Crystallography is the science devoted to the study of the structure and properties of crystals, polycrystals and related materials. Its importance is such that 25 Nobel laureates have been awarded for discoveries in physics, chemistry and medicine somehow related to this discipline.
The Crystallography group of CIMAV is composed by researchers, technicians and students focused on the relationship between the structure of solid materials and their physical properties, mainly electrical, magnetic and magnetoelectric properties.
The knowledge generated in this field forms the scientific basis on which, in collaboration with other disciplines, sustains the development of several applications, ranging from devices to improve the functions of an automobile to smart drugs that act with high selectivity on diseased tissues.
Ferro-piezo crystals and polycrystals are useful as computer memories and as ultrasound sensors/generators with wide application in industry and medicine. For example, they are used considerably in the automotive industry to develop sensors and actuators that control various autonomous systems. The ferro-piezo materials developed in CIMAV belong to the “lead-free” category, the latest generation of these materials.
Magnetoelectricity investigations are applicable, among other branches, in medicine. In this field, currently international focus is put on the development of functionalized magnetoelectric nanoparticles oriented to more efficient and less annoying treatments of cancer.
CIMAV specialists participate in a proactive way in the detailed investigation of the atomic structure of functional (ferro-, piezo- and magnetoelectric) oxides and to understand the microscopic origin of the extraordinary properties of these materials. international activity.
This team of researchers generates high-impact publications and works in close collaboration with institutions at national and international levels. CIMAV researchers use in a systematic manner the facilities of the Stanford, Grenoble and Trieste synchrotrons.