Professor Paula Vilarinho group research focus on electrical polarization phenomena in solids, aiming to understand the mechanisms that control electrical polarization at the macroscopic and nanoscale level, and applying such understanding to the development of advanced nano and microelectronic devices. For that her group has been using electrical and structural characterization tools (impedance spectroscopy, piezo- ferroelectric analysis, scanning probe microscopy, electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, among others) at the highest level. Materials under investigation in Professor´s Vilarinho group include lead based and lead free oxide ferroelectrics, perovskite type insulators, multiferroic ferrite and manganite oxides, tellurium based oxides and piezoelectric polymers (PLLA and PVDF). Applications of these materials include memories, sensor and actuators, thermoelectric devices, tunable dielectrics, and piezoelectric platforms for tissue growth, among others.
While understanding materials properties is central in many of the R&D activities of Professor Vilarinho group, the synthesis of nanofunctional materials in different geometries (1D, 2D and 3D) at low temperatures for compatible materials integration and using low cost approaches is becoming increasingly important in the group’s research activities. Within this context the group has been exploiting hydrothermal synthesis, diphasic sol precursors, photo chemical solution and electrophoretic deposition (EPD) for the preparation of nanoparticulates, nanocomposites, thin and thick films of functional materials.
Professor´s Vilarinho R&D has been financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Luso American Development Foundation (FLAD) and European Science Foundation.
The current research interests of Prof. Vilarinho´s group comprise the following topics: (1) Electric Field Driven Assembly Involving Ferroics for Biodevices, (2) Electrophoretic Deposition and Constrained Sintering of Functional Materials, (3) Lead Free Ferroelectrics, (4) Low Temperature, Low Cost Fabrication of Functional Materials, Structures and Systems, (5) Nanoporous and Nanostructured Ferroelectrics and (6) Nanostructured Thermoelectrics and Grain Boundary Phenomena.