News: Materialvetenskap related to Chalmers University of TechnologyTue, 11 Feb 2020 12:30:32 +0100 opportunities for materials research at Chalmers<p><b>The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) has decided to extend the funding of the SwedNess research school by 100 million SEK until 2025.</b></p><div><div><span></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">SwedNess is a graduate school for neutron scattering operated by six Swedish Universities, including Chalmers.</span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The goal is to educate 20 doctoral students as a base for Sweden's expertise in neutron scattering with respect to the research infrastructure European Spalliation Source (ESS) being built outside Lund right now. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Jan%20Swenson.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:100px;width:100px" /><div>&quot;It is important to strengthen the competence in neutron scattering at Chalmers in order to remain successful in materials research and to benefit from ESS,&quot; says Professor Jan Swenson at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, who is SwedNess'  Director of Studies at Chalmers.  </div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/sv/institutioner/fysik/nyheter/Sidor/Nya-mojligheter-for-materialforskningen-pa-Chalmers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read a longer article on Chalmers' Swedish homepage. </a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><span><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></span>Read more about SwedNess. ​</a></div> <div></div>Fri, 07 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0100 Asp new editor for Composites Science and Technology<p><b>​Leif Asp has been appointed editor of the journal Composites Science and Technology. One of the most regarded journals in the world related to composite materials.</b></p><div>​CSTE encourages manuscripts reporting unique, innovative contributions to the physics, chemistry, materials science and applied mechanics aspects of advanced composites. The journal is within Elsevier's publishing house, and a new agreement has been negotiated for open-access publishing with Swedish educational institutions, which will become effective January 1, 2020.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>- I could not say no to this opportunity. In my opinion Composites Science and Technology is the very best journal when it comes to composite materials. It will be very exciting to be part of the editorial board, says Leif Asp.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">An increasing interest in composite materials</h2></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Composites Science and Technology receives about 4,000 manuscripts each year, of which around 400 are published. So, there is fierce competition to be published.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> - I think it’s important that we see complete studies that include both theory and experiment, and I would also like to see an increase in interdisciplinary and basic studies, says Leif Asp.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>In recent years, Composites Science and Technology has increased significantly in the impact factor, which currently stands at 6.3. Leif explains this with an increasing interest in research in composite materials:</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>- Yes, we have seen that the interest in research in composite materials has increased incredibly. At the last ICCM conference we had about 2000 participants, which is a doubling compared to just a few years ago. So, an increase in the impact factor for Composites Science and Technology is a natural consequence.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">About Leif Asp</h2> <div> </div> <div>Leif Asp is professor of Composite Lightweight Materials and Structures in the Division of materials and computational mechanics at the Department of industrial and materials science. Leif's research focuses on effective design methods for carbon fiber composites applicable to vehicles. Leif has also chaired both the European Society for Composite Materials (ESCM) and the International Committee on Composite Materials (ICCM).</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Also read</h2></div> <div> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/breakthroughs-of-the-year.aspx">Top ten scientific breakthrough of the year<br /></a></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/carbon-fibre-can-store-energy.aspx">Carbon fibre can store energy in the body of a vehicle</a> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> <span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span></p>Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0100öran Wallberg Grant to Maria Siiskonen<p><b>​​
Congratulations to Maria Siiskonen, who was awarded a grant of SEK 50,000 from the Chalmers Foundation and Göran Wallberg&#39;s Memorial Fund in 2019, which will give funding for a four-month stay in Copenhagen, Denmark.</b></p><br /><div>
The Chalmers alum Göran Wallberg (VV-45) generously donated 2 million with the aim of helping students and younger researchers to gain international experience during their studies. The grant covers the areas of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), Production Technology and Environmental Technology.
</div> <div>&quot;It's a very nice Christmas present,&quot; says Maria Siiskonen, PhD student at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers. “I will use the grant for a research stay at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU, to learn more about adaptable manufacturing systems for personalized medicines.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>
Looking for solutions
</strong></div> <div>Maria Siiskonen's previous research has focused on product design and how different functionalities can be incorporated into medicines, for example in tablets. It makes it possible to adapt the medicine to the needs of the individual patient and thus optimize patients' treatments against a number of different diseases. 
</div> <div>A consequence from product customization is the accelerating number of product variants and previous studies indicate that current pharmaceutical production systems are not flexible enough to enable production of customized product in an economically feasible manner.
 </div> <div>“I want to take a closer look at how the production systems for individualized medicines to find how they should be designed, both from an economic and sustainable perspective. My focus will be on the adaptability and flexibility of the systems to meet the demand for patient-adapted product variants.”

 </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Strong research at DTU attracts
</strong></div> <div>Maria explains that DTU's research group has a good reputation in the research area, in terms of the field of product customization and strategic approaches to product portfolio design.</div> <div>“Being here for a couple of months, will give me excellent opportunities to get a first-hand insight into their methods, discover new tools and hopefully get optimized product development methods to bring home with me. I think this will be an excellent opportunity to develop as a researcher”, concludes Maria.

