The 6th Ed. of the Smart Materials and Surfaces - SMS 2021 Conference

Conference Topics

SMS 2021 Conference themes are as follow:

  • Advances in Functional and Multifunctional Materials
  • Hybrid materials
  • Shape Memory Materials: State-of-the-art Research and Applications
  • Advances in Multiferroic and magnetoelectric materials and applications
  • Advances in Inorganic Luminescent Materials and Applications
  • Metamaterials and Metadevices
  • Electro-active polymers: current capabilities and challenges
  • Catalytic materials
  • Photocatalytic Materials for Energy and Environmental Applications
  • Energy Harvesting via Smart Materials
  • Materials and Mechanisms of Superconductivity
  • Stretchable and Flexible Electronic Materials & Devices
  • Bioinspired Materials
  • Biomimetic bioactive biomaterials – the novel materials of implantable devices
  • Stimuli Responsive Materials
  • Intelligent drug delivery and release systems
  • New Materials for sensors and actuators: Sensing the Future with New Materials
  • Progress in Wearable/Wireless and Implantable Body Sensor Networks for Healthcare Applications 
  • Intelligent Materials for Textiles
  • Fire retardant materials and surfaces
  • Smart Materials & Micro/Nanosystems
  • Graphene and Other Emerging 2D-layered Nanomaterials (European Graphene Forum 2020)

In addition to the above main conference sessions, the evnt will host the following focused Symposia / EU projects workshops:

Symposium on Multifunctional materials

Keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Jérôme Cornil, Université de Mons, Belgium
  • Prof. Ying-Hao Chu, National Tsing-Hua University, Taiwan
  • Prof. Yoke Khin Yap, Michigan Technological University, USA
  • Dr. Shreeniwas K. Omanwar, Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University, India
  • Prof. Junwang (John) Tang, University College London, UK
  • Dr. Camilla Baratto, Università di Brescia, Italy

Description: This symposium will address the development of intelligent materials based on novel concepts like self-sensing, self-deicing, self-curing, self-healing, and self-protection methodologies to increase consumer safety, component life-span, and performance while reducing maintenance and manufacturing costs. Such functionalities either derive from intrinsic properties of the materials themselves or can be delivered through a multiscale and multi-physics material design approach. The latter can be achieved through the manipulation of a material properties, for example, by embedding nanomaterials or by conceiving the material as a self-responding multi-scale system.

The aim of this symposium is a better understanding of properties and functionality of those novel materials in terms of their potential use, by experience from research communities representing a wide area of engineering needs. It cover the following themes:

  • multifunctional materials
  • actuators
  • nanomaterials
  • morphing materials
  • Nanotechnology
  • Advanced Functional Materials
  • Self-Responsive Materials
  • Structural Materials

Symposium on Composite and Hybrid materials

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Salim Belouettar, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Luxembourg
  • Dr. Wei Min Huang, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Description: The aim of the research in Advanced composite materials field is the development of materials with superior thermo mechanical, physical and chemical properties. The combination of different types of materials can lead to a great variety of composites, basically distinguished mainly by their constitution. Also, Organic-inorganic materials  called hybrid materials have steadily grown during the past 20 years, as a result of the ever-growing number of molecular precursors, both organic and inorganic, leading to a myriad of multifunctional materials with applications spreading from civil engineering through energy storage/generation, (bio-, electro-, photo-) catalysis, sensors, photonics, memory devices, to dentistry and medicine. Hybrid materials, containing two antagonist materials at the nano or molecular scale, show major properties or new synergetic characteristics compared with the two individual counterparts. There are numerous examples in nature where organic and inorganic materials are combined to generate hybrid materials with robust properties. Other than the amplification of materials performance, hybridization of two different materials sometime adds new synergetic characteristics or functionalities.

This symposium on composite and Hybrid materials aims to provide a forum for researchers in Composite/hybrid materials community to discuss new advances in synthesis of these materials. We welcome contributions in any form. The studies on fundamental correlations of synthesis-interface-synergetic characteristics of Composite/hybrid materials are particular encouraged. The symposium includes a large scope of research based on composite and hybrid materials. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Organic–inorganic nanoparticles hybrid materials;
  • Multifunctional materials;
  • Composite/ hybrid materials at the molecular level;
  • Applications of composite and hybrid materials

Symposium on Smart materials, Micro/ Nano systems

 Chair: Prof. Alessandro Lavacchi, ICCOM, CNR, Firenze, Italy

Keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Jeremy Levy, University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • Prof. Andrea Alù, University of New York, USA
  • Prof. Kari Ullakko, LUT University, Finland
  • Prof. Bunsho Ohtani, Hokkaido University, Japan
  • Prof. Wei Lu, University of Michigan, USA
  • Dr. Ilangko Balasinghan, Oslo University Hospital, Norway

