In the broad theme of advanced materials, the QCAM activities are focused around three fundamental research themes, polymer chemistry, molecular self-assembly, and nanoscience, to develop materials, devices, and technologies for the critical societal needs represented by our applied research axes: advanced materials for biomedical applications, energy, and environment and sustainable development.
The QCAM brings together the leaders of Quebec in the field of “tailor-made” synthesis of functional polymers. These are distinguished from conventional polymers by the combination of optical, electrical, magnetic, catalytic, self-assembly or other mechanical properties of macromolecular materials. The Center’s researchers are developing new synthetic tools to produce well-defined polymers with controlled architectures.
- Bioactive and biocompatible polymers
- Biodegradable polymers and ecological materials
- Electroactive and photoactive polymers
- Hybrid materials
One of the great challenges of materials science is to understand how the atomic structure of a molecule can influence the macroscopic and surface properties of a material. The rational design of new materials and functional devices requires a mastery and an understanding of structure/property relationships, as well as an ability to organize molecules within materials. The selection of molecular components that can interact spontaneously to generate complex assemblies with specific properties is an approach that nature uses to obtain functional structures. The phenomenon of self-assembly is also recognized as a powerful tool for generating new molecular structures and the CQMF is a world leader in this field.
- Interface control
- Bottom-up self-assembly of nanostructures
- Crystal engineering
- Liquid crystals and molecular glasses
The precise manipulation and characterization of matter at the nanometer scale and even the atomic level is a scientific revolution that will lead to significant technological breakthroughs. One of the strengths of nanoscience is that it integrates both fundamental and applied knowledge and promotes collaborative work involving cooperation among many scientific disciplines (chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, etc.), thus accelerating the level of innovation in this area. Therefore, a large majority of CQMF members are involved in the synthesis and characterization of new innovative nanomaterials, which are based on the fundamentals of nanoscience. The synergy of CQMF research groups in the design of molecular architectures and their advanced characterization makes it possible to both construct nanomaterials and understand their intrinsic and functional physicochemical properties.
- Biomimetic Building Blocks
- Functional nanoparticles
Advanced materials for biomedical applications
This research theme aims to develop, develop and characterize new materials for medical applications. The materials that are being researched by the Center’s researchers can repair, replace, or regenerate tissues, organs, or systems of the human body, using synthetic, synthetic / biological, or all-biological hybrid materials. In this perspective, the research focuses on three main themes namely the development of functional materials.
- Materials for diagnosis
- Materials for healing therapies
- Materials for the regeneration of tissues, organs or functions of the human body
Advanced materials for energy applications
This research theme brings together the synthesis, development, characterization and development of new functional materials for energy technologies. The development of new technologies in this niche will increase Québec’s leadership: new photovoltaic and fuel cells, functional materials for energy and hydrogen storage and adaptive device design. This work is generally done in collaboration involving, in most cases, several researchers from the Center and industrial partners.
- Low temperature fuel cells
- Energy storage systems
- Organic and inorganic solar cells and electrochemical solar cells
Advanced materials for sustainable development
The development of new functional materials offers great potential to increase Québec’s international competitiveness. However, the ability to produce these materials in such a way as to have minimal impact on the environment represents a considerable added value to their growth. From this perspective, the research work of the CQMF must not only be produced in an environmentally friendly manner, it must also have an impact on sustainable development and environmental technologies. This theme is complementary to the focus on alternative energy technologies described above.
- Development of new materials from renewable sources
- “Green” synthesis of new functional materials
- Materials for the rehabilitation of contaminated environments
- Materials for detection and environmental monitoring
- Physicochemical study of environmental systems