Major breakthroughs in key-enabling technologies for sustainable development, such as efficient renewable energy harvesting, energy storage, information and communication technologies, preservation of oceans and water, rational use of raw materials, and improved and cost-efficient healthcare, require critical materials advances based on a transdisciplinary approach where concepts, ideas, methods and techniques originating from several scientific disciplines converge.
This high-level of transdisciplinarity is achieved by congregating theoretical and experimental physicists, materials scientists and chemical engineers specialized in several aspects of condensed matter physics, materials science and chemical engineering, which allows implementing an integrated approach to new materials development, from first principles design and modeling to materials synthesis, testing and application.
CeFEMA is a research unit dedicated to interdisciplinary research and education in physics, materials science, and engineering, emphasizing a thorough understanding of the underlying physical principles promoting materials design, processing, and characterization. CeFEMA formally initiated its activity in 2015, although its members present a significant joint research activity in the period 2013-2015 during CeFEMA founding proposal.
CeFEMA distinguish itself from other national research centres because it congregates theoretical physicists with an outstanding expertise in condensed matter physics and scientists with a large expertise in materials science. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only initiative in Portugal based on such approach, essential for a vision of materials science and engineering foreseeing the future. The combination of CeFEMA’ solid theoretical background with its experimental expertise and laboratorial resources, correspond to a valuable key aspect of the Centre. CeFEMA aims at achieving a high-level of transdisciplinarity by congregating theoretical and experimental physicists, materials scientists and chemical engineers, with expertise in: Theoretical Physics; Complex Fluids, NMR and Surfaces; Laser-assisted Synthesis and Processing; Nanostructured Materials; Membranes, Chemical and Electrochemical Processes.
CeFEMA research covers three main interdisciplinary Research Areas: Fundamental Physics, Applied Physics, and Engineering of Advanced Materials and Processes. CeFEMA current research is focused on seven research topics: Topological Phases of Matter, Nanostructured Fluids and Soft Matter, Non-equilibrium Matter and Processes, Energy Conversion and Storage, Advanced Materials Micro and Nanofabrication, Artificial Organs, and Physics of Information and Quantum Technologies.
CeFEMA integrates around 50 scientist members with PhD from various academic institutions and a variable number of non-permanent researchers and graduate and undergraduate students. CeFEMA members have a longstanding tradition of international research cooperation with scientists of other national and foreign institutions, greatly widening the scope of its scientific research and its impact on society.
The mission of CeFEMA is to contribute to advance condensed matter physics, materials science and engineering by carrying out theoretical and experimental research, generating knowledge in areas of upmost social and economic relevance and applying this knowledge to regional, national and international development, in particular, by pursuing industrially-oriented projects and technology transfer to industry. It also aims at carrying out advanced education, training of young researchers, transferring knowledge to the society in general, attracting talents to science, increasing the awareness of society to the social importance of condensed matter physics, materials science and engineering.
CeFEMA is coordinated by a President and two Vice-Presidents.
President: João Seixas
The FORUM will coordinate all outreach activities of CeFEMA, in particular the outreach activity towards private partners/companies/industry; the updating of centre’s Portfolio brochure and the flyer; the CeFEMA Newsletter; the cross-disciplinary workshops and seminars; the activities to promote science awareness and the scientific method to students and teachers of all levels education and the general public.
There is an External Advisory Committee and a Industrial Advisory Board formed of representatives of industrial companies that advise CeFEMA in its strategic activities.
External Advisory Committee:
Prof. Jeff Th. M. de Hosson, Department of Applied Physics, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Prof. Neil Alford, Department of Materials, Imperial College London, UK
Prof. Slobodan Zumer, Physics Department, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Prof. Dionys Baeriswyl, Department of Physics, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
CeFEMA researchers are organized in five Research Groups:
- Complex Fluids, NMR and Surfaces
- Laser-Assisted Synthesis and Processing
- Membranes, Chemical and Electrochemical Processes
- Multiscale Nanostructured Materials
- Theoretical Physics
These groups contribute in various extents to the Center current Research Topics
- Topological Phases of Matter
- Nanostructured Fluids and Soft Matter
- Non-Equilibrium Matter and Processes
- Energy Conversion and Storage
- Advanced Materials Micro and Nanofabrication
- Artificial Organs
- Physics of Information and Quantum Technologies
CeFEMA is a research unit which activities are partially funded by FCT under the base and programmatic contract UIDB/04540/2020.