Description: In the last few decades, micro and nano-scaled devices and systems have gained great attention in several applications, such as in the design of micro/nanoparticles, biosensors, and microdevices.  As a multi- and interdisciplinary research field, micro- and nano systems make full use of electronics, optics, mechanics, chemistry, materials science, among others, to achieve high-performance devices and systems for biomedical, energy, environment and communications applications. Combined with the emerging artificial intelligence and cloud technologies, smart transducers based on micro- and nano systems technology become realistic; however, manufacturing these devices with enhanced efficiency and realizing associated systems have much room for innovation, adaptation, and cost reduction in various fields.

The goal of this focused symposium is to highlight the recent progresses on advanced micro- and nano systems as well as their intelligent manufacture with emphasis on applications in health care, environment, food industry and energy, electronics communications, among others. This symposium intends to cover, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Micro fabrication technologies;
  • Novel product designs, micro-assembly technologies and micro-handling;
  • Surface engineering and interface nanotechnology;
  • Process modelling and simulation;
  • Processing and characterisation of smart materials, multifunctional materials, nanomaterials and material;
  • Micro and nano additive manufacturing technologies;
  • Applications of micro and nano technologies;

Symposium on Smart coatings and surfaces

Keynote speakers

  • Dr. David Ruch, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Luxembourg 
  • Dr. Petr Sittner, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
  • Dr. Wei Min Huang, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Description: This focused symposium will present the recent research progress of the smart and functional coatings/films, including novel fabrication process, special microstructure control, and resulted unique properties. It will address the latest development in coatings design, synthesis, characterization, and the different applications. It will bring together researchers working in the new and exciting area of smart film materials and surface issues, which include the following topics (but not limited to):

  • New design and novel fabrication methods of multifunctional and active coatings and surfaces
  • Systematical coatings and surfaces characterization
  • Novel and controllable properties of smart and functional coatings
  • Nanostructured and nanoengineered coatings/surfaces
  • Shape memory, piezoelectric and responsive materials/polymers, thin films and coatings
  • Surface processing of shape memory, piezoelectric and responsive materials/polymers (plasma treatment, ion beam, electron beam, laser treatment, oxidation, coatings, electrochemical deposition, magnetron sputtering, CVD, PVD, sol-gel, etc)
  • Surface related issues of shape memory, responsive and piezoelectric materials (corrosion, wear, friction, surface mechanics, cell growth, biocompatibility, biomemetic, etc).
  • Surface wrinkling and bio-inspired surface structures, micro and nanoengineering on smart surfaces
  • Smart MEMS actuators, micro devices, and microsensors
  • Active Devices in the Fields of Opto-Electronics, Photovoltaics Flexible Electronics, Photocatalytic Coatings, etc.

Symposium on Bioactive, Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Anna Laromaine, Institut Ciencia de Materials de Barcelona, Spain

Description: Throughout evolution, biological organisms have developed efficient strategies to solve technical problems by synthesizing appropriate natural materials. These materials often outperform man-made materials of similar composition. Bioinspired materials are synthetic materials whose structure, properties and function mimic those of natural materials or living matter. Bioinspired design concepts are becoming increasingly integrated into a wide range of materials and devices intended for the consumer, industrial, medical, military and energy sectors. Examples of bioinspired materials are light-harvesting photonic materials that mimic photosynthesis, camera lenses inspired by compound eyes of insects, etc

This focused symposium covers the whole spectrum of bioinspired and bioactive materials with a particular emphasis placed on novel concepts and strategies to engineer bioinspired materials and surfaces, the performance and application of bioinspired devices in the fields of biomaterials, optics, energy and environmental technologies. The topics include, but are not limited to:

  • concepts and strategies to fabricate bioinspired materials
  • advanced characterization methods for biological or bio-inspired matter
  • application and performance of bioinspired devices (e.g., biomaterials, optical materials, sensors, actuators, materials for energy harvesting, conversion, and storage)
  • structure and mechanics of biological and bioinspired materials
  • processing and application of biomimetic surfaces
  • self-assembly, biomineralization, and hierarchical organization
  • cellular materials and bioinspired lightweight construction
  • smart materials (e.g., adaptive, stimuli-responsive, self-healing)

Symposium on Magnetic materials and Devices

Keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Manfred Kohl, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
  • Prof. Susan Trolier-McKinstry, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
  • Prof. Evgeny Tsymbal, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
  • Prof. Filiberto Bilotti, Roma Tre University, Italy

