Elvira Fortunato, representing the E-MRS, announced the winners of the prize offered by the european society to the best works of symposium B (nanocellulose materials). Finally, Professors Roberto Faria and Rodrigo Martins, representing the IUMRS as second vice president and committee coordinator, respectively, handed out the awards granted by that entity to the authors of the best posters of the event related to the sustainable use of raw materials from Brazil. In addition to receiving a trophy and certificate, the three winners were awarded free registration at the next IUMRS event, and the first place will also receive assistance to finance his/her stay. See here the full list of award winners.

Vencedores dos prêmios para estudantes.
Students awards winners.

SEE YOU IN GRAMADO AT THE XVI B-MRS MEETING! (SEPTEMBER 10-14, 2017)

 

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 ”

——————-

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

SBPMat newsletter. English edition. Year 3, issue 5.


 

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

English edition. Year 3, issue 5. 

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

Authors: The abstract submission deadline has been extended to June 15. Acceptance notifications will be sent to the authors by July 10. Authors should read the submission guidelines. Here.

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

Symposia: See the list of 22 approved symposia, to which the abstracts can be submitted.  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. 

Exhibitors: 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.

SBPMat news
  • Public note of SBPMat. The directory and the board of the Brazilian Materials Research Society (SBPMat) express their unease in light of the lack of prospects for science, technology and innovation (STI) in Brazil. Here.
  • Collection of works of the XIV SBPMat Meeting published in IOP journals. A page in the website of the Institute of Physics (IOP) compiles and highlights 13 scientific papers assembled from papers presented at the XIV SBPMat Meeting (Rio de Janeiro, September 27 to October 1, 2015) and published in IOP journals after conventional peer-review process. Here.
Featured paper 

The cover of the April issue of the Nano Letters journal highlights a study by an international team of researchers, of which four are scientists from Brazilian institutions. The article reports on the formation of defect-free carbon nanotube coils, considered an ideal format to use nanotubes as inductors. The article also presents the coil-formation mechanism from simulations carried out by scientists from Unicamp and the Federal University of Roraima. See our story about the study: “Nanotubes that coil to the sound of tango or chorinho”.

People in the Materials Community
  • Note of condolences on the passing of Prof. José Arana Varela, president of SBPMat in 2010-2011. Here.
  • SBPMat counselor Carlos Roberto Grandini and three other researchers from Brazil became fellows of the International Union of Biomaterials Societies. Here.
Interviews with plenary speakers of the XV Brazil-MRS Meeting 

Paper and metal oxides are some of the materials that the Portuguese scientist Elvira Fortunato uses to develop electronic devices, which besides producing low environmental impact, promise to make our many everyday objects become electronic, revolutionizing our lives. Learn more about these innovations and the trajectory of its inventor, who will deliver a plenary lecture on green electronics in the XV SBPMat Meeting. See our interview.

Reading tips
  • New carbon films manufacturing process produces promising supercapacitors for wearable electronics (based on paper in Science). Here.
  • A study carried out in Brazil is the cover of Langmuir journal: silica nanoparticles coated with folate for non water-soluble drug delivery, killing 70% of tumor cells and reaching only 10% of the healthy ones in in vitro tests. Here.
  • Nanoparticles injected into mice change in the body to release chemotherapeutic drug inside tumor (based on paper in PNAS). Here.
Events
  • 40th WOCSDICE ‐ Workshop on Compound Semiconductor Devices and Integrated Circuits held in Europe & 13th EXMATEC ‐ Expert Evaluation and Control of Compound Semiconductor Materials and Technologies. Aveiro (Portugal). June, 6 to 10, 2016. Site.
  • Photonic Colloidal Nanostructures: Synthesis, Properties, and Applications (PCNSPA Conference 2016). Saint – Petersburg (Russia). June, 27 to July, 1, 2016.  Site.
  • 1st International Symposium on Advanced Photonic Materials. Saint – Petersburg (Russia). June, 27 to July, 1,  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.