News: Materialvetenskap related to Chalmers University of TechnologyMon, 30 Jul 2018 11:00:42 +0200 the quest for high-entropy alloys that survive 1500 °C<p><b>​An aero-engine should operate at the highest possible temperature for the best output power and energy efficiency. But today’s metal alloys in the engines need cooling – otherwise they turn into powders. This causes alarming energy losses. Saad Sheikh is on the quest to design optimum alloys that survive ultra-high temperatures.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">High-entropy alloys (HEAs), or multi-principal-element alloys, is a new and growing field, and has gained enormous interest in recent years as potential ultra-high temperature materials. The materials and manufacture researcher Saad Sheikh focuses on developing HEAs with optimum tensile ductility and strength, superior than the current state-of-the-art nickel based superalloys. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>This work is driven by the need to improve the energy efficiency of aerospace and power-generation gas-turbine engines. For example, if cooling of aero-engines can be avoided, the aero-engine output power and energy efficiency would increase up to 50%. Other applications like solar power, fuel cells, materials processing and petro-chemistry can also benefit from the results. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The aim is to be able to operate engines at higher temperatures </strong>than today. Today’s engines expose the nickel based superalloys inside to temperatures approaching 1200 °C, which is close to 90% of their melting points. In the hottest region of a turbine engine, temperatures are approaching 1500 °C. By using complex cooling systems and coatings the nickel based superalloys can exist in the hottest region but the efficiency gained from operating at higher temperatures is greatly reduced, as the cooling needs extra work.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/Saad-Sheikh_250pxl.jpg" alt="Saad Sheikh" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;font-size:11pt">– </span><span style="background-color:initial">The current situation of higher inefficiency losses is alarming, but also provides opportunity to look for new ground-breaking materials. It is a big but intriguing scientific challenge, says Saad Sheikh.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Saad Sheikh</strong> comes from a materials science background and did his Masters in Materials Processing at KTH in Stockholm. Before joining Chalmers University of Technology as a PhD student, he also worked on mechanical properties of cutting tools within the Swedish industry. He is very interested in alloy development and mechanical properties of new structural and high-temperature materials for sustainable energy systems. He explains the difference between HEAs and conventional alloys. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-family:calibri, sans-serif;font-size:11pt;background-color:initial">– </span>Conventional alloys are usually based on one or two principal elements. HEAs consist of at least four principal metallic elements with an atomic percentage of each element between 5 % and 35 %. These multi-component element alloys can enable formation of simple solid solution phases. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>In his research</strong>, Saad Sheikh has strived to improve HEAs in several ways. Firstly he has contributed with improved understanding of the solid solubility in HEAs. Secondly he has proposed a mechanism and route for increasing the ductility in refractory, or heat resistant, HEAs – so-called RHEAs.</div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/Saad-Sheikh-True-tensile-stress-strain-curve_250pxl.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="True tensile stress-strain curve for Hf0.5Nb0.5Ta0.5Ti1.5Zr. The inset shows the microstructure at the fractured surface." style="margin:5px" /><span style="font-weight:700"></span> <div><br /></div> <div>Thirdly, which has been the ultimate goal of his work, Saad Sheikh has addressed the balance of mechanical properties and oxidation resistance for RHEAs, aiming at high-temperature applications. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-family:calibri, sans-serif;font-size:11pt;background-color:initial">– </span>In studies I have found out that the insufficient oxidation resistance in existing ductile RHEAs is attributed to the failure in forming protective oxide scales accompanied by the accelerated internal oxidation leading to pesting corrosion. Aluminizing is a promising solution.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Image: </em><span style="background-color:initial"><i>True tensile stress-strain curve for the as-cast Hf0.5Nb0.5Ta0.5Ti1.5Zr. The inset shows the microstructure at the fractured surface.​</i></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><i><br /></i></span></div> <div>These studies provide important input to the further development of RHEAs as novel high-temperature materials and shed light on the design of refractory HEAs with optimal mechanical as well as heat and oxidation resistance properties.</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">FACTS</h2> <div>Saad Sheikh belongs to the division of <a href="/en/departments/ims/research/mm/Pages/default.aspx">Materials and Manufacture</a> at the department of <a href="/en/departments/ims/Pages/default.aspx">Industrial and Materials Science</a>. He recently presented his doctoral thesis with the title: </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">Alloy Design for High-Entropy Alloys: Predicting Solid Solubility, and Balancing Mechanical Properties and Oxidation Resistance</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>If you want to learn more about refractory high-entropy alloys, we recommend to read:</div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">Alloy design for intrinsically ductile refractory high-entropy alloys, published 2016 in the prestigious Journal of Applied Physics.</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Saad Sheikh has been granted a postdoc fellowship by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). He will be placed in Japan at the <a href="" target="_blank">National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba</a>, with focus on ultra-high temperature materials (alloy design and mechanical properties) for two years. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Please contact <a href="/en/staff/Pages/sheng-guo.aspx" title="Link to profile page of Sheng Guo" target="_blank">Associate Professor Sheng Guo​</a>, Saad Sheikh's supervisor for more information</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>RELATED NEWS</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Ground-breaking-discoveries-could-create-tougher-alloys-with-many-applications.aspx" target="_blank">Superior alloys could be possible, thanks to ground-breaking research</a></div> <div><br /></div></div> ​<div><em>Text: Nina Silow</em><br /><em>Images: Airbus, Nina Silow and Saad Sheikh</em></div> ​Wed, 27 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0200 theis award to Furqan Ali Shah<p><b>​The Institute for Clinical Sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy have awarded Furqan Ali Shah with the prestigious “Best thesis of the year” award for his thesis entitled “Osteocytes as indicators of bone quality – Multiscale structure-composition characterization of the bone-implant interface”.</b></p>​Furqan defended his PhD in at the Department of Biomaterials, University of Gothenburg with his thesis entitled “Osteocytes as indicators of bone quality – Multiscale structure-composition characterisation of the bone-implant interface” which recently received the prestigious “Årets avhandling vid institutionen för kliniska vetenskaper 2017” award at Sahlrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.<br /><br /><span><span><span><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Materials%20Science/News/Furqan_A_S.