Description: Magnetic materials and the study of magnetism play a massive role in modern technology throughout all aspects and fields. Nowadays, the magnetism has once again become the forefront of modern nanotechnology and extensive research efforts in both theoretical and experimental communities have been devoted to investigate and understand the magnetic properties of nanoscale materials. There is almost no technology in daily life which does not use magnetism or magnetic devices. They range from the permanent magnet, though to computer storage, superconductors, sensors and actuators, to very special applications in optics, electronics, nuclear spin resonance imaging and calorimetrics. The understanding and characterization of magnetism in materials, such as structures, their transformations, excitations, and coupling are inherent to the development of novel materials and devices at the forefront of science and technology. This focused symposium will cover recent advances and future directions in the field of magnetism and magnetic materials. The symposium topics include:

  • structural properties
  • bulk crystal lattices
  • thin multi-layers
  • magnetic and electronic structure
  • phase transformations
  • critical phenomena
  • multiferroics
  • magneto-electric coupling
  • magneto-mechanic coupling
  • spin-orbit coupling
  • nuclear spins
  • spin coupling
  • exchange interactions
  • engineering applications
  • bio-medical applications
  • magnetism in biology
  • data storage
  • functional materials
  • sensors
  • quantum beam particles and interactions

Symposium on Smart Textiles, Wearables & Internet of Things

Description: smart textile material, can also be called an interactive textile, is a “functional textile material”, that can sense and react to environmental conditions or stimuli.  They find applications in different research disciplines, especially in health and medical; materials science and engineering, electronics, automotive and aeronautic; personal protective equipment; sports and wearables; buildings and interior design. Moreover, smart textiles have a very promising role in science and technology nowadays because of their commercial viability and public interests. Recent research represents a new model for generating creative and novel solutions for integrating smart materials into unusual environments, requiring innovative developments and applications of smart fabric sensors, electronic textile technology, and wearable computing for detecting human physiological signals. All these innovations on Smart Textiles are assisting the textile industry in its transformation into a competitive knowledge (data) driven industry. Furthermore, combining smart wearable with the internet of things has a profound impact on research, development, and applications of wearable technology providing significant new challenges and multiple opportunities.

This focused symposium on Smart Textiles, Wearables & Internet of Things aims to promote this life-changing discipline by providing an overview on the state-of-art materials, concepts, models, and fabrications, in order to develop smart textiles. The symposium topics include:

  • Applications of smart textiles
  • e-textiles
  • Integration concepts of Organic Electronic devices in Smart Textiles
  • Internet of Things (IoT) for connecting Smart Wearable Technologies and Devices
  • Medical Textiles
  • Nanotextiles
  • Smart textiles
  • Stimuli responsive fibers
  • Surface functionalization of electronic textile materials and architectures
  • Textile design and technology
  • Textile sensors.

Symposium on Novel Membrane Materials

Keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Dr. Patricia Luis, Louvain School of Engineering, Belgium 

Description: In recent years, we have been witnessing an exciting wave of developments in new membrane materials and structures. Membranes made of novel microporous materials (metal organic frameworks, covalent organic frameworks, polymers of intrinsic microporosity, zeolites, etc.) show unprecedented separation performance. Carbon-based materials (e.g., carbon nanotubes, graphene, and graphene oxide) hold great promise in delivering excellent combination of permeability, selectivity, and antifouling performance. While the revolution of aquaporin-based biomimetic membranes is still ongoing, a new string of developments in synthetic channels have emerged. This symposium is dedicated to provide a comprehensive coverage on the recent progresses in “Novel Membrane Materials” and their use in all types of membranes and membrane processes. It offers a perfect site to report the synthesis and characterization of novel materials, the related membrane fabrication methods, and their applications to gas separation, water treatment, desalination, drug delivery, resource recovery, energy production, batteries, etc. The symposium covers the following topics:

  • Bio-inspired materials
  • Biomimetic membranes
  • Surface modification
  • Synthetic channels
  • Nanocomposite membranes
  • Mix matrix membranes (MMMs)
  • Microporous
  • Mesoporous
  • Polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs)
  • Material synthesis
  • Membrane fabrication
  • Metal organic frameworks (MOFs)
  • Novel materials
  • Zeolite
  • Novel membranes


Symposium on 2D Materials: From Structures to Functions

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Gianluca Fiori, University of Pisa, Italy
  • Prof. Ho Won Jang, Seoul National University, Rep. of Korea
  • Prof. Pagona Papakonstantinou, Ulster University, UK

Description: Research into the production of two-dimensional (2D) layered materials by resurfacing three-dimensional (3D) crystals, currently used in various aspects of our lives, has progressed rapidly since the discovery of simple approaches to synthesizing single-layer graphene over a decade ago. As a result, dozens of 2D layered materials that possess the characteristics of semiconductors, conductors, and insulators have been discovered. Previously, only small flakes of 2D layered materials could be synthesized, but, gradually, it has become possible to synthesize 2D layered materials with a larger area and single-crystalline structure. Very recently, the controlled stacking of 2D layered materials at the atomic level revealed new physical and chemical phenomena. Based on this fundamental research, new electronic, optical, energy, and sensor devices are being developed that can overcome the physical limitations of current mainstream technology.


