The focus of modern solid-state technology is currently shifting from applications based on a single property (e.g., electric, magnetic, and elastic) to those based on the coupling of different fields where a coupled materials response can be either used for characterization or as a basis for novel applications. In the last few years, it has become clear that the coupled electromechanical response of materials (i.e., mechanical deformation under applied electric bias) can be used not only as an universal tool for studying diverse materials classes at the nanoscale but is becoming indispensable for the development of the next generation of multifunctional materials (piezoelectrics, ferroelectrics, multiferroics, ionic conductors, and polar biomaterials) and composites. Novel nanoelectromechanical tools (Piezoresponse Force Microscopy - PFM, Electrochemical Strain Microscopy - ESM, and as well their combination with traditional Scanning Probe Microscopies - SPM) have been introduced for studying emergent materials and applications. This has recently led to a substantial progress in the development of novel multiferroics, photovoltaics, biopiezoelectrics, and battery materials. The emergent field of nanoelectromechanics requires coordinated action at the European level as further progress in this field largely relies on the education and dissemination of best practices in application of PFM/ESM to a large number of functional materials. NANOMOTION is intended to train the next generation of engineers and technologists in the fundamental aspects of the nanoelectromechanics, to apply advanced PFM/ESM tools to study a wide range of functional materials in collaboration with interested industrial partners, and to create an European-based pool of researchers in this area.
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More information at http://www.itn-nanomotion.eu/