Applied physics is an important discipline which brings basic physical concepts and technology together in an advanced way; it aims to develop new technologies and to solve engineering problems. Compared with Physics, Materials Science and Engineering is a relatively new subject. It studies all natural and synthetic materials, using quantum mechanics, atomic theories and solid-state theories of crystal structures. It investigates properties of materials and explores potential applications of these materials. Materials are the supporting pillars of all industries. A better understanding of metals, ceramics, polymers and semiconductors for industrial manufacturing is urgently needed. Today, the basic needs of materials and its education come from industrial manufacturing since material products are ubiquitous.
Materials research is inherently interdisciplinary, and usually requires a sound background of chemistry, physics and mathematics. While the research on traditional materials still constitutes an important part of Materials Science and Engineering, areas with emphases on energy materials, green materials, bio-materials, and nanoscale materials are the new trends.
Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering at the University of Macau offers a well-balanced fundamental and applied research, which is a unique entity in bridging the gap between pure science and engineering. This interdisciplinary institute will combine the diverse research strengths and expertise at the University of Macau to develop real-world solutions to future technological challenges. At its current stage, the core research areas are identified, i.e., Solar Energy and Photo-electric Converting, Image Scattering Physics (New Materials, Biophysics, Quantum Information), Battery / Super Capacity Energy Storage, Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cell, Materials Simulation, and Wind Energy, Light-weight Cement and Cement Gel.