Materials, Soft Matter and NanoChemistry (MATSoft)

                                                                                                                                            Image credits: S. Eugénio


Thematic line  – Materials, Soft Matter and NanoChemistry (MATSoft)

Coordinator: Maria de Fátima Grilo da Costa Montemor


Materials play a pivotal role in areas such as health, environment, energy and intelligent industries, which are pillars to meet the
goals of the 2030 UE Agenda for Sustainable Development for economic growth and jobs creation.
This thematic line gathers complementary group expertise and powerful infrastructures to develop breakthrough knowledge and technology
transfer over a wide range of sectors for demanding societal issues, through the development of functional materials tailored for
multipurpose applications towards:

RESOURCE EFFICIENCY through the use of (1) zeolites, zeotypes and hierarchical structures for oil refining and petrochemistry
and carbohydrate stereoselective transformations; (2) homogeneous catalysts supported on (non)porous materials for fine
chemistry reactions or olefin polymerization.

SECURE CLEAN EFFICIENT ENERGY by the (1) synthesis of highly emissive organometallic electroluminescent compounds for
OLED devices, f-block borides, pnictides and chalcogenides, and nanosystems based on SWCNTs and graphene for thermal
applications; carbon-based materials for light harvesting and photonic glasses and crystals (2) development of tailored electrodes
for energy storage and conversion: (a) d-block multi-metal compounds for high energy density and improved electrochemical
activity; (b) functional 3D metallic nanofoams, with graphene and transition metals compounds, novel electrodes for energy
storage and conversion (supercapacitors, batteries, fuel cells, and H2 production); (c) electronically conducting polymer
electrodes for cathodes in Li and Na-ion batteries and for O2 reduction in fuel cells and (d) diamagnetic/magnetic layered
lanthanide hydroxides for magnetic thin films.

ENVIROMNENT through the production of (1) self-healing coatings based on smart additives for controlled delivery of functional
species for autonomous corrosion protection; (2) nanoporous adsorbents for carbon dioxide abatement and separation of
alkane/alkene mixtures; (3) extraction of natural nanomaterials for textile and insulation industries using nanofluids capabilities
and properties and; (4) advanced multifunctional catalysts for NOx/VOCs abatement. For water security purposes biomass-based
carbon materials and nanocrystalline semiconductors will be produced and applied as adsorbents and catalysts for remediation
technologies; detection of hazardous compounds will be addressed by 3D polymer/enzyme biosensors.

HEALTH, by combining strategies for (1) enhancement of drug efficiency through selective and reproducible synthsis of new forms
(e.g. cocrystals); (2) production of nanoporous adsorbents for storage/release of therapeutic gases; (3) production of hybrid
organic-inorganic materials for bone tissue regeneration, nanomedicine and theranostics and (4) plasmonic devices for biosensing.
Training of young researchers and a proficient cooperation with the industry sector to maximize the technology transfer successful
cases are major goals of this thematic line.