Faculty of Engineering
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Advanced Functional Materials Research in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Materials, ranging from conventional ones such as metals, ceramics, polymers and composites, to cutting-edge nano and biomedical types , play key roles in advancing civilization and technology. For example, improved economies and quality of life are realized through clean, environmentally friendly and efficient fuel materials; high density magnetic and optical information storage materials; high performance electronics; improved medical transplants; high-surface-area catalysts; carriers and probes for biomolecules and therapeutic agents.
The Department of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE), was formed in the Faculty in April 2005, to focus on advanced functional materials that are of local and global economic and scientific relevance. We integrate fundamentals and state-of-the-art knowledge of physics, chemistry and biology with domain knowledge of MSE in our pursuit of rational design of advanced materials, which exhibit controlled structure and properties over multiple length-scales. We endeavor to combine engineering principles to tailor the performance of such materials for various applications. Specific emphasis is placed on materials for biotechnology, infocom technology and sustainable energy. Emerging frontiers of nanostructured materials and biomedical materials and their intersections are being explored. Using materials for biotechnology as an example, the fusion of nanotechnology and biomedical applications open many new exciting opportunities for drug delivery and biosensors. Shown in Figure 1 are IR-to-visible up-conversion fluorescent nanocrystals, which promise applications as biosensors.
The strategic research areas of our Department include: nanostructured films for high density information storage; functional and nanostructured ceramic materials; functional metallic glass and metallic materials; nanostructured hybrid materials for biomedical applications; nanostructured semiconductors; modeling growth of nanostructures; and correlations between length - scales and properties in advanced functional materials.
This issue of Engineering Research News highlights three research areas among the many that are currently on-going in the Department, namely, functional nanohybrids synthesized by copolymer templating, bulk amorphous metals for advanced applications, and three dimensional micromachining of silicon by using focused high-energy ion beams.
Assoc Prof J Wang's article describes a novel process to assemble TiO2-based nanohybrids, which exhibit much improved nanocrystallinity and multifunctionalities. They show promise for a wide range of technologically demanding applications in photocatalyses, optical switching, and optical sensors.
Assoc Prof L Yi presents a summary of the unique mechanical and functional behaviors of bulk amorphous metals , together with new techniques that have been developed to realize these metallic glasses reproducibly in large dimensions. They promise to be useful in a wide spectrum of engineering applications.
Finally, Assoc Prof DJ Blackwood highlights a novel fabrication process for micromachining silicon by using high-energy ion beams . This offers several advantages over conventional micromachining techniques, including much improved singe etch depth, creation of multi-level nanostructures, and reduced damage.
Principal investigator: Chow Gan Moog
Tel : 6516 3325