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Furqan Ali Shah and his award winning thesis" width="358" height="323" style="margin:5px" /></span></span></span></span>Osteocytes comprise up to 95% of all bone cells, reside within confined spaces called lacunae, and are interconnected through an extensive canalicular network. Furqan’s thesis looks at osseointegration in terms <span><span><span></span></span></span>of bone quality, with emphasis on the osteocyte lacuno-canalicular network in relation to compositional and ultrastructural patterns at intermediate/late healing. A series of investigations were undertaken to study osteocyte lacunae on the forming bone surface, hypermineralised lacunae of apoptotic osteocytes, autogenous bone fragments within healing sites, bone formed adjacent to surface <span></span>modified implants, and bone formed within macroporous implants using a range of analytical microscopy and complementary spectroscopic techniques. A directional relationship was found between osteocyte lacunar shape and the underlying bone surface. The physico-chemical environment of the lacunar space is, however, different from the surrounding bone matrix, resulting in formation of magnesium whitlockite, rather than apatite. Connectivity between osteocytes within unintentionally generated autogenous bone fragments and de novo formed bone on their surface indicates a regenerative capacity of osteocytes. Laser-ablation creates a hierarchical micro- and nanotopography on titanium implants and enhances their biomechanical anchorage. Osteocytes attach directly to such surfaces, while mineralised collagen fibril organisation at bone-implant and bone-osteocyte interfaces is remarkably similar. More osteocytes are retained in the vicinity of Ti6Al4V surface as manufactured by electron beam melting than machined Ti6Al4V. Osteocytes also attach to CoCr, thus indicating a favourable osteogenic response of a material widely considered inferior to Ti6Al4V.<br /><br /><div>Furqan currently holds a two-year postdoctoral scholarship from Svenska Sällskapet för Medicinsk Forskning (SSMF). His PhD was supervised by professor Anders Palmquist, (University of Gothenburg) and professor Aleksandar Matic (Chalmers University of Technology).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read the full thesis <a href="">here<br /></a></div> <div>More about Furquan's work <a href="">here</a><br /><a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div>Wed, 13 Jun 2018 16:00:00 +0200 winners in Imagine chemistry at Chalmers<p><b>​Ten out of twenty startups competing in the competition Imagine Chemistry will get to take the next step and develop further together with AkzoNobel. Most promising start up was Swedish company Finecell which makes bio based nanomaterials.</b></p>​<span>A number of startups from all over the world contributed to the Imagine chemistry competition to get to the final at Vera´s lawn at Chalmers. 20 succeeded, 10 became winners and Finecell became Most Promising Startup. </span><div>“We want to create something similar to a hackaton. These startups get the chance to hammer out a business plan together with our own experts. The idea is that they, in the end of the event, have a case good enough for us to partner up with them”, says Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Corporate Director of RD&amp;I &amp; Sustainability, AkzoNobel Speciality Chemicals.</div> <div> For four days the startups escaped the hot and humid weather in Gothenburg and worked intensely refining their ideas with help from corporates from AkzoNobel and other experts trying to finalize the ideas and make them viable for large-scale business. </div> <div>&quot;I love the fact that we are here at Vera’s lawn. It is combination of science on the one hand and the industrial applications which Sweden is known for. It is fantastic to be here” says Peter Nieuwenhuizen.</div> <div>The choice to have the prestigious competition at Chalmers was only natural, says Lars.</div> <div>In Sweden the collaboration between academy and industry is very strong. It is qualifying for companies to collaborate with academy and therefore it is only natural for us to have this innovation contest here at Chalmers” says Lars Andersson, General Manager Performance Chemicals, AkzoNobel Speciality Chemicals.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>These are the winners of the Imagine Chemistry conteset:</div> <div>•<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Edinburgh Napier University – Två veckors fri Chemical Support</div> <div>•<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Invert Robotics – Support från KPMG</div> <div>•<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Semiotic Labs – Support från ICOS Capital</div> <div>•<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Fraunhofer UMSICHT – Support från Lux Research</div> <div>•<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>FineCell – Most Promising Startup från Chalmers Ventures med plats i Startup Camp och rådgivning från investment team</div> <div>•<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>University of Nottingham – Akzo Nobel Research Award</div> <div>•<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Sulogen Inc. – Joint Development Agreement med Akzo Nobel</div> <div>•<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Water Knight – Joint Development Agreement med Akzo Nobel</div> <div>•<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Green Lizard Technologies &amp; Dixie Chemicals – Joint Development Agreement med Akzo Nobel</div> <div>•<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>Fero Labs – Joint Development Agreement med Akzo Nobel</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more about the winners and the competition here.​​</a></div> <div><br /></div>Mon, 04 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0200 scientist awarded two prestigious fellowships<p><b>​Postdoctoral researcher Nooshin Mortazavi has recently been awarded two prestigious fellowships by the Wenner-Gren Foundations and Wallenberg Foundations. She can now choose between two or three years of postdoctoral training at either Harvard University or at Stanford University in the US – followed by two years at Chalmers University of Technology after her return.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">I am now trying to understand which position is a good fit for me and my career goals and is located in a place where I enjoy spending time. This is indeed a very tough decision to make,&quot; says Nooshin Mortazavi who currently works at the Division of Materials Microstructure at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>One choice is a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to carry out research on &quot;High Temperature Thermoelectrics Based on Natural Superlattice Oxides&quot; in John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University, Boston, USA. The project that Nooshin Mortazavi has proposed to carry out at Harvard comes with an ambitious goal: conversion of large amounts of waste heat to electricity using an intriguing but poorly characterized class of still-developing high-temperature ceramics, known as natural superlattices (NSLs).</div> <div>In this program, she will spend up to three years abroad, followed by two years of research at Chalmers. This fellowship is the Wenner-Gren Foundation’s most exclusive program where only five candidates are chosen in Sweden from different fields of research.