Materials to be developed span from ceramics and inorganic materials to soft matter, biopolymers and organic-inorganic hybrids. They will be ‘right-size’ materials, prepared and processed at the appropriate length scale, or hierarchically structured, often multifuncional. Examples of the applications we wish to pursue are:
- Green photonics, viz. solid-state lighting, photovoltaic conversion, optical communications and sensing
- Energy conversion and storage, including solar cells, heat/cold storage, magnetocaloric and thermoelectric conversion, capacitors, fuel cells and related oxygen and carbon dioxide gas separation for oxy-fuel and CO2-lean processes.
- Assemblies with enhanced corrosion resistance, mechanical/thermal properties and detection/sensing capabilities
- Fractionation and chemical/biotechnological transformation of biomass into chemicals, fuels and (nano)materials, at the laboratory, pilot and industrial scale, adding value to agro-forest resources
- Industrial and electronic wastes valorisation; strategies of urban and landfill mining for recovering metal species and rare earths; environmental impact minimization in the production of ceramics and cements, based on life-cycle assessments
- Regenerative medicine (osteoinductive biomaterials, composite scaffolds, biodegradable polymers)
- Hyperthermia, drug delivery, imaging, photodriven and environmental remediation applications (nanoparticles)
- Analytical tools for assessing biomaterials biotoxicity and interactions with living organisms, materials as environmental hazards and disease diagnosis.
‘Centre for Imaging & Structure of Materials’ and ‘Centre for Materials Design & Technology’ are important CICECO structures. The former manages the very extensive state-of-the-art equipment and lab facilities, while the latter is our interface with companies and external entities, ensuring knowledge transfer and assisting in identifying funding sources. The ‘Centre for the Study of Science, Education & Technology’ helps understanding knowledge creation, promotion and use, whereas the structure ‘Knowledge Refinery’ gathers and coordinates our promotion of science activities.