Susete Nogueira Fernandes

Soft and biofunctional materials group
Invited Assistant Professor, Full Member of CENIMAT|I3N
107-D 10618


Dr. Fernandes joined the Materials Research Centre (CENIMAT), a hub of the Associated Laboratory Institute of Nanostructures, Nanomodelling and Nanofabrication (i3N) at the Nova School of Science and Technology, NOVA University Lisbon as a post-doctoral fellow within a research project in November 2010. Two years later, she was awarded a competitive Post-doctoral fellowship from FCT-MCTES. Recently, she became a Senior Researcher of the Materials Science Department of Science and Technology and the associated research centre CENIMAT/i3N. In November 2019, she was elected by her peers to be the researchers' representative in the Department of Materials Science council. Susete Fernandes has extensive experience in polymers' syntheses and their functionalization (as polyolefins, cellulose nanocrystalline, and other cellulosic derivatives) and presents skills in several characterization techniques. In the last years, she has devoted her research interest to sculpting the flow of light with cellulosic-based materials derived from liquid crystalline phases to produce colour-generation systems with a bio-inspired optical response. To date, she participates, as a member or coordinator, on ten EU and national projects and two projects with industry. Susete Fernandes is the co-author of several peer-reviewed papers and book chapters (see ORCID or other websites). 

She is also a member of the scientific committee of the Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Interest group and Board Member of Sociedade Portuguesa de Cristais Líquidos. In addition, she is actively involved in disseminating Nanoscience and Condensed Matter through the scientific community by presenting systems derived from natural resources and engaging in conferences’ organization (Ex. RSC CNN symposiums and ILCC2022).

Involved in teaching and supervisor activities; she has mentored students, showcasing the importance of a sustainable economy while transmitting state-of-the-art knowledge with biopolymers nanoscience. 

Current Research Interests: Structural colouration is one of the three ways through which Nature presents an astounding range of coloration. They can arise from the interaction of sub-micrometric structured surfaces with light and have proven to play a critical role in animal communication, mating, and camouflage. Inspired by Nature's structural coloration and its similarity with the chiral nematic liquid crystalline phase that some cellulosic derivatives present, her research studies are mainly focused on preparing new coloured-generating bio-inspired cellulosic composites materials. So, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms originating optical responses in Nature and mimic such structures at the nanoscale. These systems will allow obtaining cutting-edge products able to satisfy the demands of end-users' comfort using sustainable approaches.

She was, until February 2023, the principal researcher of the project NanoCell2SEC (Ref. PTDC/CTM- REF/30529/2017) that aims to create a platform of counterfeit-deterrence printable solutions derived from cellulose nanocrystals composites' structural colour.


As of March 2023, Dr. Fernandes has been selected as Invited Assistant Professor, affiliated with the Department of Materials Science.

Main publications

Silva, P.E.S.; Chagas, R.; Fernandes, S.N.; Pieranski, P.; Selinger, R.L.B.; Godinho, M.H. Travelling colourful patterns in self-organized cellulose-based liquid crystalline structures. Communications Materials 2021, 2, 79. [].

Saraiva, D.V.; Chagas, R.; Abreu, B.M.d.; Gouveia, C.N.; Silva, P.E.S.; Godinho, M.H.; Fernandes, S.N. Flexible and structural coloured composite films from cellulose nanocrystals/hydroxypropyl cellulose lyotropic suspensions. Crystals 2020, 10, 122. [ ].

Grey, P.; Fernandes, S.N.; Gaspar, D.; Fortunato, E.; Martins, R.; Godinho, M.H.; Pereira, L. Field-effect transistors on photonic cellulose nanocrystal solid electrolyte for circular polarized light sensing. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 29, 1805279. .Back cover of the issue 

Fernandes, S.N.; Lopes, L.F.; Godinho, M.H. Recent advances in the manipulation of circularly polarised light with cellulose nanocrystal films. Curr. Opin. Solid State Mater. Sci. 2019, 23, 63-73. [].

Almeida, A.P.C.; Canejo, J.P.; Fernandes, S.N.; Echeverria, C.; Almeida, P.L.; Godinho, M.H. Cellulose-based biomimetics and their applications. Adv. Mater. 2018, 30, 1703655 []. Inside Front cover of issue

Echeverria, C.; Fernandes, S.N.; Godinho, M.H.; Borges, J.P.; Soares, P.I.P. Functional stimuli-responsive gels: Hydrogels and microgels. Gels 2018, 4, 54.

Fernandes, S.N.; Almeida, P.L.; Monge, N.; Aguirre, L.E.; Reis, D.; de Oliveira, C.L.P.; Neto, A.M.F.; Pieranski, P.; Godinho, M.H. Mind the microgap in iridescent cellulose nanocrystal films. Adv. Mater. 2017, 29, 1603560. . Front cover of the issue

Gaspar, D.; Fernandes, S.N.; Oliveira, A.G.d.; Fernandes, J.G.; Grey, P.; Pontes, R.V.; Pereira, L.; Martins, R.; Godinho, M.H.; Fortunato, E. Nanocrystalline cellulose applied simultaneously as the gate dielectric and the substrate in flexible field effect transistors. Nanotechnology 2014, 25, 094008. . Cover of the issue

Fernandes, S.N.; Geng, Y.; Vignolini, S.; Glover, B.J.; Trindade, A.C.; Canejo, J.P.; Almeida, P.L.; Brogueira, P.; Godinho, M.H. Structural color and iridescence in transparent sheared cellulosic films. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 2013, 214, 25-32. . Front cover of the issue