Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

MMD FinnCERES projects

Projects of the Multifunctional Materials Design research group funded by FinnCERES

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


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])



FinnCERES Scientific Seminar 2022

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.


Related content:

Multifunctional Materials Design

Group led by Professor Jaana Vapaavuori

Monitoimisten materiaalien suunnittelu

Creating solar cells and glass from wood – or a billion tons of biowaste

Researchers map out how biomass from plants could replace unrenewable resources in optical applications



Multifunctional, high performance cellulose-based substrates for photovoltaics and optoelectronics

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