</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700"><a href="" target="_blank" title="link to new webpage"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more of Maria Siiskonens research​</a></span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Carina Schultz / Maria Siiskonen
</em></div> <div><em>Photo: Carina Schultz</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0100 unique test opportunities in bio-based materials at Max IV<p><b>​During 2020-2021, Chalmers will create new unique test opportunities for research in bio-based materials in the world-leading synchrotron facility Max IV. It is mainly research in the field of cellulose that will have better conditions than ever before.</b></p><div><br /> </div> <div>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="MAX IV" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Konstruktionsmaterial/MAXIV.JPG" style="margin:5px 15px;width:324px;height:220px" /><a href="">Max IV</a> has the world's strongest synchrotron light, which creates entirely new conditions in the exploration of the innermost structure of materials. The facility was completed in Lund 2016 and has a large ring filled with fast electrons. By forcing them into magnets in a high-speed slalom path and in an extremely precise manner, x-rays are created, allowing one to see smaller components than usually possible. The x-rays are then directed into different beamlines depending on what you want to explore.</div> <div><br /><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A flexible rheometric system for Cosaxs and Formax</h2></div> <div>At the Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers a modular and flexible rheometric system will be developed for the two beamlines <a href="">Cosaxs</a> and <a href="">Formax</a>. The purpose is to strengthen research and industry needs for the development of bio-based materials, especially from cellulose. Bio-based cellulose material is something that hopefully will replace much of the oil-based plastic that is manufactured today.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Flow behaviour in soft materials</h3></div> <div>Rheometry investigates the relationship between force and motion in semi-solid and liquid materials and how it affects the properties of the material. In soft materials, it is important to investigate the correlation between the molecular structure and the behavior of the material. The greater precision in how to predict the flow behavior of the material through rheometric models, the better the conditions for creating new materials with better properties.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Roland Kadar" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Konstruktionsmaterial/RolandKadar_Chalmers_600px.jpg" style="margin:5px 35px;width:200px;height:220px" /><span></span>  <br /></div> <div><span>–<span style="display:inline-block"></span> ​The Max IV in itself is set to provide unique scientific opportunities and we have the ambition to add to that several unique rheological testing options. We are dedicating our research and development efforts to make the system available to the general users, says Associate Professor Roland Kádár who will lead the development work at Chalmers.</span><span><br /></span></div> <div><span><div> </div> <div><br /> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Researchers<br /></h2></div> <div>The development work will be performed in the group of Associate Professor <a href="/en/staff/Pages/roland-kadar.aspx">Roland Kádár</a> in the Division of Engineering Materials at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, in cooperation with scientists at the Department of Physics (<a href="/en/staff/Pages/Marianne-Liebi.aspx">Marianne Liebi</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Aleksandar-Matic.aspx">Aleksandar Matic</a>) and <a href="">Max IV</a> (Kim Nygård and Ann Terry). </div> <div><br />The funding comes from Formax´-preproject and Chalmers Foundation</div> <div><br /> </div> </span><span><div><em>Photo of M​ax IV facility: Perry Nordeng</em> </div></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><br /><span></span></div>Tue, 14 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0100 researchers hunt for new resources in the forest<p><b>​Wallenberg Wood Science Center researches into possibilities to create new, hi-tech materials from trees, beyond the traditional cellulose fibres. The center involves 15 researchers at 5 departments and helps lay the foundations for successful research. And it is just starting to kick into a higher gear.</b></p><div><em>The researchers involved in the center is listed in the end of the article</em>.</div> <div>Transparent wood from nanocellulose, flame-resistant cellulose foams for isolation, and plastic-like packaging materials  made of hemicellulose – just some examples of new, wood-based material concepts developed in Sweden which have made headlines in recent years. Bio-based batteries and solar cells, and artificial ‘wood’ which can be 3D printed are others which have caught the collective imagination. But something maybe less well-known is the fact that most of these ideas are the result of one forward-thinking research programme, launched over ten years ago – Wallenberg Wood Science Center.<br /><br /></div> <div>When the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation announced a funding investment of close to half a billion kronor, Chalmers and KTH first set themselves as competitors. But on the initiative of the Foundation, they became collaborative partners instead. And several years before the programme was even complete, a programme for extension was sketched out, for scaling up and broadening. Within a year, WWSC 2.0 was launched, to last until 2028. Linköping University will now take part as well, and industrial partners are also involved in financing via the research platform, Treesearch. The Chalmers Foundation will also contribute with more research money. In total, over a billion kronor will be invested in forestry related material research in the coming decade, with an interdisciplinary approach combining biotechnology, material science and physical chemistry.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Delivering important competence </h3> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/WWSC/Lisbeth%20200.png" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Lisbeth Olsson, Professor in Industrial Biotechnology, is Vice Director  of WWSC, and is responsible for Chalmers’ research within the programme. When she looks over what the research center has already delivered, it is not those headline-generating new materials that she sees as the principal contributions. <br />“I would probably say that the most important thing the WWSC has given the forestry industry is competence. Many doctoral students and postdocs from the programme have gone onto employment in the industry,” she says.  </div> <div>  <br />This increased knowledge around foundational questions has clearly contributed to the fact that the forest industry today is a lot more future-oriented. When WWSC began in 2008, research was, according to Lisbeth Olsson, still very traditional, focused on the pulp and paper industry.<br /><span>“Today, we instead define materials by what molecular properties they have. We discuss these things in a totally different way. So even if the industry in large part produces the same paper, packaging materials and hygiene products as ten years ago, there’s a molecular perspective on the future.”</span></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">All the parts of a tree can be better utilised</h3> <div>What drives these developments is the goal of a more sustainable society, and a phase-out of fossil fuels. With this environmental perspective there is also an increased demand on material and energy effectiveness. In the long term, this means that it is not sustainable – even with a renewable resource – to destroy or waste potentially valuable components of wood. Which, in many respects, is what the traditional pulp industry does today, when considering lignin. </div> <div>“An essential idea within WWSC is to make better use of all the different parts of trees. The vision is to create some kind of bio-refinery for material,” says Lisbeth Olsson. <br />  </div> <div>Until now, research has been largely focused on new ways of using cellulose, for example in the form of nanocellulose, as well as investigating the potential of hemicellulose – such as recycling polymers to create dense layers or using it as a constituent part of composite materials. <br /><span>“As research continues, we will also devote a lot more energy to looking at lignin, which with its aromatic compounds has a totally different chemistry. One idea is to carbonise the molecules to give them electrical properties,” says Lisbeth Olsson.<br /></span><span><br />When not busy with leading Chalmers’ activities within WWSC, which involves 5 different departments and around 15 researchers, she spends most of her time on her own research. Together with her colleagues, Lisbeth Olsson is investigating how enzymes and microorganisms can be used to separate and modify the constituent parts of trees – before reassembling them into materials with new, smart qualities.</span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">First, a need for understanding at a deeper level </h3> <div>We leave the office and go downstairs to the industrial biotechnology laboratory for a quick tour among the petri dishes and fermentation vessels. Of around 40 employees, 5 work here full time, deriving materials from trees’ raw parts. <br />  </div> <div>​“We look a lot at how different fungi from the forest break down wood, which enzymes they use. We can also ‘tweak’ the enzymes, so that they, for example, make a surface modification instead of breaking a chemical bond ,” says Lisbeth Olsson, adding that they are even investigating examples such as heat resistant wood fungi from Vietnamese forests.</div> <div> </div> <div>“When we find some interesting ability in a filamentous mushroom, for example, we can use genetic techniques to extract that ability to bacteria or yeast. That can then produce the same enzyme at a larger scale.”<br />  </div> <div>A difficulty with a natural material like wood is its particularly heterogenous and complex makeup. To be able to understand what is happening at a deep level, researchers must study different cycles at different scales simultaneously – from micrometres down to fractions of a nanometre. Lisbeth Olsson and her colleagues are not yet down to that level of detail that is really needed. <br />  </div> <div>“We have a model of what we think trees look like. But we don’t really know for sure,” she explains. </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Big investment opens up new possibilities</h3> <div>But soon, new possibilities will arise. The Wallenberg Foundation and Treesearch will together invest up to 200 billion kronor in building and operating a proprietary particle beam at the synchrotron facility Max IV outside Lund. The instrument, named Formax, could be compared to an extremely powerful x-ray microscope, and is specifically designed for tree-related material research. It will be ready for the first test experiments from 2021. <br />  </div> <div>But if the researchers have now identified a number of potent enzymes which could contribute to innovative <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/WWSC/Tuve%20200.png" alt="" style="margin:5px" />biomaterials, how do they really dig down into wood’s structure at the smallest level? <br /><br /></div> <div>One possible answer is found a few more flights of stairs down in the Chemistry building, where the Division of Forest Products and Chemical Engineering is based. Here, research assistant Tuve Mattsson, with one of the division’s doctoral students, has just carried out a small steam explosion of a ring of wood chips. The method, in brief, involves soaked wood chips being trapped in a pressure vessel, before steam is pumped in. The temperature and pressure greatly increase, before the valve suddenly opens. Bang! Water in the wood starts to boil and expand and bursts the wood from the inside.<br /><br /></div> <div>“To the naked eye, the chip pieces are quite similar – they just change colour. But look at them in a scanning electron microscope, and you see quite clearly how the structures have opened themselves up, just a little,” says Tuve Mattsson. </div> <div>“We don’t want to break down the wood too much. Then you lose the effectivity both in terms of materials and energy” adds Lisbeth Olsson. “This could be a future processing stage to make it milder, more enzymatic methods possible in industry. Such methods are also a prerequisite to being able to realise another key vision of WWSC – that new materials should be able to be recirculated without losing their value.” </div> <div>“This is a big challenge for the future. When a product has outlived its purpose, you should be able to extract the different material components and build them together in a new way, to create something of equal quality,” says Lisbeth Olsson. </div> <div>“If we succeed with that, then that thought process must be present from the beginning.”