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What are Advanced Functional Materials?

Advanced functional materials are used to build devices that advance technology. Piezoelectric materials are one type of advanced functional material. Piezoelectrics combine mechanical material properties such as compressibility and strength with electrical properties such as conductivity and electric charge storage capability. This interplay makes piezoelectrics extremely useful as well as intriguing to study.


There are literally thousands of uses for piezoelectrics: medical devices (ultrasound baby imagers, and piezoelectric surgery), energy harvesting, gas grill igniters, sonar, microwave phase shifters, guitar pickups, audio speakers, robotics, pumps, ultrasonic motors, printers, and many more. Other advanced materials include ferromagnetic materials, ferroelectric materials, pyroelectric materials, multiferroic materials, photonic materials.

Our Research

CSUSB's Center for Materials Science is assembled with a disciplinarily diverse research team whose collective goals are to develop and study new organic ferroelectric materials while strengthening active research collaborations and personnel exchange between three minority institutions: California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), College of the Desert (COD) and Victor Valley College (VVC); and three premier research centers: University of Nebraska – Lincoln's NSF-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (UNL-MRSEC), University at Buffalo, the State University of New York (UB), and NASA-Armstrong Flight Research Center. These goals are organized into three tightly integrated yet distinct CREST subprojects:

  1. Theory/Computation
  2. Synthesis and Structure
  3. Experimental Investigation