The Dawn of the Nanomaterials Age
Materials—both very simple ones and composite or advanced ones—have always been important to human society. In fact, our prehistoric eras are named after the materials that defined them, such as the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.
Our present age could very well be called the Advanced Materials or Nanomaterials Age. This is because there has been explosive growth in materials research, especially in nanoscience, which studies the properties of materials at the nano scale. This growth is making the most of new instruments for synthesizing and characterizing materials. Scanning probe microscopy techniques are a good example: they allow us to visualize and modify surfaces at the atomic scale. New nanostructured materials are expected to provide society with radically new technologies in the years to come.
As innovation in materials science and engineering relies more and more on our ability to understand and control what materials can do, “materials by design” are becoming a reality. Dr. Federico Rosei, Canada Research Chair in Nanostructured Materials, is working on understanding the synthesis, processing and characterization of nanomaterials—work that could support the development of systems with tailor-made properties.
To do this, Rosei and his research team are correlating structure (morphology and composition) with properties in different classes of multifunctional materials and investigating dynamic properties. Ultimately, their work could lead to new insights that support technological breakthroughs in energy, electronics and health, consolidating Canada’s leadership in advanced materials.