</div> <div><br /> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Chalmers researchers within WWSC</h3> <div>Chemistry and chemical technology: <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/anette-larsson.aspx">Anette Larsson</a>, <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Christian-Müller.aspx">Christian Müller</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/gunnar-westman.aspx">Gunnar Westman</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/hans-theliander.aspx">Hans Theliander</a>, <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Lars-Nordstierna.aspx">Lars Nordstierna</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/merima-hasani.aspx">Merima Hasani</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/paul-gatenholm.aspx">Paul Gatenholm</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/nypelo.aspx">Tiina Nypelö</a> and <a href="/en/staff/Pages/tuve-mattsson.aspx">Tuve Mattsson</a></div> <div>Biology and biological sciences: <a href="/en/staff/Pages/johan-larsbrink.aspx">Johan Larsbrink</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/lisbeth-olsson.aspx">Lisbeth Olsson</a></div> <div>Physics: <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Aleksandar-Matic.aspx">Aleksandar Matic</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Eva-Olsson.aspx">Eva Olsson</a>, <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Marianne-Liebi.aspx">Marianne Liebi</a></div> <div>Industrial and materials science: <a href="/en/staff/Pages/roland-kadar.aspx">Roland Kádár </a></div> <div>Microtechnology and nanoscience: <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Peter-Enoksson.aspx">Peter Enoksson</a></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Mimicking wood’s ultrastructure with 3D printing</h3> <div><strong>Porous, strong and rigid. Wood is a fantastic material. Now, researchers at the Wallenberg Wood Science Center have succeeded in utilising the genetic code of the wood to instruct a 3D bioprinter to print cellulose with a cellular structure and properties similar to those of natural wood, but in completely new forms.</strong></div> <div>Read the full article here: <a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Mimicking-the-ultrastructure-of-wood-with-3D-printing-for-green-products.aspx"></a>  </div> <div> </div>Wed, 08 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0100 pilot plant an important step towards large-scale battery recycling<p><b>​The Swedish company Northvolt is investing in environmentally friendly lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and energy storage. Within the framework of the Revolt recycling program, Northvolt is collaborating with Chalmers University of Technology, and soon, their first pilot plant for recycling lithium-ion batteries will open.</b></p><p>​Recycling batteries reduces the need to extract new raw materials, such as lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt. It also provides a safer supply of materials and lowers environmental impacts, as mining-related emissions can be reduced. Martina Petranikova works as a research assistant at the Department of Chemistry and, together with Cristian Tunsu, has led Chalmers’ collaboration with Northvolt.</p> <p><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Martina Petranikova" src="/SiteCollectionImages/20190701-20191231/Martina%20och%20Cristian%20300%20ppi-5.jpg" style="height:270px;width:310px;margin:30px 10px" /><br /><strong>What quantity of the valuable metals in a battery is </strong><strong>now recyclable?</strong><br />“With our technology we have reached an efficiency of over 90-95 percent. However, our research in this topic will continue since we want to reach even higher recycling recovery rates for all the components.”</p> <p><br /><strong>Is there any price difference in recycling metals compared to mining new ones?</strong><br />“The cost of mining new metals and recycling is fairly similar. The difference is that metals in waste are much more concentrated, so much less processing and transport is required. In addition, the waste treatment is less energy demanding than the treatment of the ores.”</p> <p><br /><strong>Is there any limit to how many times the metal in a lithium-ion battery can be recycled?</strong><br />“No, there is not. An amazing characteristic of these metals is that if they are recovered and purified, they will not lose their properties and can be re-used again and again.”</p> <p><br />The pilot plant, located in Västerås, will serve as a platform for developing and evaluating recycling processes. Initially, 100 tonnes per year are expected to be recycled. Two years later, in 2022, a full-scale recycling plant at Northvolt Ett gigafactory in northern Sweden will be ready, with a capacity to recycle a full 25,000 tonnes per year. As logistics and capacity increase, Northvolt aims to have their batteries made of 50 per cent recycled materials by 2030.</p> <p><br /><strong>What challenges do you see in recycling as much as 68.5 tonnes per day?</strong><br />“There should not be any challenges with the recycling. There might be some challenges in collecting so much material in the coming years, but that will change in the future.”</p> <p><br /><strong>What is the next step in the collaboration with Northvolt?</strong><br />“We will continue in our collaboration and we will provide the support needed for Northvolt to scale up their recycling lines. We really appreciate our co-operation with Northvolt and we are proud that our expertise in hydrometallurgy, and particularly in solvent extraction, has been utilised for such a unique project. Chalmers strives for sustainability, and our research has contributed to improved sustainability in Sweden and the Nordic region.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read Northvolt's press release</a><br /><a href="/sv/institutioner/chem/nyheter/Sidor/Forskarna-som-löser-Northvolts-tillgång-på-råvaror.aspx"><img width="16" height="16" class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Chalmers researchers who solve Northvolt's supply of raw materials (in Swedish)</a></p> <p> </p> <p>Text: Helena Österling af Wåhlberg​</p>Thu, 19 Dec 2019 00:00:00 +0100 at the Nanoscale<p><b>​​World-leading scientists, inspiring lectures and more than 200 high school students - the Molecular Frontiers Symposium &quot;Light at the Nanoscale: from Molecules to Quantum Computers&quot; had it all!</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>December may be the darkest month of the year in Sweden, yet light was the topic of the recent symposium taking place at Chalmers University of Technology, or rather, its interaction with matter, and the wonderful things that can be accomplished with knowledge in quantum physics. The event “Light at the Nanoscale: from Molecules to Quantum Computers”, which nearly filled Chalmers’ largest lecture hall RunAn, was co-organized by the Chalmers Excellence Initiative Nano, the Chalmers Area of Advance Materials Science, and the international network Molecular Frontiers.