2D Materials

This session focuses on research related to the synthesis, characterization, and applications of two-dimensional (2D) materials. The unique properties of these materials, differing or exceeding those of their bulk crystal counterparts, are of potential scientific and technological importance. Materials of central importance to this symposium include 2D layered materials such as graphene, boron nitride, transition metal dichalcogenides, oxides, topological insulators, superconductors, MXenes (2D carbides and nitrides), and perovskites. Contributions towards the synthesis, properties, characterization, processing, and applications, including devices, are of interest. The goal of this session is to explore, through the contributions of leading researchers, new methodologies, and breakthroughs in 2D materials and identify constraining issues to future development.

Advances in observation and characterization methods

The fascinating properties of novel materials can be intimately related to their size, like in nanocrystals, nanowires and epitaxial ultrathin films. Complexity can also result from assembling, like in a LEGO toy, functional parts with an interplay of the organic and inorganic elements to provide the desired functionality. Simultaneously, exotic quantum states, like quantum Spin Liquids and topological phases can emerge from geometrical frustration, quantum fluctuations or complex coupling mechanisms in strongly correlated electron systems. The ability to characterize new materials and complex ordering phenomena at different length scales and in a variety of extended thermodynamic states is crucial to discover and optimize new functional properties and investigate new physical phenomena. The aim of this session is to increase the awareness of the advances in observation and characterization, facilitate the exchange of information between different communities and the cross fertilization between different techniques.

Bulk crystal growth

This session will focus on bulk crystal growth of several materials from liquid and vapor phases. The subjects of interest include, but are not limited to: (i) Crystallization mechanisms in melt growth, solution growth, physical vapor transport; (ii) morphology, growth instabilities, defects formation and crystallography relevant for bulk crystal growth.

Composite and hybrid crystals

Composites are tailored-made synthetically obtained materials, which are usually composed of two or more components. In some cases, they are self-assembled crystalline materials that usually display a variety of biomimetic morphologies. In Nature, there are a variety of mixtures of chemical compounds that creates a unique possibility to display characteristic structural properties, which are far away from the restrictions of the classic crystallographic symmetry, or they can be perfectly ordered as single crystals. On the other hand, the hybrid crystals can display a mixture of chemical, physical, biological properties of both components in a single/multiple crystal species. In specific cases like co-crystals, they display a considerable increment of solubility, for instance, or any other properties for applications in different sciences. In this section, we invite the participants to submit contributions to this section based on the sub-topics mentioned above. 

Crystalline solids for drugs and pharmaceuticals

The crystal structure of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plays a key role on the final properties of the formulated drug products. Polymorphs, solvates or amorphous phases not only have different solubility and/or bioavailability, but also have a strong impact in production as they may have different flowability, stability, hygroscopicity. The research and development in the industrial field have expanded to include the formation of salt and co-crystals, to increases the possibilities of modifying the crystal structure and better achieve the desired properties. This session includes topics such as advances in crystallisation of organic crystals relevant to pharmaceutical products, crystallization process development, scale-up and control for industrial applications, new equipment and technologies.

Crystallization of organic and biological systems

Crystallization is a crucial step in the pathway to determine the 3D structure of molecules and macromolecules by X-ray diffraction, and even to obtain crystals for specific applications in industry or medicine. Despite the enormous progress made in last decades, the obtaining of macromolecular crystals of good quality is still the bottleneck of the entire process. Crystallization of small organic molecules and large biomolecules is largely empirical in nature, lacking a comprehensive theory, or even a very good base of fundamental data to guide scientist’s efforts. This session will  focus on recent results concerning the crystallization of small organic compounds, biomolecules and biomacromolecules, the formation of inorganic and organic crystals by living organisms and the synthesis and fabrication of bioinspired and biomimetic crystalline materials.

Crystals for photovoltaics and green energy

This session covers the growth of crystals for photovoltaic applications ranging from classical semiconductors like silicon bulk crystals over heteroepitaxially grown III-V structures and chalcopyrite thin films to emerging materials such as perovskites and kesterites. A second topic is the bulk growth (ultra) wideband gap semiconductors such as SiC, GaN, Ga2O3, AlN and Diamond for energy efficient power electronics. The session will also highlight the latest progress in technologies for growth of these materials, and in material properties reached. Contributions should reveal how the increasing demands regarding performance and production costs of power electronic devices and solar cells set the pace for development of more and more improved and specialized crystallization technologies.