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Nooshin Mortazavi has also been selected as one of the Wallenberg’s fellows of a postdoctoral scholarship program at Stanford University, California, USA. This grant supports her to make an impact on the solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) research in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. In this program she will spend two years at Stanford, followed by two years of research at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;I plan to expand my research horizon from metallic materials to ceramics with various applications in emerging renewable energy technologies such as thermoelectric materials and SOFCs. It is a privilege to be in a situation where I can choose, even though it is hard to decide. Apparently, it is not possible to perform two projects in the east and west coast of the US simultaneously…&quot;</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">For more information: <br /></h4> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Nooshin-Mortazavi-Seyedeh.aspx">Nooshin Mortazavi</a>, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href=""> </a>, +46 73 387 32 26, +46 31 772 67 83 </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Nooshin Mortazavi defended her doctoral thesis at the Department of Physics at Chalmers on 21 December 2017. <a href="/en/departments/physics/calendar/Pages/Thesis-defence-Nooshin-Mortazavi-171221.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read the abstract here.   </a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Read more about the foundations and the fellowships:</h5> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />The Wenner-Gren Foundations.</a><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />The Stanford-Wallenberg Fellowship. </a><br /></div></div> <div>​<br /></div>Wed, 23 May 2018 00:00:00 +0200 sustainable composities - the cellulose challenge<p><b>Finding more sustainable materials is one important goal for researchers at the Division of Engineering Materials. One way is to decrease the use of fossil-based materials in composites and polymers. That is where cellulose fits in, as a renewable and inexpensive material used as the composite matrix. &gt;</b></p>​Lilian Forsgren and Abhijit Venkatesh, both PhD students in the research group <a href="/en/departments/ims/research/em/polymera/Pages/default.aspx">Polymeric materials and composites</a>, are studying how to better use cellulos<span><span><span></span></span></span>e fibers in composites. <br />-    We both study <a href="">cellulose </a><span>composites<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span> but it differs in which part of the cellulose structure we examine. <span>Cellulose can be found abundantly is a very important component of plants and trees, basically providing structural integrity. <span style="display:inline-block"> It</span></span> has a hierarchical structure where each part<span><span></span></span> <span></span>has a bit different mechanical property. First, there are thin fibers, so called microfibrils. These microfibrils are in turn made up of even smaller fibers called nanofibrils. It is these cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) that we are interested in. The cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) that Lilian works with is just the crystalline part of CNF and they are obtained by using acids, says Abhijit Venkatesh and continues:<br /><img src="/en/departments/ims/news/PublishingImages/Ahbijit-Venkatesh_180518_01_170x220.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="PhD student Abhijit Venkatesh" style="margin:5px 10px" /><br />-    I deal with understanding the processing of cellulose nanofibrils reinforced thermoplastic composites, and how the processing parameters affect the final properties, continues Abhijit Venkatesh. The benefit of using cellulose as reinforcement is that it could help to replace or complement the currently used reinforcements like glass- and carbon fibers. It could also strengthen polymers, which are inherently rather weak, to be used as structural materials.<br /><br />-    My focus is on cellulose nanocrystals. We are trying to customize cellulose to better fit and work with the polymer matrix, but also to understand the challenging mechanisms of cellulose, regarding thermal degradation, moist adsorption and discoloration, says Lilian Forsgren. <br /><br /><strong>Sustainability is a strong driving force</strong>, which go for them both. They give an example of possible new biodegradable product: Consider a milk carton cap made out of plastic. If this plastic were replaced with CNF instead, we could reduce the amount of plastic used to produce the cap. Or even totally degradable if starch or corn could be in the matrix. <br /><img src="/en/departments/ims/news/PublishingImages/Lilian-Forsgren_180518_01_170x220.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="PhD student Lilian Forsgren" style="margin:5px 10px" /><br />-    I like to be part of the development towards a more sustainable future, no matter how big impact my project will have, every small contribution will make a difference all together, says Lilian and continues:<br />-    I did my bachelor at the Industrial Design Engineering programme at Chalmers but found materials to be very interesting and hence did my master in Materials Engineering. I enjoy challenges and are eager to gain more knowledge. I really enjoy working with cellulose since it is a fantastic material and it’s a more sustainable alternative compared to many materials used today.<br /><br />-    My background differs since I come from Bangalore, India, where I took my Bachelor in the field of Mechanical Engineering. After coming to Sweden 2013, completing my master thesis in Materials Engineering, I found the environment to be calm and productive which pursued me to stay and do my PhD here at Chalmers, says Abhijit. And I like to be part of the move towards a more sustainable society. I think the usage of CNF, which is biodegradable, renewable, abundantly available (in all plant sources) and light weight, in itself is the sustainable perspective. Since the source of cellulose is from Sweden this makes it much more sustainable as Sweden has one of the most sustainable forest industries on the world.<br /><br /><strong>Another interesting fact</strong> – they are both top athletes within in their sports. Lilian Forsgren is running in the <a href="">Swedish national team in Orienteering </a>and  Abhijit Venkatesh play for <a href="">Swedish National Cricket team.</a> Can the competitive spirit be of help in the daily work as a researcher?<br />-    Being determent and setting up a personal goal is a similarity, that might be same the mindset as when I compete in my sport. I set up goals and can be very effective, Lilian says.<br />-    I like to think of research as a team game. I am very good to talking and teambuilding, which is something I learned as a coach in my sport. And to have will power, to have a fixed goal, pushing yourself – that helps, says Abhijit.<br /><br />They agree upon the “never give up&quot;-thing, especially after many failed experiments, you still need to go on.<br />-    Well, there is a competitive downside also, says Lilian. When I had a series of bad turnouts on my experiments, I was really frustrated. But since there is no physical competitor in this case, you must let it go and get back on track.<br /><br /><strong>They are both halfway through </strong>their research and will present their licentiate thesis in September. What are the results so far?<br />-    We have been able to graft side chains onto the molecule of cellulose Nano crystals, performing an increased thermal stability and interesting mechanical properties of the composites produced with these grafted Cellulose Nanocrystals adding them into a polymer matrix, says Lilian. This means we have found a possible way to overcome some of the main challenges such as avoiding degradation at low temperatures and increased strength and thermal stability. <br />-    There are some good results soon to be published, where we managed to make crystal clear, transparent composites that can be used as reinforcement. That is cool, Lilian finishes.<br /><br /><img src="/en/departments/ims/news/PublishingImages/Dihexyl_polymer_foto_Marcus-Folino_300x300.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Transparent composite with cellulose nanocrystals" style="margin:5px" /><img src="/en/departments/ims/news/PublishingImages/Polymerer_cracks_3_foto_Marcus-Folino_300x300.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Mixed and dried material, flaky shards." style="margin:5px" /><br /><em><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Pictures, to the </em><em>left: This is a composite with 10% surface grafted CNC (cellulose nanocrystals) and EAA polymer. As you can see, the composite is transparent (the Chalmers logo is on a printed paper below). 