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In addition to researchers and PhD students, more than 200 high school students were present in the auditorium. Travelling from all over Sweden to participate in the symposium, they were joined by several students from Denmark. Getting the opportunity to listen to top researchers talk about their latest discoveries was very much appreciated by the highly talented students. Given the topic of this year’s symposium, students with a special interest in physics dominated the crowd, which was welcomed by Chalmers President Stefan Bengtsson and Bengt Nordén, founder of Molecular Frontiers.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Molecular Frontiers Symposia are known for their exquisite line-up of speakers, and this event was no exception. Kicking off with an inspired lecture by Immanuel Bloch, the first day of the symposium also featured Päivi Törmä from Aalto University, Thomas Ebbesen from University of Strasbourg, and Stanford’s Jennifer Dionne. And, of course, Nobel laureate Stefan Hell, showing how he has developed methods to further improve super resolution microscopy since his Nobel Prize in 2014. Alexia Auffèves was unable to travel to the symposium due to a major strike in France, but could still give her presentation and answer questions from the audience thanks to video conference software.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Speaking of questions: they were very much in focus during the two-day conference. The high school students had plenty of time to ask questions, as special “Q&amp;A sessions” were scattered in the program, after each two lectures. The importance of curiosity and asking questions is one of the key concepts of Molecular Frontiers, an organization whose prominent Scientific Advisory Board members award a yearly prize to ten young people (under 18) for asking the best science questions. The announcement of the winners of the 2019 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize was made by COO Per Thorén on the second day of the symposium. Winners turned out to originate from a range of countries, including Japan, India, Bangladesh, USA – and Sweden.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The second day of the symposium also saw Chalmers Professor Per Delsing introduce quantum computing in his talk which was strongly connected to that of his collaborator Andreas Wallraff from ETH Zürich. They were followed by Naomi Halas of Rice University and Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop from University of Queensland. The symposium closed with a panel discussion led by Jennifer Dionne, on the topic “How did I end up in science?”.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Did you miss out on the symposium, or want to relive the talks? Via the YouTube channel of Molecular Frontiers, MoleCluesTV, all the lectures of the symposium have been made available – you can find a playlist at the top of this page, or go directly to the <a href=";list=PLrkvqYtQI86BJjta6OIxc0UitWZy1IL2D">Light at the Nanoscale playlist on YouTube</a>!</p> <div> </div> <div>​<br /></div> <div> </div>Wed, 18 Dec 2019 10:00:00 +0100 material for carbon dioxide capture<p><b>​In a joint research study from Sweden, scientists from Chalmers University of Technology and Stockholm University have developed a new material for capturing carbon dioxide. The new material offers many benefits – it is sustainable, has a high capture rate, and has low operating costs. The research has been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials &amp; Interfaces.</b></p><p>​Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology that attracts a lot of attention and debate. Large investments and initiatives are underway from politicians and industry alike, to capture carbon dioxide emissions and tackle climate change. So far, the materials and processes involved have been associated with significant negative side effects and high costs. But now, new research from Chalmers University of Technology and Stockholm University in Sweden has demonstrated the possibility of a sustainable, low-cost alternative with excellent, selective carbon dioxide-capturing properties. </p> <p>The new material is a bio-based hybrid foam, infused with a high amount of CO2-adsorbing ‘zeolites’ – microporous aluminosilicates. This material has been shown to have very promising properties. The porous, open structure of the material gives it a great ability to adsorb the carbon dioxide.</p> <p><img width="250" height="195" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Walter%20250.png" alt="" style="height:189px;width:202px;margin:5px" />“In the new material, we took zeolites, which have excellent capabilities for capturing carbon dioxide, and combined them with gelatine and cellulose, which has strong mechanical properties. Together, this makes a durable, lightweight, stable material with a high reusability. Our research has shown that the cellulose does not interfere with the zeolites’ ability to adsorb carbon dioxide. The cellulose and zeolites together therefore create an environmentally friendly, affordable material,” says <a href="/en/staff/Pages/arbelaez.aspx">Walter Rosas Arbelaez</a>, PhD student at Chalmers' Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and one of the researchers behind the study.</p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>Fits well with the ongoing developments within CCS and CCU</strong><br />The researchers’ work has yielded important knowledge and points the way for further development of sustainable carbon capture technology. Currently, the leading CCS technology uses ‘amines’, suspended in a solution. This method has several problems – amines are inherently environmentally unfriendly, larger and heavier volumes are required, and the solution causes corrosion in pipes and tanks. Additionally, a lot of energy is required to separate the captured carbon dioxide from the amine solution for reuse. The material now presented avoids all of these problems. In future applications, filters of various kinds could be easily manufactured.<img width="500" height="478" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Anders%20500.png" alt="" style="height:194px;width:205px;margin:5px" /></p> <p>“This research fits well with the ongoing developments within CCS and CCU (Carbon Capture and Utilisation) technology, as a sustainable alternative with great potential. In addition to bio-based materials being more environmentally friendly, the material is a solid – once the carbon dioxide has been captured, it is therefore easier and more efficient to separate it than from the liquid amine solutions,” says <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Anders-Palmqvist.aspx">Professor Anders Palmqvist</a>, research leader for the study at Chalmers.