Functional crystals

Functional materials represent the fundamental basis for a wide variety of state-of-the-art technological applications, spanning from optoelectronic devices to sensors, from memory to quantum computing elements. In this frame, crystallinity plays a fundamental role, often being the only condition which permits a control over the material properties. The session devoted to Functional crystals is intended to collect contributions from scientists working on bulk materials, as well as on thin films and low-dimensional structures, where dimensionality is a tool for the advanced control and tuning of the material properties. Relevant subjects are related to the growth process itself, including both experimental approaches and theory, to post-growth processing, such as different types of treatments or doping, and also to characterization and modelling of the properties and functionalities.

Fundamentals of nucleation and crystal growth

This session covers the fundamental understanding of nucleation and crystal growth from theoretical, computational and experimental perspectives and at all relevant length and time scales. Being based on fundamentals, this session will cater to a wide range of materials and growth conditions, from organic to inorganic crystals; from vapour phase to melt and from bulk to confined environments.

Growth at the nanoscale: nanocrystals, nanowires, nanomaterials

The session focuses on the development of growth and fabrication techniques of nanocrystals, nanowires and nanostructured materials, the understanding of the growth mechanism allowing a full control of their properties and the engineering at the nanoscale to target specific properties in relation with identified applications.

The session topics include: nanomaterials synthesis; epitaxial nanostructures; surface engineering; growth modeling; advanced microscopies and spectroscopies applied to nanomaterials; optical, electrical, thermal and mechanical properties of nanomaterials; quantum behaviors and devices; sensors, electronic and optoelectronic devices; energy conversion and storage.

Industrial crystal growth technology and equipment

The session will address all aspects of existing and emerging technologies for industrial crystal growth of technological materials including, but not limited to, semiconductors, superconductors, piezoelectrics, lasers, epitaxies, detectors, substrates, NLO, photovoltaic, energy storage, CO2-capture, and any novel material. Crystal growth equipment and machinery, process analytical control, simulation, and any other aspect related to equipment are also within its wide scope.

Modelling and artificial intelligence of crystal growth processes

This session will focus on the modeling of bulk and epitaxial crystal growth processes; modeling at various time and length scales from ab initio MD to continuum methods; defect formation during crystal growth; advanced non-traditional crystal growth processes; novel numerical techniques applied to crystal growth; data mining and machine learning methods applied to crystal growth.

New methods and techniques for crystal growth

The focus of this session is to highlight recent developments of novel crystal growth techniques, which are fundamental for the growth of high-quality crystals. Contributions are expected ranging from laboratory-scale developments to industrial production and studies on all classes of materials are welcome.

Optical crystals

This session will focus on topics in bulk and micro-structured optical crystals: laser crystals, nonlinear optical crystals, luminescence crystals, rare earth ions or transition metal ions doped crystals, scintillators, crystals for quantum memories; optical crystal growth processing and characterization of their optical, structural and spectroscopic properties.


This session will be devoted to growth methods, technology development, process control and simulation, characterization of all kinds of bulk crystals and thick layers of semiconducting materials: Nitrides, Ga2O3, SiC, Diamond, ZnO, and other wide bandgap semiconductors; GaAs, InP, Si, Ge, and other group IV, III-V or II-VI semiconductors; investigation of their physical and application-relevant properties.

Structural defects and impurities in crystalline materials

The topics in this session will include, but are not limited to: Defects in semiconducting oxides; Defects in crystals for space application, such as detectors for X and Gamma radiation, and crystals for X and Gamma ray optics; Defects introduced in crystals after exposure to space environment; Long range effects of structural defects and impurities; Defects in materials grown by additive manufacturing techniques; Defects at different length scales detected by microdiffraction and microtomography; Defects induced by processing, e.g. dry etching, annealing, contacting, strain, etc; Defects in devices under operation.

Surfaces and Interfaces

Understanding the role of surfaces and interfaces is critical to
fields as diverse as surface and semiconductor physics, nanoscience, catalysis and energy production. This interdisciplinary field faces several grand challenges, such as understanding and controlling the assembly of surfaces and interfaces even in complex environments. This session will focus on current state-of-the-art studies of surface and interfaces, revealing their morphological, structural, electronic, magnetic, thermal, vibrational and chemical properties.  The large variety of interesting physical phenomena at surfaces and interfaces calls for a deep exchange between experimental and theoretical studies.

Thin films and epitaxial growth

This session will focus on the epitaxial growth of thin films, multilayers, superlattices, nanowires and membranes. Materials will range from III-V semiconductors, to 2D systems and transition metal oxides. Advanced spectroscopies, nanofabrication, and implementation of novel device concepts will also be discussed.

Topological quantum materials

The experimental discoveries of topological quantum matter in 2007-2009 enthused a strong, boosting effort to fabricate and optimize new materials with a non-trivial electronic topology. This session will highlight the recent advances in the diverse synthetic activities, from bulk crystal growth to the fabrication of thin films and hetero-structures of quantum materials.