3 out of 4 variants of composites with CNC in the study are transparent. (Photo: Marcus Folino)</em><br /><em>Pictures to the right: Mixed and dried composite material. The plastic and cellulose are mixed in aqueous solution, and when air dried these shards of material are formed. Afterwards, they are moulded into composites, as the one in the first picture. </em><span><em> (Photo: Marcus Folino)<span style="display:inline-block"></span></em></span><br /><br />-    The big challenge is that cellulose likes water and polymers usually don’t. When you put them together they tend to separate and makes the composite more fragile. The main results of my research so far lie in the fact that wet processing techniques is successful in producing excellent composites. It also helps us to achieve high CNF loading contents while not sacrificing mechanical properties. The problem is to upscale the process for industry because it is still too expensive but we will hopefully solve that, says Abhijit.<br /><br /><span>Learn more about the research: <a href="">Surface treatment of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC): effects on dispersion rheology.</a> <br />You can also follow Lilian and Abhijit when they are hosting the <a href="">Chalmers Production</a> instagram account 28-30 May, reporting from <a href="">Nordic Polymer Days 2018, Copenhagen. </a></span>A closely related research within polymer science is presented May 24th at the docent lecture where <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/roland-kadar.aspx">Roland Kádár </a>talks about <a href="/sv/institutioner/ims/kalendarium/Sidor/Docentföreläsning-Roland-Kádár---IMS.aspx">“Polymer Rheology and Processing”</a>. <br /><br /><br /><strong>Quick facts Lilian Forsgren</strong><br /><strong>Living in: </strong>Gothenburg<br /><strong>Family:</strong> Boyfriend and family with two brothers and two lovely nieces.<br /><strong>Interests: </strong>Love running and nature, especially high mountains.<br /><span><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Lilian-Forsgren.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Lilian Forsgren</a><br /><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Lilian-Forsgren.aspx"><span style="display:inline-block"></span></a></span><br /><strong>Quick facts Ahbijit Venkatesh</strong><br /><strong>Living in:</strong> <span><strong><span></span></strong>Gothenburg<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><strong>Family: </strong>Parents, two siblings (who are twins – boy and a girl) and my lovely wife.<br /><strong>Interests:</strong> Love being out in the nature and coaching cricket.<br /><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/abhven.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Abhijit Venkatesh</a> <br /><br /><a href="/en/departments/ims/research/em/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Division Engineering Materials </a><br /><br /><em>Text and photo: Carina Schultz<br /><br /><img src="/en/departments/ims/news/PublishingImages/Lilian-Forsgren-Ahbijit-Venkatesh_180518_16_750x340.png" alt="The PhD students in front of a machine" style="margin:5px" /><br />Abhijit Ventaesh and Lilian Forsgren in front of the compression moulding machine, in the Materials Processing Lab at Chalmers, where the samples of composites are moulded.<br /><br /><img src="/en/departments/ims/news/PublishingImages/Lilian-Forsgren-Ahbijit-Venkatesh_180518_13_750x501.png" alt="Samples of composites" style="margin:5px" /><br />Samples of moulded cellulose composites.<br /><br /><br /></em><br />Tue, 22 May 2018 00:00:00 +0200 Data improves materials analysis<p><b>​By examining the structure of a metal or ceramic material at the atomic level, it is easier to understand and influence the properties of different materials. But what should you look for and where? In a new project, Professor Uta Klement combines analyses of Big Data with her expertise area of material characterization. Instead of looking for a needle in a haystack, the data is analysed to find the deviations which needs to be investigated in detail.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/staff/Pages/uta-klement.aspx" target="_blank">Professor Uta Klement</a> leads a research group called <a href="/en/departments/ims/research/mm/ytmikro/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">Surface and Microstructure Engineering</a>. She examines the properties of metals and different ceramic materials. These include nano materials, different types of coating, advanced steel or superalloys. By understanding the structure and construction of the materials, it is possible to achieve more sustainable production processes and products. Manufacturers can use less material and also use the material more efficiently and longer.</span><div><br /></div> <div><strong>One example is</strong> new thermal barrier coatings that allow for higher combustion temperatures in gas turbines such as in airplane engines, which would improve efficiency and result in lower emissions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Profilbilder/Uta%20Klement_170x220.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Uta Klement" style="margin:5px" />In a new project, which deals with improving the grindability of recycled steel, Uta Klement collaborates with a group of researchers and combines analyses of big data with material characterization. This is the first time they try this method. She tells us what benefits it brings.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– Our material analyses are often based on an assumption, not on a theory. However, in industry a lot of data is collected in material processing. By analysing these data we can get hints on what to look for in the microstructure. Our material science knowledge helps to interpret the data, and then we can perform accurate investigations instead of looking for the &quot;needle in the haystack&quot;.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Knowing what you are looking for</strong> is particularly important in research that zooms in on a small piece of material using electron microscopy and other complementary techniques. Taking advantage of data can be a breakthrough and become a generic approach, says Uta Klement.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– New and improved characterization technology and the ability to interpret the results enable us to increase our knowledge and produce new and better products with better features and better utilization of the resources. Indirectly this is important to all of us.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>FACTS</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Uta Klement is a professor of materials science with a focus on electron microscopy. She is Head of <a href="/en/departments/ims/research/mm/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">Division of Materials and Manufacture</a> at Chalmers <a href="/en/departments/ims/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">Department of Industrial and Materials Science</a>, and also heads the research group <a href="/en/departments/ims/research/mm/ytmikro/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">Surface and Microstructure Engineering</a>. She is also in the board of <a href="" target="_blank">Chalmers Ventures</a>.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the project &quot;<a href="">Grindability of recycled steel: automotive crankshafts</a>&quot; in Chalmers research database [<em>in Swedish</em>]. The project is led by <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Peter-Krajnik.aspx" target="_blank">P​eter Krajnik</a>, professor of manufacturing technology and also includes <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Philipp-Hoier-.aspx" target="_blank">Philipp Hoier</a> and <a href="/en/staff/Pages/amir-malakizadi.aspx" target="_blank">Amir Malakizadi</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text and photo: Nina Silow</em></div> <div><br /></div> Fri, 18 May 2018 17:00:00 +0200 Championship dinghy tested at Chalmers and SSPA<p><b>The Finn dinghy of Max Salminen, previous Olympic gold medal winner, was tested at Chalmers in SSPA:s towing tank in the end of April.