</p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>Overcoming a difficult obstacle – vital breakthrough </strong><br />Zeolites have been proposed for carbon capture for a long time, but so far, the obstacle has been that ordinary, larger zeolite particles are difficult to work with when they are processed and implemented in different applications. This has prevented them from being optimally used. But the way the zeolite particles have been prepared this time – as smaller particles in a suspension – means they can be readily incorporated in and supported by the highly porous cellulose foam. Overcoming this obstacle has been a vital breakthrough of the current study. </p> <p>“What surprised us most was that it was possible to fill the foam with such a high proportion of zeolites. When we reached 90% by weight, we realized that we had achieved something exceptional. We see our results as a very interesting piece of the puzzle in the search for a solution to the complex challenge of being able to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere quickly enough to meet climate goals,” says Walter Rosas Arbelaez.</p> <p><br />Read the article, <a href="">Bio-based Micro-/Meso-/Macroporous Hybrid Foams with Ultrahigh Zeolite Loadings for Selective Capture of Carbon Dioxide </a>in the journal ACS Applied Materials &amp; Interfaces. </p> <p>    </p> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/blomma.png" alt="" style="height:213px;width:235px;margin:5px" /><p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>A sample of the new material resting on a flower, demonstrating its extremely low weight<br /><br /></p> <p><strong></strong> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>For more information, contact:</strong><br /><a href="/en/staff/Pages/arbelaez.aspx">Walter Rosas Arbelaez</a><br />PhD student, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology<br />0765609973</p> <div><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Anders-Palmqvist.aspx">Anders Palmqvist</a><br />Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology<br />031 772 29 61</div> <div><br /><strong>Managing captured carbon dioxide </strong></div> <div>After capture, the carbon dioxide can then be stored (CCS) or converted in a reaction (CCU). The latter is undergoing interesting and promising parallel research at Chalmers right now to enable the conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol. The results need further evaluation and comparison with other conversion methods. </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>More information about the research:</strong><br />The two main authors, doctoral students Walter Rosas from Chalmers University of Technology and Luis Valencia from Stockholm University, met within an EU project and started collaborating. The aim of their research has been to investigate the combination of a very porous biomaterial that can be manufactured at a low cost, with the specific function of the zeolite to adsorb/capture carbon dioxide. The research showed that microporous (&lt;2 nm) crystalline aluminosilicates – ‘zeolites’ – made with small particle size (&lt;200 nm), could be readily supported by the biomaterial and thereby offer great potential as effective adsorbents for atmospheric carbon dioxide.<br />In the study, the researchers managed to overcome the difficult-to-handle properties that ordinary larger zeolite particles have, an obstacle which has until now made them difficult to implement in this type of application. The key was that the smaller particles could be combined with a meso- and macroporous support material based on a foam of gelatin and nanocellulose, which could then contain ultra-high amounts of the zeolite without losing too much of its strong mechanical network properties. Up to 90% by weight of zeolite content could be achieved, giving the material a very good ability to selectively adsorb carbon dioxide in combination with a very open pore structure, enabling high gas flows. The zeolite used was of the type silicalite-1 and can be seen as a model that can be replaced by other zeolites if needed.<br /></div> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>Text: Jenny Jernberg <br />Translation: Joshua Worth <br />Illustration: Yen Strandqvist </p>Mon, 09 Dec 2019 00:00:00 +0100 insights on protective oxide films in high temperature materials<p><b></b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/oxid_colliander_750x.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:189px;width:300px" /><div>High temperature materials, such as superalloys and high temperature steels, are often employed in extreme conditions where they experience a combination of severe mechanical loads at elevated temperatures in the presence of a corrosive environment. <span style="background-color:initial">To operate  under such conditions these materials rely on the formation and integrity of a thin protective oxide scale, typically less than a micrometer in thickness. </span></div> <div><br /> Anand H S Iyer, Krystyna Stiller and Magnus Hörnqvist Colliander at the Department of Physics at Chalmers recently published new results on microscale fracture of chromia scales in the journal Materialia. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In their paper they present a new micro-mechanical testing method, which has been shown to be highly effective in measuring the properties of these extremely thin oxide films. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/anand_270x.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:170px;height:155px" />&quot;This allows the development of better models for understanding and predicting how and when the protective oxide scales will fail,&quot; says </span>Anand H S Iyer, Doctoral Student <span style="background-color:initial">at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and lead author of the scientific paper. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The study was performed through a collaboration between the researchers at Chalmers and colleagues in Finland and Switzerland. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Tex</span><span style="background-color:initial">t: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, </span><a href="">​</a><br /></div> <div><div><div></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a></span><a href=""><span style="background-color:initial"><span>Read the paper </span>&quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#5b97bf"><b>Microscale fracture of chromia scales&quot;</b></font></span> in Materialia.