Molecular Thermophysics and Fluid Technology (MTFT)


Group Coordinator: Carlos Alberto Nieto de Castro


All members of this research team participate in several projects, contributing to a better understanding at a molecular level, of the interactions, structure, morphology and dynamics of complex and not-so-complex systems. Their research can be grouped in five complementary and in some cases overlapping scientific streams, one technological, and one societal:



i. Behavior and structure of complex systems (including Nanosystems) – by measuring the thermodynamic and transport properties, employing molecular models and developing molecular simulations and predictive methods. Wide ranges of temperatures will be covered in high temperature molten systems, normal temperatures and pressures as refrigerants, ionic liquids, aqueous mixtures, special gases (incl. corrosive mixtures), nanofluids, nanomaterials (CNT’s, graphene, fullerenes, oxide ceramics) and specially “target designed” fluids (IoNanofluids, IoBiofluids).

ii. New sensors and instruments – Developing new thin films sensors and ancillary equipment for the measurement of electrical and thermal conductivity and electrical permittivity, for several applications (including biological supports), with single/dual functionality, and new instrumentation for selected properties/systems, namely for ionic liquids, nanomaterials/nanofluids and high temperature melts.

Hot Strip Sensors (1200ºC)

Hot Strip Sensors (1200ºC)

High temperature Viscometer (900ºC)

High temperature Viscometer (900ºC)







iii. Metrology - establishment of standard reference values for the thermal conductivity and viscosity of liquids/molten materials/ionic liquids.

High temperature and pressure thermal conductivity

High temperature and pressure thermal conductivity

iv. Solution chemistry – To improve the advanced understanding of interactions in solution of amphiphiles, ionic liquids and nanoparticles by densimetry and ultrasound speed, refractive index, electric conductivity, enthalpy and chemical activity measurements.

Electrical permittivity

Electrical permittivity

v. Molecular simulation – Ionic Systems: Molecular dynamics and free energy calculations, of phase diagrams, and nucleation processes, in bulk systems and ionic nanoclusters. Development of computational packages in Java.

vi. Technological applications and technology transfer - Creating added value to our scientific research, using top-down and bottom-up approaches, with national and European companies. To promote technology transfer to ensure that scientific and technological developments can be available to society, by maintaining it affordable, and at the same time making advantageous use of the existing equipment. Examples: Use of renewable energies to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels is still far from being ideal, and new compounds are needed to increase efficiency of current technologies. New spectrally selective coatings for solar paints, will allow us to produce films at low cost. Development of new nano-based heat transfer fluids, and their performance enhancement, making a solar collector and heat exchangers more energy efficient and environmentally safe, as required by the World Energy Council.

Pilot heat exchangers for IoNanofluids

Pilot solar panel for natural pigment development







vii. History of chemistry and chemical industry in Portugal – One of the main contributions of scientists to history is the understanding of the social/scientific/political environment of their discoveries and how they contributed to the development of the Portuguese society at their time. Deepen the cooperation of our former teachers to solve problems of everyday life, research and development of new technologies, comparable to those of Europe at the time. Much of the economic growth and development that Portugal achieved in the nineteenth century is also due to these scholars, who taught and investigated in Laboratório Chimico da Escola Politécnica. There is an urgent need to enhance the Portuguese history of discoveries in science and technology.

Photos from our labs



Integrated Members

Carlos Alberto Nieto de Castro

Fernando José Vieira dos Santos

Maria José Vitoriano Lourenço

Manuel Luís de Sousa Matos Lopes

S M Sohel Murshed

João Carlos Marques Ribeiro Reis

Maria Isabel Macedo Santos Leal Lampreia

Ângela Filomena Simões dos Santos

Fernando Manuel Sebastião Silva Fernandes

Filomena de Fátima Martins Freitas


PhD students

Salomé Inês Cardoso Vieira

Ana Filipa Russo de Albuquerque Cristino

João Manuel Pedro Moisão França

Carla Sofia Gonçalves Pereira Queirós


Collaborators & Other researchers

Umesh Vinaica Mardolcar

Valentim Maria Brunheta Nunes

Anely Nikolaeva Gurova

Elisa Langa Morales

Telma Carina Santos Esteves Henriques

Maria Estela de Freitas Vera-Cruz Jardim

Isabel Marília Viana e Peres

Maria do Carmo Magalhães de Almeida Elvas

Fernanda Madalena de Abreu da Costa

Pedro Celestino dos Reis Rodrigues

Belarmino Alexandre Salvado Barata

Xavier Paredes Méndez

Luis Carlos Silvestre Nobre



1) Nanofluids: Synthesis, Properties and Applicatios, S. M. Sohel Murshed, C. A. Nieto de Castro, Eds., NOVA Science Publishers, Inc., New York, (2014), ISBN (978-1-63321-677-8).

