Sol-gel processing is a low temperature, low cost wet chemistry route to a range of different materials, particularly glassy and ceramic oxides, including nanoparticles and powders, fibers, thin films and membranes, or monoliths and composites. Thin films and coatings represent by far the most important category of sol-gel derived products with optical, electronic and magnetic functionalities, for example photoresist and dielectric spin-on-glass layers, flat screen displays, anti-reflection, conducting and magnetic disk coatings, as well as photochromic, electrochromic and photovoltaic coatings. Sol-gel derived materials are homogeneous at the molecular level and are a good example of a bottom-up approach to materials synthesis. There is increasing need of new optical and photonic materials with improved performance, where molecular level homogeneity and easy fabrication in film form may be especially convenient, highlighting a decisive advantage of sol-gel over other more established technologies to obtain graded index optical components, solar control coatings, phosphors, glass ceramics or multilayer photonic structures.
There is no book available yet which focuses in particular on optical and photonic sol-gel derived materials. This is what makes this book unique at this point for those especially or exclusively interested in optical and photonic functional materials and applications. This book represents an important tool to update scientists and engineers with recent advances in the rapidly evolving field of optical and photonic materials, components and devices. Our target audience are those working in materials science, physics, engineering and chemistry disciplines, in particular academics and researchers working in advanced optical/photonic processing technologies, research and development engineers in high technology industries and research project leaders. This book will also be an essential tool for graduate students pursuing a PhD or even a Master's degree.
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Dr. Rui M. Almeida is a Portuguese Materials Scientist. He received his Ph.D. degree in Materials Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles, USA, in 1980. He has started his research and teaching activity at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), University of Lisboa, Portugal, in several fields of materials science and engineering. From 1990, he is full professor of Materials Engineering. From 1992 until 2010, he was director of ICEMS (Institute of Science and Engineering of Materials and Surfaces), a research organization affiliated with IST. He has published over two hundred scientific papers in peer-reviewed international journals in the broad fields of materials science, physics and chemistry, he has co-authored close to twenty book chapters and edited four books. He is editorial board member of several materials science international journals and associate editor of the International Journal of Applied Glass Science. His most recent interests relate to the optical and photonic properties of glasses, thin films and sol-gel derived materials, including the application of frequency conversion materials to solar cells and solid state lighting. He is Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (USA), the Society of Glass Technology (UK) and the International Sol-Gel Society.
Alessandro Martucci Associate Professor, University of Padova, Italy.
Dr. Martucci has 25 years of research activities in the field of glass, ceramics and nanocomposite films obtained by wet chemistry processing for photonic, optical and gas sensor applications. Alessandro Martucci is author of more than 230 international publications
Luis Santos Assistant Professor, Instituto Superior Tecnico, University of Lisbon, Portugal.
Luis Santos received the degree of Doctor of Engineering Science in Materials Science from Instituto Superior Técnico in 1996. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon and a researcher in the Centre for Structural Chemistry (CQE)
In academia, he has developed and taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in materials science specializing in characterization of materials, glasses and ceramics. He has supervised 2 post-docs, 4 PhD students and 10 Master students.
He has published over 70 papers and 1 book chapter. He has been involved in more than 10 R&D projects, three of them as Principal Investigator.
Currently he is involved in the project "Photonic crystal-assisted frequency conversion phosphor layers for energy applications, where photonic crystals thin films are prepared and used to assist the up-conversion and down-conversion processes. This is expected to improve the conversion efficiency of solar cells.
Rocío Estefanía Rojas Hernández Post-doctoral Research Scholar, University of Lisbon, Portugal.
Dr. Rojas has more than 7 year's research experience, five of which are in the ceramic research field during their PhD (4 years) and as Post-Doctoral Researcher (1 year) in the Ceramics for Smart Systems group, at the Instituto de Cerámica y Vidrio, CSIC, Spain. Now, Dr. Rojas holds a position as Post-Doctoral Researcher (1 year and 8 months ago) in Glasses and Thin Films for Nanophotonics and Integrated Optics Group belonging to Depart. Eng. Química, CQE, at Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa as part of research team in the framework of COFRE project (Photonic crystal-assisted frequency conversion phosphor layers for energy applications) funded by FCT. In this latter position, Dr. Rojas has focused on sol-gel synthesis and optical characterization of down and up-conversion materials (amorphous and nanocrystalline) including bulk form as well as thin films.