​​</a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contact: </h2> <div><div><strong></strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/harihara.aspx">Anand H S Iyer</a></strong>, PhD Student, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href=""></a>, +46 31 772 67 08</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Krystyna-Marta-Stiller.aspx">Krystyna Stiller​</a></strong>, Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href=""></a>, +46 31 772 33 20</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Magnus-Hörnqvist.aspx">Magnus Hörnqvist Colliander</a></strong>, Senior researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology<span></span>, <a href="">​</a>, +46 31 772 33 06</div></div>Thu, 21 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0100 strategic collaboration with RISE<p><b>Chalmers has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the research institute RISE​. With this, relations are strengthened within research, education and innovation.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The agreement was signed on 18 November by Chalmers President Stefan Bengtsson and RISE CEO Pia Sandvik. Chalmers and RISE already have extensive collaborations with many joint research projects, research publications and joint research infrastructure such as AstaZero.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>“With this new partnership agreement, we strengthen our shared ability to contribute to strengthen the renewal and competitiveness of the business community and society, in a long-term and systematic way, by initiating cross-sectoral collaborations that stimulate innovation and development of new products, services and processes,” says Stefan Bengtsson. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Through the partnership agreement, Chalmers and RISE will develop research, education and innovation on a broad scale in several focus areas. These include production technology, materials technology and autonomous driving. The collaboration will also increase Chalmers and RISE's international visibility.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Sweden needs to create models for stronger collaboration between institutes and universities and thereby increase our international competitiveness. With this agreement, we can better use both parties' expertise to meet the societal challenges. Of course, the goal is more joint research and innovation projects,” says Pia Sandvik.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Through closer collaboration, the parties can also gain access to more researchers, which will increase the critical mass in both research and education as well as competence and competitiveness. Within Chalmers’ education, the collaboration allows greater opportunities for degree projects and other projects with RISE, thus enabling an increased exchange with industry. It also increases the possibility to include more practical, applied elements in the education.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At Chalmers, the partnership will be coordinated by the Area of Advance Materials Science. The collaboration will ultimately be governed by an annual strategic meeting and by an operational group that meets four times a year.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Sophia Kristensson</div> <div><strong>Photo:</strong> Johan Bodell</div> </div>Tue, 19 Nov 2019 07:00:00 +0100 grant to explore strong light-matter coupling<p><b>Researchers from Chalmers have been awarded 25 million kronor through a prestigious project grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Over five years, physicists Eva Olsson and Timur Shegai will seek answers to fundamental questions about the interaction between light and matter at room temperature.</b></p><div>“We look forward to combining unique cutting-edge abilities and building a platform for new knowledge about the interaction between light and matter.  We can dive even deeper and push the boundaries of what is possible to understand of both time and space,” says Professor Eva Olsson at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.<br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Eva Olsson’s research focuses on investigating materials with the help of electrons exploring properties down to the atomic level. Timur Shegai researches into the same area, but with the help of light studying ultrafast interactions. In the new project, they will combine light, matter, theory and experimentation, together with Chalmers colleagues Ermin Malic and Paul Erhart, as well as Laszlo Veisz at Umea University. In their new project they will explore strong light-matter coupling, where light and matter intermix to form new compositional light-matter quasi-particles called polaritons. Their hybrid character gives polaritons a set of intriguing optical and electronic properties.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Tailoring strong light-matter coupling at room temperature is an important challenge, since today’s quantum technology needs extremely low temperatures and advanced laboratories. Through developing a concept which can work at room temperature, the researchers can create sought after opportunities. </div> <div><br /></div> <div> “We can open doors to new applications in society, such as ultrafast optical switches, quantum information and new energy-saving light sources, for example. Light and matter exist everywhere around us and are essential to our lives. This new knowledge could also be used to customise material properties​, for example the reactivity of chemicals,” says Timur Shegai, Associate Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers. </div></div> <div><br /></div> <div></div> <div>In total, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has awarded 640 million kronor to 20 pre-eminent basic research projects in the fields of medicine, natural sciences and technology. The projects are seen as offering potential for future scientific breakthroughs.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new Chalmers-led project is called “Plasmon-exciton coupling at the attosecond-subnanometer scale: Tailoring strong light-matter interactions at room temperature”​<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="">​​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation​</a></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation</h2> <div><div>The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation supports Swedish basic research and education, primarily in medicine, technology and the natural sciences. This is achieved by awarding grants to excellent researchers and projects. <span style="background-color:initial">SEK 30 billion in grants has been awarded since the Foundation was established, with annual funding of SEK 1.8 billion in recent years, making the Foundation the largest private funder of scientific research in Sweden, and one of the largest in Europe.