2) Carlos A. Nieto de Castro, Elisa Langa, Ana L. Morais, Manuel L. Matos Lopes, Maria J. V. Lourenço, Fernando J. V. Santos, M. Soledade C. C. S. Santos, José N. Canongia Lopes, Helena I.M. Veiga, Mafalda Macatrão, José M. S. S. Esperança, Luís P. N. Rebelo, Carolina S. Marques, Carlos A. M. Afonso, “Studies on the density, heat capacity, surface tension and infinite dilution diffusion with the ionic liquids [C4mim][NTf2], [C4mim][dca], [C2mim][EtOSO3] and [aliquat][dca]”, Fluid Phase Eq., 294, 157-179 (2010). DOI: NC=40; IF (5 year, 2.244).

3) C. A. Nieto de Castro, M. J. V. Lourenço, A. P. C. Ribeiro, E. Langa, S. I. C. Vieira, P. Goodrich, C. Hardacre, “Thermal Properties of Ionic Liquids and IoNanofluids of Imidazolium and Pyrrolidinium Liquids”, J. Chem. Eng. Data, 55 (2), 653-661 (2010). DOI: One of 10 Most Read Papers in 2011. NC=42; IF (2013, 2.045).

4) J. M. P. França, C. A. Nieto de Castro, V. M. B. Nunes, M. L. S. Matos Lopes, “The Influence of Thermophysical Properties of Ionic Liquids in Chemical Process Design”, J. Chem. Eng. Data, 54, 2569–2575 (2009), DOI: . NC=30; IF (2013, 2.045).

5) S. M. Sohel Murshed, C. A. Nieto de Castro, M. J. V. Lourenço, M. L. M. Lopes and F. J. V. Santos, “A review of boiling and convective heat transfer with nanofluids”, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 15, 2342–2354 (2011). DOI: . NC=37; IF (5 year, 6.577).

6) P. Goodrich, C. Hardacre, C.Paun, A. Ribeiro, S. Kennedy, M.J.V. Lourenço, H. Maynar, C. A. Nieto de Castro, M.Besnea, V.I. Pârvulescuc, “Confinement effects for Asymmetric carbon-carbon bond forming reactions catalysed by Metal (II) complexes immobilized using Supported Ionic Liquid thin films”, Adv. Synth. Catal., 353, 995 – 1004 ( 2011).DOI: NC=9; IF (2013, 5.542) Ranking 2013, 2/71 (Chemistry Applied).

7) J. C. R. Reis, T. P. Iglesias, G. Douhéret, M. I. Davis, “The permittivity of thermodynamically ideal liquid mixtures and the excess relative permittivity of binary dielectrics”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 11, 3977-3986, (2009). DOI: . NC=22; IF (2013, 4.198).

8) J. C. R. Reis, I. M. S. Lampreia, A. F. S. Santos, M.-L. C. J. Moita, G. Douhéret, Refractive index of Liquid Mixtures: Theory and Experiment, ChemPhysChem., 11, 3722 – 3733, (2010). DOI: NC=22; IF (2013, 3.360).

9) D. A. R. S. Latino, R. P. S. Fartaria, F. F. M. Freitas, J. Aires-de-Sousa, F. M. S. S. Fernandes, “Mapping Potential Energy Surfaces by Neural Networks. The Ethanol/Au(111) Interface”, J. Electroanalytical Chem., 624 (2008) 109. DOI: NC=12; IF (5 year, 2.909).

10) P. Rodrigues, F. M. S. S. Fernandes, “Induction of Crystal Growth in Alkali-Halides Aggregates by means of Internal Seeding”, Eur. Phys. J. D, (2012) 66: 170. DOI: NC=8; IF (2013, 1.398).