Advanced Functional Materials

This course is part of the programme
Materials (Third Level)

Objectives and competences

• understanding of complex concepts of functional materials;
• understanding of advance principles of functional material synthesis
• gaining knowledge on the structure of the functional materials and its influence on properties
• Gaining knowledge on functional materials as a component of modern devices
Competences: the student will be capable of using the acquired knowledge for studying and performing research work related to construction of different electronic devices and development of new functional materials. The student will be able to use the acquired knowledge for interpretation and analysis of physical problems related to operating principles of functional materials.




  1. Crystal defects (defect structures, therodynamics and influence of properties)
  2. Diffusion (Fick's laws and diffusion coefficient, difussion processes, applications
  3. Advanced materials for passive electronic components (capacitors, inductors, MW elements...)
  4. Polar dielectrics (piezoelectrics, ferroelectrics, pyroelectrics...)
  5. Multifunctional materials (magnetoelectric, thermoelectric, electrocaloric, magnetostrictive)
  6. Functional thin films (synthesis techniques, structural properties, applications)
  7. Semiconductors and active electronic components
  8. Optical materials
  9. Selected topics from functional materials (seminars)

Intended learning outcomes

After this course the student is familiar with principles of advanced functional materials, what is their structure and how does it influence te properties. The student is able of critical analysis of the available data and the appropriated use of concepts. The student obtains insight into a modern functional devices their operational principle and the role of materials as a passive or active component.


Deborah D L Chung, Functional Materials: Electrical, Dielectric, Electromagnetic, Optical and Magnetic Applications, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd (2010)

Srikumar Banerjee, Functional Materials: Preparation, Processing and Applications, Elsevier Science (2011)


oral exam, seminar 60/40

Lecturer's references

prof. dr. Matjaž Valant (M) graduated in 1991 from a field of chemistry at the University of Ljubljana. He performed his PhD research at the Jozef Stefan Institute and in 1995 he completed his doctorate in Material Science. Then he carried out Post-doctoral studies at the Department of Materials and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania (USA). Until 2005 he was employed at the Jozef Stefan Institute and later at London South Bank University and Imperial College London (UK). In 2007 he joined the University of Nova Gorica, where he established the Materials Research Laboratory and Microscopy Centre. Now at UNG, he leads a group of 18 researchers and at the same time he is the dean at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences. He is the winner of several awards, among them the Zois Certificate of Recognition (1998) and Zois Award (2012). Currently, he is a visiting professor at London South Bank University and associate professor at the Institute of Fundamental and Frontier Sciences, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. He has published about 150 scientific articles that were cited about 4000 times (H-index = 34) and holds 11 Slovenian and international patents. He is regularly invited to international conferences from his research field. In his career he coordinated around 20 research or development projects totalling about 10 MEUR. These were national and international projects, European framework programs, NATO project, as well as industrial contractual projects. The current areas of his research activities include hydrogen technologies (sustainable hydrogen production, hydrogen utilization for ecological and technological purposes), study of materials surfaces (catalysts, materials for electronics) and materials for energy (energy storage).

  1. VALANT, Matjaž, ARČON, Iztok, MIKULSKA, Iuliia, LISJAK, Darja. Cation order-disorder transition in Fe-doped 6H-BaTiO[sub]3 for dilute room-temperature ferromagnetism. Chemistry of materials, ISSN 0897-4756. [Print ed.], 2013, vol. 25, no. 17, str. 3544-3550, doi: 10.1021/cm402353t. [COBISS.SI-ID 26970151]
    IF = 8.535
  2. VALANT, Matjaž, KOLODIAZHNYI, Taras, ARČON, Iztok, AGUESSE, Frederic, AXELSSON, Anna-Karin, ALFORD, Neil McN. The origin of magnetism in Mn-doped SrTiO [sub] 3. Advanced functional materials, ISSN 1616-301X, maj 2012, vol. 22, no. 10, str. 2114-2122. [COBISS.SI-ID 2265083]
    IF = 8.486
  3. VALANT, Matjaž. Electrocaloric materials for future solid-state refrigeration technologies. Progress in Materials Science, ISSN 0079-6425. [Print ed.], 2012, vol. 57, no. 6, str. 980-1009. [COBISS.SI-ID 2210043]
    IF = 23.194
  4. VALANT, Matjaž, AXELSSON, Anna-Karin, AGUESSE, Frederic, ALFORD, Neil McN. Molecular auxetic behavior of epitaxial co-ferrite spinel thin film. Advanced functional materials, ISSN 1616-301X, 2010, vol. 20, no. 4, str. 644-647. [COBISS.SI-ID 1382651]
    IF = 8.486
  5. VALANT, Matjaž, KOLODIAZHNYI, Taras, AXELSSON, Anna-Karin, BABU, Gunda Santosh, ALFORD, Neil McN. Spin ordering in Mn-doped KTaO[sub]3. Chemistry of materials, ISSN 0897-4756. [Print ed.], 2010, vol. 22, no. 6, str. 1952-1954, doi: 10.1021/cm100017s. [COBISS.SI-ID 1422075]
    IF = 6.397