</b></p>​After finishing in sixth place in the Olympic games of Rio de Janeiro in 2016 with his Finn dinghy, the Swedish sailor Max Salminen started to wonder about what consequences the choice of rudder had on his performance. Max has previously won an Olympic gold medal with Starboat in London, 2012. To answer his questions, he turned to SSPA for help. By using simulations and tests the flow properties could be evaluated. Through financial aid from the Chalmers Area of Advance Material science the different allowed rudders could be purchased and tested. In order to incorporate the proper measuring systems a full scale copy of the boat was built at SSPA. The findings from the study showed that different rudders performed better or worse depending on the physical conditions at the race.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Materials%20Science/News/Jollen1_560px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" width="400" height="224" alt="" style="margin:5px" />As a next step in the project, students from Chalmers in collaboration with SSPA, are trying to develop a completely new rudder. The best one of the traditional rudders is being studied in detail and the new one will be optimized with regards to its weigh distribution and design in order to optimize the hydrodynamic properties. Max boat is seen <span>during testing<span style="display:inline-block"> </span></span> in the picture to the left .<br /><br /><div>During the tests, another interesting difference between the Finn dinghy and the model boat was observed; the structures of the Finn dinghy is rigid, while the hull is soft and deformable. Meanwhile, the hull of the model boat is all rigid. In the end of April, the two boats were tested in the SSPAs 260 meter long towing tank. The results will be analyzed, and if it turns out that soft hull causes a lower hydrodynamic resistance, the results could be groundbreaking in the shipping industry and for Max, who is aiming for a gold medal in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more at - <a href="">The Sports &amp; Technology initiative continues to combine passion for sports with expertise in science and engineering</a> <br /></div>Wed, 02 May 2018 16:00:00 +0200 method for recycling titanium dioxide from white paint<p><b>​Large amounts of titanium dioxide become waste in the paint industry and at recycling stations. Now, research from Chalmers shows a method of utilizing the valuable material.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Titanium dioxide is one of the more common substances used to produce white paint. But titanium dioxide is an expensive material that is extracted by refraction. In today's chemical processes for paint production, much titanium dioxide is wasted. In collaboration with AkzoNobel and Stena Recycling, <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/kx02kami.aspx">Mikael Karlsson</a>, at Chalmers Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, has developed a method of recovering titanium dioxide through pyrolysis, a type of separation process that occurs through heating.</span><div>The method involves separating organic from inorganic material. Mikael Karlsson has primarily looked at titanium-based white paint because it does not contain as many other types of inorganic material as coloured paints.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;By my method, we can recycle titanium dioxide of sufficient quality to be used as a matte wall paint, which is one of the biggest uses for white paint,&quot; says Mikael Karlsson.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Competence%20Centre%20Recycling/Nyheter/Mikael%20Karlsson.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:299px" /><br /><br /></div> <div>The PhD student project is linked to AkzoNobel's strategic work to reduce its carbon footprint by recycling white paint in their processes. But much titanium dioxide is also wasted today in colour cans that come from private individuals and companies to recycling centres. Manufacturers may be required to be responsible for recycling for the products they sell, which makes the method interesting even with regard to this type of waste.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research has been done with the help of CCR and Mikael Karlsson sees the advantages with having the centre close at hand.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>- I have been helped with different points of view during the course of work. Recycling is so wide that it is good to keep knowledge of others close. I am basically a paint technician and my work here has been very interdisciplinary with access to both industry and different research disciplines, &quot;says Mikael Karlsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>One possible next step in process development is to investigate paint that contains more inorganic materials than just titanium dioxide so that these may be separated to create as efficient value chain as possible.</div> <div>On May 4, Mikael Karlsson defends his thesis Recycling of TiO2 pigment from waste paint: process development, surface analysis and characterization.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Mats Tiborn</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/sv/institutioner/chem/kalendarium/Sidor/Mikael-Karlsson,-Energi-och-material.aspx">More about the defense​</a><br /></div> Wed, 02 May 2018 00:00:00 +0200 textile lights a lamp when stretched<p><b>​Working up a sweat from carrying a heavy load? That is when the textile works at its best. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have developed a fabric that converts kinetic energy into electric power, in cooperation with the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås and the research institute Swerea IVF. The greater the load applied to the textile and the wetter it becomes the more electricity it generates. The results are now published in the Nature Partner journal Flexible Electronics.</b></p>​Chalmers researchers Anja Lund and Christian Müller have developed a woven fabric that generates electricity when it is stretched or exposed to pressure. The fabric can currently generate enough power to light an LED, send wireless signals or drive small electric units such as a pocket calculator or a digital watch.<div> </div> <div>The technology is based on the piezoelectric effect, which results in the generation of electricity from deformation of a piezoelectric material, such as when it is stretched. In the study the researchers created a textile by weaving a piezoelectric yarn together with an electrically conducting yarn, which is required to transport the generated electric current.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The textile is flexible and soft and becomes even more efficient when moist or wet,” Lund says. “To demonstrate the results from our research we use a piece of the textile in the shoulder strap of a bag. The heavier the weight packed in the bag and the more of the bag that consists of our fabric, the more electric power we obtain. When our bag is loaded with 3 kilos of books, we produce a continuous output of 4 microwatts. That’s enough to intermittently light an LED. By making an entire bag from our textile, we could get enough energy to transmit wireless signals.”