This session is devoted to providing the latest cutting-edge fundamental and applied research across all aspects of graphene and 2D layered materials.


  • 2D layered materials
  • Pseudo-2D materials
  • Chain-based 1D/2D materials
  • Van der Waals heterostructures
  • Applications of devices based on 2D layered materials.


Workshop on EUCALIVA EU Project: EUCAlyptus LIgnin VAlorisation for Advanced Materials and Carbon Fibres


  • Mr. Enrico Cozzoni, rado Zero InnovationI, Italy
  • Dr. Maria Teresa Giardi, Biosensor, Italy

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Carlos Sanchis, ENV, Spain
  • Dr. Johana Lahti, TAU, Finland
  • Dr. Petra Franitza, STFI, Germany


Description: The EUCALIVA project proposes a fully-integrated, energetically-efficient, scalable, innovative and flexible processing chain based on the valorization of lignin for producing Carbon Fibres (CF) and other Carbon-based materials, mainly for functional applications. The conversion of black liquors from the kraft process of a Eucalyptus pulp and paper mill factory into pure lignin was carried out. Then, pure lignin will be used as sustainable raw-material for green processes able to generate promising added-value compounds products such as fibre precursors.

The intrinsic value of the lignin continues to be largely overlooked. Lignin is the most abundant source of aromatic chemicals outside of crude oil.

The use of waste components from industrial activities as raw materials to obtain high value-added products is worth being investigated as a sustainable process. Lignin from pulping process is present all over Europe and represents a big source of underexploited material. There is an estimated 70 million tonnes of lignin available from pulping processes worldwide, but much of this is not isolated but burned onsite to provide steam for heat and power production. Until now only about 2% of the Lignin available in the pulp and paper industry is commercially used. EUCALIVA aims to create a valorisation chain of the lignin fraction, using Eucalyptus globulus waste as a source.

This workshop will focus on explaining what challenges and problems targeted the EUCALIVA project.  For doing that, EUCALIVA, focused on the three fundamental aspects in the preparation of high-quality carbon-based materials, taking as source Kraft Lignin from black liquor (paper industries waste):

  • The optimization of lignin separation, preparation (e.g,.blends with other polymers such as polyurethanes, or by the introduction into the spinning solution of metals or other precursors) and spinning for lignin-based fibres manufacture.
  • The development of efficient and faster thermostabilization routes.
  • The achievement of carbon fibres and other carbon-based materials with new or enhanced properties

In particular, the topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Lignin extraction and characterisation
  • Tailoring of lignin and precursor blends
  • Carbonization of lignin blends
  • Production of biobased products (stretchable electronics & activated carbon)

Workshop on InComEss EU Project- INnovative polymer-based COmposite systeMs for high-efficient Energy Scavenging and Storage


  • Dr. Cintia Mateo-Mateo, AIMEN, Spain

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Philippe Poulin, Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal (CRPP) -CNRS- Bordeaux, France
  • Dr. X. Ramón Novoa, University of Vigo, Spai

Description: InComEss project seeks at developing efficient smart materials with energy harvesting and storage capabilities combining advanced polymer based composite materials into a novel single/multi-source concept to harvest electrical energy from mechanical energy and/or waste heat ambient sources.

The project will demonstrate its applicability in key sectors and applications, SHM and vehicle monitoring in automotive, aerospace and building, presenting the highest market potential. Three cost-effective and green Energy Harvesting Systems (EHSs) configurations will be realized through the combination of high performance piezoelectric (PE), thermoelectric (TE) and Thermo-Piezoelectric (TPE) generators and monolithic supercapacitors (SCs) to power selected wireless sensors nodes to be implemented in different IoT scenarios for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) in buildings and aircrafts and accurate location and monitoring of vehicles through GPS and MEMS sensing.

EU InComEss workshop offers a great opportunity to hear about the project objectives, project progress and learn about the technologies employed on the research focused on Energy Harvesting and Energy Storage. In particular, this workshop covers the following topics:

  • Smart materials (sensors, actuators)
  • Piezoelectric materials
  • Thermoelectric materials
  • Supercapacitors
  • Batteries