Marco Aurelio Liutheviciene Cordeiro, a chemist of Lithuanian and Portuguese descent whose family migrated to Brazil during World War II, completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry and his master’s and doctorate in materials science and engineering at the Federal University of São Carlos. He also spent a period as a post-doctoral researcher. During his doctoral studies, Marco Aurelio had the opportunity to study at Arizona State University in the United States. To maintain a balance between mental and physical exertion, he practices jiu-jitsu. Currently, he is a professor at the Federal University of São Carlos. In his spare time, Marco Aurelio can often be found engrossed in a book on mythology, philosophy, or history.
In most instances, atoms within materials are not entirely organized but rather exhibit various zones of order. These ordered regions are separated by an area known as a grain boundary, typically spanning the width of a few atoms. Grain boundaries possess unique structures and properties; manipulating them can enhance or even introduce new material characteristics. This can result in making materials that were once brittle more flexible and/or ductile, optimizing performance in solar cells, or even modulating conductivity in superconductors. However, to manipulate these structures, one must first understand their formation process. So, how do we study the formation of these structures? We observe their formation. By employing sophisticated electron microscopy techniques, which allow us to manipulate structures at the nanoscale, we aim to comprehend the formation of these structures through direct observation at an atomic scale and in real-time. This provides crucial insights for the fabrication of advanced materials.