Multifunctional Materials

In World: The characteristic feature of the XXI century condensed-matter physics is the strong interpenetration of its subdivision, provided by the current High-Technology trend to explore the synergy of several smart properties of material having the different physical nature. Multiferroics (see figure) is the emergent family of materials in which the ferroelectrics, magnetic and elastic order parameters are coupled together that  permits e.g. to create the new memory-storage elements in which the reading and writing cycles are provided by separated magnetic and electric circuits.

Historically there was certain delay with study of multiferroic materials, since, during long time, the researchers thought that magnetic and electric properties are provided  by the different (odd and even) number of electrons in the ion’s outer electron shell and therefore are mutually exclusive. Discovery of simultaneous appearance of magnetism and ferroelectricity  in BiFeO3 in the beginning of 2000s drastically changed the situation and leaded in the explosive growth of publication in this area, unifying the physists, material experts, and industry researchers (see Fig.) working both in magnetism and ferroelectricity fields.

Exploration of multiferroic materials is closely related with roadmap of future nanoelectronics to make it 3-dimensional. Fabrication of 3D multiferroic nanodevices and engineering of memory-storage multiferroic nano-domains attracts the special interests of study of multifunctional materials. 

In Brazil: Research in ferroelectric, ferroelastic and magnetic materials is the traditional subject of Brazilan science. Important contribution to it was brought by by Sergio Porto who in 70s moved from Bell Labs to Campinas  and installed the world-known school of Raman scattering in solids. Since that, ferroelectric research groups appeared in Sao Carlos, Belo Horizonto and Fortaleza.The Porto Mini-Symposium will be organized during the workshop

In 2005 Brazil acquired the 11th International Meeting on Ferroelectrics (Foz do Iguacu, chairman - prof. José Antonio Eiras) - the most recognized conference in the world on this subject. In 2007  during the VI Brazilian MRS Meeting the Symposium "Multiferoic Materials" was organized as the first national action to "identify" and bring together researchers from different areas (physics, chemistry and materials science)  (Natal, Chairmen Prof. José Antonio Eiras and Prof. Roberto Luiz Moreira).  

    Sounding of the research tendencies in Brazil during the last  meeting  of Brazilian Physical Society (SBF-2010) demonstrated  the increasing interest in multifferroics (materials preparation, characterization, simulation,...), especially by young students, which will follows in this area probably. The difference, compared with the last years, is that the magnetic community  is increasing the activities in the area.

     Therefore the workshop on Multiferroics will bring the consecutive and valuable contribution to this research area. It will  amplify the interest to the rapidly growing study of Multiferroic materials, brings the ideas about application of multifunctional nano-technologies in HT industry, increase the Brazilian participation in international research networks and make the Brazilan research in this area more known to international community