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Smart Materials and Their Applications

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Code Completion Credits Range Language
11SMAM ZK 2 2+0 Czech
Garant předmětu:
Zdeněk Potůček
Zdeněk Potůček, Petr Sedlák
Department of Solid State Engineering

Smart or responsive materials have one or more properties, such as shape, conductivity or color, that can be dramatically and reversibly altered by changes in some external conditions. The properties responding to external stimuli (heat, stress, electric field, light) influences what types of applications the smart material can be used for. The number of their applications is growing steadily. Passive and active vibration damping, airbag sensors, acoustic transducers, precision positioners, miniature ultrasonic motors, vascular stents, eyeglass frames, cellular phone antennas, light sensitive glasses or photochromic and thermochromic clothes could serve as a few examples. Lectures are focused on physical properties, experimental methods of investigation and possible application of color changing materials, light emitting materials, piezoelectric materials, conducting polymers, dielectric elastomers, ferroelectric materials and shape-memory materials. Attention is also paid to the effect of phase transitions on physical properties of smart materials and to their numerical simulations.


Basic knowledge of structure of solid states, solid state theory, physics of dielectrics and optical properties of solids.

Syllabus of lectures:

1. Thermal, electrical, mechanical, and optical properties of solids, symmetry of crystals, tensor description of physical properties.

2. Influence of phase transformations on physical properties of smart meteriels.

3. Color changing materials - photochromic, thermochromic, and electrochromic effect.

4. Luminescent materials and their applications.

5. Piezoelectric materials for transducers, sensing elements, actuator/sensor systems such as precision positioners, miniature ultrasonic motors, and adaptive mechanical dampers.

6. Conducting polymers and dielectric elastomers for artificial muscles.

7. Ferroelectric materials, ferroelectric and optical memories.

8. Shape-memory alloys - classes of the martensitic transformations, martensite microstructures, shape-memory, pseudo-elastic, and pseudo-plastic effect.

9. Methods of observation of martensitic phase transformations.

10. Numerical simulation of shape-memory alloys behavior.

11. Important shape memory materials - Ni-Ti, CuZnAl, CuAlNi alloys.

12. Applications of shape-memory alloys - passive and active vibration damping systems, adaptive composite systems, biomedical applications, surgical tools, astronautic and aeronautic applications, artificial muscle wires, thermostats.

Syllabus of tutorials:
Study Objective:


Overview of possible applications of smart materials, understanding of the physics of smart material properties, methods of their modifications and numerical simulations.


Optimization or development of novel smart materials based on appropriate theoretical models with the aim to obtain materials with physical properties required for individual applications.

Study materials:

Key references:

[1] Encyclopedia of Smart Materials, Ed.: M. Schwartz, 2002, John Wiley&Sons, New York.

[2] Shape Memory Materials, Eds.: K. Otsuka, C. M. Wayman, 1998, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Recommended references:

[3] Zhong-lin Wang, Z. C. Kang: Functional and Smart Materials: Structural Evolution and Structure Analysis, 1998, Plenum Press, New York.

[4] Jasprit Singh: Smart Electronic Materials: Fundamentals and Applications, 2005, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Time-table for winter semester 2023/2024:
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Time-table for summer semester 2023/2024:
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The course is a part of the following study plans:
Data valid to 2024-06-16
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