</div> <div> </div> <div>The piezoelectric yarn is made up of twenty-four fibres, each as thin as a strand of hair. When the fibres are sufficiently moist they become enclosed in liquid and the yarn becomes more efficient, since this improves the electrical contact between the fibres. The technology is based on previous studies by the researchers in which they developed the piezoelectric fibres, to which they have now added a further dimension. </div> <div> </div> <div>“The piezoelectric fibres consist of a piezoelectric shell around an electrically conducting core,” Lund says. “The piezoelectric yarn in combination with a commercial conducting yarn constitute an electric circuit connected in series.” </div> <div> </div> <div>Previous work by the researchers on piezoelectric textiles has so far mainly focused on sensors and their ability to generate electric signals through pressure sensitivity. Using the energy to continuously drive electronic components is unique. </div> <div> </div> <div>“Woven textiles from piezoelectric yarns makes the technology easily accessible and it could be useful in everyday life. It’s also possible to add more materials to the weave or to use it as a layer in a multi-layer product. It requires some modification, but it’s possible,” Lund says. </div> <div> </div> <div>The researchers consider that the technology is, in principle, ready for larger scale production. It is now mainly up to industrial product developers to find out how to make use of the technology. Despite the advanced technology underlying the material, the cost is relatively low and is comparable with the price of Gore-Tex. Through their collaboration with the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås the researchers have been able to demonstrate that the yarn can be woven in industrial looms and is sufficiently wear-resistant to cope with the harsh conditions of mass production.<br />   </div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /> Anja Lund about the research results</a></div>Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0100 to make kitchen pots harder<p><b>​New research shows that tailor-making the material used when making stainless steel is the key to optimize hardness and corrosion free properties. This new knowledge is important for oil, gas, food and nuclear industries – and for your kitchen pots.</b></p>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/Giulio%20Maistro_200x250.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Giulio Maistro" style="margin:5px;width:170px;height:213px" /><span style="background-color:initial">In a recently published doctoral thesis, <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/maistro.aspx" target="_blank">Giulio Maistro</a> presents studies of methodologies to make austenitic stainless steel harder, without losing the &quot;stainless&quot; properties. The results show that it is important to consciously balance the different metals used in the steel, as well as the additives nitrogen and carbon.</span><div><br /></div> <div><strong>Austenitic stainless steel </strong>is a specific type of stainless steel alloy that is used for kitchen pots and many industrial applications. This type of material is very good to use with strong acids or salty water because it is resistant to corrosion. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Unfortunately, today’s stainless steel has the drawback of being very easy to scratch and damage. It is too soft. This is not crucial for our kitchen ware, but is a big problem for jewellery or for industrial applications. In industrial sectors like the oil, gas, food and nuclear industries, the surface has to be smooth like a mirror. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>When making stainless steel</strong>, it is the combination of the material in itself and the surface treatment that defines how good the result is. The result of a surface treatment can be radically different depending on the formula the material is composed of. Giulio Maistro says that this can be both a good and a bad thing. </div> <div><span style="color:black;font-family:calibri,sans-serif;font-size:11pt;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:black;font-family:calibri,sans-serif;font-size:11pt;background-color:initial">– </span>Nowadays, we have reached a stagnation in the application of surface treatments like plasma, gas nitriding or carburizing. More or less everyone in the field knows &quot;when it is worth to use them and when it is not&quot;. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>According to Giulio Maistro, companies keep their processes secret which makes process development hard and almost completely abandoned in academia. Giulio Maistro’s research is welcomed. Not much research has been done earlier on the optimization of the materials to fit the treatment. Instead of trying to change and over-optimize the treatment parameters, it could be easier and more effective to tailor-make a new material that better matches the treatment.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>This tailor-making involves</strong> <strong>Nickel and Molybdenum</strong>, two metals that typically are added into the steel to improve resistance against corrosion. </div> <div><span style="color:black;font-family:calibri,sans-serif;font-size:11pt;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:black;font-family:calibri,sans-serif;font-size:11pt;background-color:initial">– </span>In my research I show that by adding Nickel it is possible to decrease the unwanted formation of carbides, which are bad for corrosion. However, when too much Nickel is used, the material cannot be hardened very much. This is because carbon and nitrogen do not like Nickel and vice versa. If you use the metal Molybdenum, the opposite effect is shown. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>To harden the steel, it is common to introduce nitrogen or carbon in it. The more nitrogen or carbon you have, the harder the steel gets. This relates to Nickel and Molybdenum. Depending on how much of those metals you have in the steel, you can change how much nitrogen or carbon you can introduce in it. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, if you introduce too much nitrogen or carbon, chemical compounds called nitrides and carbides are formed. When they form, the stainless property of the steel gets lost. In general, Molybdenum increases the amount of nitrogen or carbon you can insert. Nickel limits the amount but also limits the formation of nitrides or carbides. </div> <div><span style="color:black;font-family:calibri,sans-serif;font-size:11pt;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:black;font-family:calibri,sans-serif;font-size:11pt;background-color:initial">– </span>This new knowledge shows that companies that manufacture products made of stainless steel need to find a balance between Nickel and Molybdenum to get the maximum hardness while maintaining the stainless properties, upon introducing nitrogen or carbon, says Giulio Maistro.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>FACTS:</strong></div> <div>Gas nitriding or carburizing are methods to introduce nitrogen or carbon to the steel.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/maistro.aspx" target="_blank">Giulio Maistro​</a> performed his doctoral studies at the <a href="/en/departments/ims/research/mm/Pages/default.aspx">division of Materials and Manufacture</a> which belongs to the <span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/ims/Pages/default.aspx">department of Industrial and Materials Science</a> at <a href="/en/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers University of Technology</a>. He </span><span style="background-color:initial">successfully defended his doctoral thesis on January 26th. The title of the thesis is: </span></div> <span></span><div><em>Low-temperature carburizing/nitriding of austenitic stainless steels - Influence of alloy composition on microstructure and properties.</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more in this scientific article:</strong></div> <div><a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Nina Silow</em></div> <div><em>Photo in the article: Marcus Folino</em></div> ​Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0100 competition in chemistry for researchers and start-up companies<p><b>​Do you have an idea which could make the chemical industry more sustainable? Imagine Chemistry is a competition where the participants get help from experts in the field to develop their concept. The finale will be held at Chalmers in the end of May.