Multifunctional materials are designed through prudent combinations of different functional capabilities. Each function contributes a distinct physical or chemical process that delivers system-level improvements beyond the status quo. For example, multifunctional materials could enable autonomous structures that can sense, diagnose and respond to external stimuli with minimal external intervention. In this way, adaptive structures could be realized, which reconfigure or readjust their functions in response to changes in their environment. Material systems can be equipped with shapes that adjust on-demand, as well as structural performance. Self-sustaining systems with structurally integrated capabilities for power harvesting, storage, and/or transmission might be achievable.
Novel functions can be created by virtual material design based on multiscale modelling approaches. The principles might be inspired by biology and could beenabled on different length scales. Manufacturing of multifunctional materials requires advanced methods including additive manufacturing or 3D/4D printing. The integration of functions can occur on different hierarchical organization levels ranging from the molecular to nano-, micro-, or even the macro-length scale. The design of mechanical, optical, and acoustic meta-materials illustrates the relevance of geometry in the creation of functions. The development of characterization methods corresponding to the different functions is essential for establishing structure-function relationships as the basis for knowledge-based design of multifunctional materials.
In this symposium all material classes and multimaterial systems with multifunctionality are considered. Special sessions of this symposiums will be devoted to the creation of stimuli-sensitivity and its integration into complex systems. Multifunctional materials are driving development in emerging application fields such as (soft) robotics, health technologies, flexible electronics and energy related technologies.
Joint Sessions are being considered with Symposium SB04—Hydrogel Materials—From Theory to Applications via 3D and 4D Printing