Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

MMD FinnCERES projects

Projects of the Multifunctional Materials Design research group funded by FinnCERES
MMD FinnCERES projects main image. Photo by Aalto University / Mithila Mohan, Maija Vaara

FinnCERES is a competence centre, jointly formed by Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in the area of materials bioeconomy. Its mission is to harness the natural properties of lignocellulose to create new sustainable materials.

FinnCERES programme is enabled by: Aalto University, VTT, Academy of Finland and its Flagship Programme.

FinnCERES website

Aalto webpage about FinnCERES

The Multifunctional Materials Design group is conducting research under the FinnCERES theme 'Electronics, Optics and Energy Applications'. We aim to approach the research challenges from different angles. Current research work is tightly linked to the SUBSTAINABLE project.  


Project team


Yazan Al Haj, Doctoral Candidate


"My research work focuses on the development of flexible energy storage and conversion devices using bio-based resources. I currently work on the conversion of daily biowaste, animal bones and brewery residues into more valuable materials, such as porous carbon and cellulose nanocrystals. Porous carbon will be used as an electrode material, whereas cellulose nanocrystal will be used as a host matrix for the formation of the hydrogel electrolyte for flexible supercapacitors."

Conversion of biowaste into porous carbon and cellulose nanocrystals and their assembly into flexible supercapacitor. Image by Aalto University, Yazan Al Haj
Schematic figure for the conversion of biowaste into porous carbon (PC) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and their assembly into flexible supercapacitor (PC//Al-CNC//PC) || Image: Aalto University, Yazan Al Haj

Hamidreza Daghigh Shirazi, Doctoral Candidate


"In my doctoral research, I am focusing on improving the lifetime and efficiency of solar cell substrates by means of organic light management layers. For this purpose, my work currently involves translation of leaf structures into functional hierarchical surfaces. As a result, tunable substrate surface with self-cleaning and icephobic properties can be made by combining, for instance, leaf replication, all-optical patterning of azopolymers, and coating with hydrophobic nanoparticles."

Delayed formation of ice on a hydrophobic/icephobic plant leaf. Photos by Aalto University, Hamidreza Daghigh Shirazi
Delayed formation of ice on a hydrophobic/icephobic plant leaf || Photos: Aalto University, Hamidreza Daghigh Shirazi


Waste Biomass Valorisation for the Development of Sustainable Cellulosic Aerogels and their Sound Absorption Properties

Isaac Benito-González, Jose Cucharero, Yazan Al Haj, Tuomas Hänninen, Tapio Lokki, Marta Martínez-Sanz, Amparo López-Rubio, Antonio Martínez-Abad, Jaana Vapaavuori 2022 Advanced Sustainable Systems

Perspective about Cellulose-Based Pressure and Strain Sensors for Human Motion Detection

Fevzihan Basarir, Joice Jaqueline Kaschuk, Jaana Vapaavuori 2022 Biosensors

Biowaste-derived electrode and electrolyte materials for flexible supercapacitors

Yazan Al Haj, Seyedabolfazl Mousavihashemi, Daria Robertson, Maryam Borghei, Timo Pääkkönen, Orlando J. Rojas, Eero Kontturi, Tanja Kallio, Jaana Vapaavuori 2022 Chemical Engineering Journal

Tuning the Porosity, Water Interaction, and Redispersion of Nanocellulose Hydrogels by Osmotic Dehydration

Valentina Guccini*, Josphat Phiri, Jon Trifol, Ville Rissanen, Seyede Maryam Mousavi, Jaana Vapaavuori, Tekla Tammelin, Thaddeus Maloney, Eero Kontturi 2022 ACS Applied Polymer Materials

Plant-Based Structures as an Opportunity to Engineer Optical Functions in Next-Generation Light Management

Joice Jaqueline Kaschuk, Yazan Al Haj, Orlando J. Rojas, Kati Miettunen, Tiffany Abitbol, Jaana Vapaavuori 2022 Advanced Materials

Micro- and nanocelluloses from non-wood waste sources; processes and use in industrial applications

Julius Gröndahl, Kaisa Karisalmi, Jaana Vapaavuori 2021 Soft Matter


Contact information: 

Accountable project leader: Prof. Jaana Vapaavuori ([email protected])

Project researchers:
Yazan Al Haj ([email protected])
Hamidreza Daghigh Shirazi ([email protected])

Project intern: Noora Jäntti ([email protected])


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Monitoimisten materiaalien suunnittelu

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The Academy of Finland continues to support the FinnCERES materials bioeconomy Flagship with a significant funding of up to 10.7 M€ for 2022-2026. Over 6 M€ of the funding has been officially confirmed and the final grant will be announced early 2025.

FinnCERES logo

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SUBSTAINABLE webpage, main image. Photo by Aalto University, Maija Vaara, Mithila Mohan

FinnCERES Scientific Seminar 2022: Back to Fundamentals - Fibre, Water & Interactions

The FinnCERES Scientific Seminar 2022 Back to Fundamentals - Fibre, Water & Interactions will explore the full potential of bio-based raw materials. This year we will focus on how to fully harness the inherent properties of all the lignocellulosic fractions to develop new bio-based and bio-inspired materials.

FinnCERES Scientific Seminar 2022
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