</b></p>​This year, Chalmers is one of the partners in the chemical company Akzonobel’s innovation competition Imagine Chemistry. The competition targets start-up companies and researchers, with the aim of finding new solutions which can make the chemical industry more sustainable.<br /><br />This year’s competition calls for solutions within the following six areas:<br />•    sustainable small particle technologies<br />•    wastewater-free chemical sites<br />•    intelligent chemical plats<br />•    revolutionizing chlorate production<br />•    sustainable liquid to powder technologies<br />•    zero-footprint surfactant platforms<br /><br />In the first phase all the participants will receive coaching from experts in order to enrich their ideas. Then, 20 finalists will be chosen to spend three intense days at Chalmers in the end of May. During these days, the finalists will receive individual reviews by expert groups who will give advices and feedback on different aspects of the idea.   <br /><br />– I believe that is really rewarding, just making it to the finale. You will learn a lot and get aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your idea, says Per Thorén, communications offices for the Materials Area of Advance at Chalmers.<br /><br />Chalmers has two representatives in the jury, one researcher and one person working at Chalmers Ventures. The jury will select the most viable ideas and the winners will be presented in Runan on the last day of the event, 1 June. The price of the winners will be a collaboration with Akzonobel in order to develop the ideas further and bring them to the market.<br /><br />For more information and to register for the competition, visit <a href="">Imagine Chemistry</a>. The last day to send a contribution is 10 March 2018.<br />Tue, 13 Feb 2018 16:30:00 +0100 methods to analyze molecular dynamics in biology, chemistry and physics<p><b>​A recent paper in Nature Chemistry, involving Chalmers guest researcher Jakob Andreasson, explains a key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Materials%20Science/News/Jakob-Andreasson.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />In biology, chemistry, and physics, molecular function is strongly dependent on the interaction between structure and dynamics. In processes such as photosynthesis and many types of catalysis, charge transfer reactions between metal ions and their surroundings, and the time scale on which they occur, play a major role. Jakob Andreasson, guest researcher at the Condensed Matter Physics division at Chalmers University of Technology, has together with an International and interdisciplinary team of researchers performed a study where a combination of ultrashort X-ray and laser pulses were used to show how the local binding of copper ions depends on the speed of charge transfer in photochemical reactions. The results of this demanding series of experiments were published earlier this week in Nature Chemistry.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The research project is led by Sonja Herres-Pawlis from the RWTH Aachen University (RWTH),  Michael Rübhausen from the University of Hamburg and Wolfgang Zinth from Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="">Read the press release from DESY</a><br /></p> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Read the article in Nature Chemistry<br /></a></div> <div>doi:10.1038/nchem.2916</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><em>Photo: Jakob Andreasson during preparations for an experiment at the AMO instrument at the X-ray Free Electron Laser LCLS at SLAC, Stanford, California. </em>(Jakob Andreasson, private)</p> <div><a href=""></a> </div></div>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0100 charge of the largest battery research network in Europe<p><b>​​Patrik Johansson, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, has been elected new co-director of a large European battery research network – Alistore European Research Institute (Alistore-ERI).</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Patrik_Johansson200x270.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The network is the largest academic-industrial collaboration on batteries in Europe and aims to tackle battery challenges and move towards sustainable energy solutions. The network has about 25 partners, with academic entities such as Cambridge, Oxford and Collège de France, and Bosch, Saft,  BASF and Renault on the industry side.<p></p> “Due to the current electromobility (r)evolution and the need to efficiently store renewable energy, Alistore-ERI is more important than ever before. As researchers, we create projects and share ideas within the network and get important feedback from other academics and the industrial partners,” says Patrik Johansson, who takes part in several national and international projects to develop the next generation of batteries.<p></p> Patrik Johansson will mainly be responsible for strategies for expansion of the network, to increase the internal and external interactions, as well as taking part in defining the research strategy. <p></p> “My role will be to build an even stronger network for future challenges – an inspiring task with many openings for Swedish industry as well,” says Patrik Johansson. <p></p> He will officially start his new assignment on 1st of January and will share the direction with Prof. Christian Masquelier from France and Dr. Robert Dominko from Slovenia. <p></p> Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""></a><br /><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about Alistore-European Research Institute (Alistore-ERI).</a><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Patrik-Johansson0603-6580.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Patrik Johansson and his research at Chalmers University of Technology.</a><br />Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100,-cheap-to-produce-and-easy-to-transport,-new-Wallenberg-Academy-Fellow-project.aspx,-cheap-to-produce-and-easy-to-transport,-new-Wallenberg-Academy-Fellow-project.aspxPolymer solar cells, new Wallenberg Academy Fellow project<p><b>Solar cells are predicted to play an important role in reaching a sustainable energy production, but a problem with the silicon based is their complicated manufacture process. Associate Professor Ergang Wang receives funding as a Wallenberg Academy Fellow to develop polymer solar cells that are bendable and easy to produce.</b></p><div><div>Organic solar cells, OSCs, normally consist a polymer as donor and a fullerene derivative as acceptor in the active layer. However, the fullerene derivate, which is the most common acceptor, cannot guarantee high enough efficiency and stability of OSCs to change the solar power market. As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/ergang.aspx">Ergang Wang </a>will explore another, fullerene-free path for the OSC. </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“This fellowship gives me freedom to explore the fields where I believe a solution may exist. It is of course an honour to become a Wallenberg Academy Fellow and a great feeling to finally get it. You should never give up!” he says.</span></div></blockquote> <div>OSCs have the advantages of light-weight, low cost and fast high-volume production. They are also believed to have little environmental impact. Due to the promise of OSCs, many countries have invested heavily in the research and development of OSCs with the aim of commercializing them. As a result, the development of OSCs has been significant with efficiencies improving from 1 percent to over 14 percent in the last two decades. Still the technology is not yet ready for practical applications.</div> <div><br />Fullerenes are football shaped molecules that have many good characteristics in many applications. In many OSCs of today they are used as acceptors in the cell’s active layer. The problem, however, is low stability caused by molecular diffusion, weak absorption in solar spectrum region, high cost and high-energy consumption required to produce fullerene derivatives themselves. Therefore, in order to boost the efficiency and stability of OSCs, there is a strong need to replace fullerenes as the acceptors in OSCs.