Nanostructured materials
Skill in developing functional and nanostructured materials with tailored properties will help the Center for Research and Development of Functional Materials solve problems related to renewable energy, health and the environment

The Center for Research and Development of Functional Materials (CDFM) is an outgrowth of the Multidisciplinary Center for the Development of Ceramic Materials (MCDCM), which received FAPESP funding during the first round of the RIDC Program. At the core of the MCDCM was the ability to synthesize materials with controlled chemical composition, microstructure, and morphology.

Since then, along with the accelerated transformations that have already taken place  this century, global needs have changed drastically. Three main concerns are currently emerging to address those needs: renewable energy, health and the environment.

During the same period, the materials science community has been engaged in research and development of functional and nanostructured materials that can be useful in meeting society’s new needs. The CDFM will therefore use its skill in research and development of functional and nanostructured materials with tailored properties to solve problems related to renewable energy, health and the environment.

In terms of innovation and technology transfer, the new RIDC will be directly associated with the basic research program and will act in the following areas: pilot plants for functional nanoparticles; the development of new applications for functional materials; and the establishment of spin-off companies.

With regard to the activities related to education and training, the preferred target audience will be high school teachers, to whom the Center will offer extension courses geared to the use of communication and information technology in science education.

The Center will also offer teaching strategies aimed at improving teacher performance in the classroom. The conceptual mapping technique is one of the main tools that will be used. It will allow teachers to build and relate concepts, represent knowledge in a hierarchical way, share the meaning of knowledge between teachers and students and facilitate learning and scientific reasoning. It also plans to offer a specialized course in science journalism.

 
(Photo: CDFM)