</div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“For long researchers have tried to improve the fullerenes to be optimised for the OSCs. I want to try a different path. I want my OSCs to be independent from the limitations of fullerenes,” says Ergang Wang.</span></div></blockquote> <div>Ergang Wang and his group have already come far in the development of solar cells only consisting of polymers in the active layer. They have reached an efficiency of nine percent with a blend based on three polymers. They are very light and easy to produce in big roll-to-roll printing machines, kind of like the ones than newspapers are produced in. The major issue now is to get a better stability and efficiency.</div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“I believe that we are on the right track and my vision is that we, because of the funding, may be able to create a prototype with the right efficiency and stability to be able to start collaborations with industry.”</span></div></blockquote> <div>Ergang Wang thinks there is a great interest for breakthroughs in this kind of technology since it is sustainable both ecologically and economically. His goal is to reach towards an efficiency of around fifteen percent, which is a figure he says may make OSCs profitable and competitive in the market. </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“The silicon cells will be more efficient for a long time forward but OSCs will be more cost effective in the long run. In ten years we may have reached far enough to have the technology on the market with for example polymer solar cells that you may put on your window or at the roof top,” says Ergang Wang.</span></div></blockquote> <div>The funding for the Wallenberg Academy Fellowship is SEK 7.5 million over five years with a possible extension of five more years. In addition Chalmers will fund the fellowship with another SEK 5 million for five years. <br />     </div> <div>    </div></div> <div><div>Text: Mats Tiborn</div></div> ​Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Foundation invests in new 2D super materials<p><b>​To ensure Chalmers as key player for graphene based two dimensional (2D) composite materials research, Chalmers Foundation invests SEK 15 million into a new research group. 2D materials are only one-atom-thick and have the potential to become super materials to be used for health sensors, water filters, new cool electronics or better batteries.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The discovery of graphene allowed researchers to produce and process a wide range of two dimensional (2D) materials. The next step is to combine these one-atom-thick, large and flexible nanosheets with polymers, metals or molecules in order to become new innovative nano-composites – super materials. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>In order to empower Chalmers</strong> as a key player for the research on graphene-based 2D composites, the <a href="/en/foundation/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">Chalmers University of Technology Foundation</a> will invest SEK 15 million in the next three years to finance laboratory equipment and to part-finance a research group under the supervision of Professor Vincenzo Palermo.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /> <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Vincenzo-Palermo.aspx" target="_blank">Vincenzo Palermo</a> has for the last four years been the leader of activities on nano-composites of the <a href="" target="_blank">Graphene Flagship</a>. Since 2017 he is also the vice-director of the Graphene Flagship and professor at the <a href="/en/departments/ims/Pages/default.aspx">Department of Industrial and Materials Science​</a>. In his research, Vincenzo Palermo uses nanotechnology and supramolecular chemistry to create new materials with applications in mechanics, electronics and energy. In particular, he works with the production of carbon-based composite materials as graphene. </span></div> <div><br /><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/Graphene_270x200.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Graphene is a crystalline material consisting of one layer of carbon atoms, arranged in a hexagonal pattern. The material is <em>100 times thinner </em>than a human hair but <em>20 times stronger </em>than steel. At the same time, graphene is light and flexible, and also conducts both electricity and heat very well. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>As graphene has these properties</strong>, there are many potential uses. Improved batteries and touch screens for mobiles and tablets are some examples but if graphene is combined with layers of other materials, the possibilities are even bigger.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– Yes, the potential is enormous and now our imagination is put to a test. Graphene could be used for sensors for measuring of e.g. cholesterol, glucose or haemoglobin levels in the body, new antibiotics or cure for cancer, or perhaps for curtains that capture sunlight and heat up the house. Another thing is that graphene-based materials shall allow water to pass through it while blocking other liquids or gases. It could therefore be utilized as a filter of, for instance, drinking water. Also, because the material is so strong and weighs so little it can be used to produce new composites in aircrafts or other vehicles, in order to save weight and reduce energy consumption.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Thanks to the funding</strong> granted by Chalmers Foundation, Vincenzo Palermo will be able to expand his research team. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– I am very happy for the opportunities this gives me. The funding will lead to the development of innovative composites of 2D materials with polymers and metals, the creation of new industrial collaboration with key partners and, last but not least, to the training of a new group of young researchers from Chalmers.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>FACTS</strong></div> <div>Vincenzo Palermo obtained his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 2003 at the University of Bologna, after working at the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands) and at the Steacie Institute, National Research Council (Ottawa, Canada). Now Vincenzo Palermo holds a position as research professor at Chalmers <a href="/en/departments/ims/Pages/default.aspx">Department of Industrial and Materials Science​</a> in Gothenburg, Sweden, and is acting as vice-director of the <a href="">Graphene Flag​ship​</a>. </div> <div><ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">&gt; 130 scientific articles (&gt;4000 citations, h-index=35).</span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">In 2012 he won the Lecturer Award for Excellence of the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS) </span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">In 2013 he won the Research Award of the Italian Society of Chemistry (SCI). </span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">He has published two books on the life and science of Albert Einstein (Hoepli, 2015) and of Isaac Newton (Hoepli, 2016). </span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">In November 2017 he won a Research Project Grant for Engineering Sciences, assigned within the Research Grants Open call 2017 from Vetenskapsrådet.</span><br /></li></ul></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The donation from the <a href="/en/foundation/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers University of Technology Foundation</a> comprises SEK 15 million divided over three years by SEK 5 million per year during the period of 2018-2020. The money is intended to part-finance a research group to Professor Vincenzo Palermo and to finance laboratory equipment. The research group is supposed to consist of two research assistants and two post-docs.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Nina Silow</div> <div>Photo: Graphene Flagship</div> ​</div></div> ​Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100