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more on Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation</a></span></div></div> ​Tue, 01 Oct 2019 10:00:00 +0200 new concept for more sustainable batteries<p><b>​A new concept for an aluminium battery has twice the energy density as previous versions, is made of abundant materials, and could lead to reduced production costs and environmental impact. The idea has potential for large scale applications, including storage of solar and wind energy. Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and the National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia, are behind the idea. ​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Using aluminium battery technology could offer several advantages, including a high theoretical energy density, and the fact that there already exists an established industry for its manufacturing and recycling. Compared with today’s lithium-ion batteries, the researchers’ new concept could result in markedly lower production costs.</span><br /></div> <div> </div> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/PatrikJohansson_20190823_280x300.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:180px;height:194px" /><div>“The material costs and environmental impacts that we envisage from our new concept are much lower than what we see today, making them feasible for large scale usage, such as solar cell parks, or storage of wind energy, for example,” says Patrik Johansson, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers. </div> <div>​“Additionally, our new battery concept has twice the energy density compared with the aluminium batteries that are ‘state of the art’ today.” </div> <div> </div> <div>Previous designs for aluminium batteries have used the aluminium as the anode (the negative electrode) – and graphite as the cathode (the positive electrode). But graphite provides too low an energy content to create battery cells with enough performance to be useful.</div> <div> </div> <div>But in the new concept, presented by Patrik Johansson and Chalmers, together with a research group in Ljubljana led by Robert Dominko, the graphite has been replaced by an organic, nanostructured cathode, made of the carbon-based molecule anthraquinone. </div> <div>The anthraquinone cathode has been extensively developed by Jan Bitenc, previously a guest researcher at Chalmers from the group at the National Institute of Chemistry in Slovenia.</div> <div>The advantage of this organic molecule in the cathode material is that it enables storage of positive charge-carriers from the electrolyte, the solution in which ions move between the electrodes, which make possible higher energy density in the battery. </div> <div><br /> </div> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/NiklasLindahl_190823_280x300.jpg" alt="" style="width:180px;height:193px;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:5px;margin-left:10px" /><div>“Because the new cathode material makes it possible to use a more appropriate charge-carrier, the batteries can make better usage of aluminium’s potential. Now, we are continuing the work by looking for an even better electrolyte. The current version contains chlorine – we want to get rid of that,” says Chalmers researcher Niklas Lindahl, who studies the internal mechanisms which govern energy storage. </div> <div>​<br /></div> <div>So far, there are no commercially available aluminium batteries, and even in the research world they are relatively new. The question is if aluminium batteries could eventually replace lithium-ion batteries. </div> <div>“Of course, we hope that they can. But above all, they can be complementary, ensuring that lithium-ion batteries are only used where strictly necessary. So far, aluminium batteries are only half as energy dense as lithium-ion batteries, but our long-term goal is to achieve the same energy density. There remains work to do with the electrolyte, and with developing better charging mechanisms, but aluminium is in principle a significantly better charge carrier than lithium, since it is multivalent – which means every ion 'compensates' for several electrons. Furthermore, the batteries have the potential to be significantly less environmentally harmful,” says Patrik Johansson. </div> <div> </div> <div>Read the article, ‘<a href="">Concept and electrochemical mechanism of an Al metal anode ‒ organic cathode battery​</a>’, published in the journal Energy Storage Materials. </div> <div> </div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">Text</span>: Joshua Worth, <a href="">​</a> <span style="background-color:initial">and </span><span style="background-color:initial">Mia Halleröd Palmgren,</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><a href=""></a></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial">Foto</span><span style="background-color:initial">: Henrik Sandsjö (Patrik Johansson) och Mia Halleröd Palmgren (Niklas Lindahl)​</span></div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contact: </h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Patrik-Johansson0603-6580.aspx">Patrik Johansson</a>,</strong> Professor, Department for Physics, Chalmers University of Technology <a href=""></a></span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Niklas-Lindahl.aspxspx?q=niklas+lindahl">Niklas Lindahl</a>,</strong> researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, currently based at the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg</div> <div>+46 76 622 91 36 ​ <a href=""></a></div> <div> </div> <div><div><a href=""><span><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high resolution images.​​</span>​</a></div> <div> </div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the research behind the new results:</h2> <div>In November 2015, Patrik Johansson’s idea for a new battery concept won close to a million kronor in an innovation competition organised by the chemical concern BASF. His team presented an aluminium-based battery technology. The concept offered higher energy density and significantly lower raw materials costs than previous versions. Now, four years on, after close collaboration with the National Institute of Chemistry in Slovenia, the idea has reached the physical concept stage.</div> <div> </div> <div>Jan Bitenc, one of the researchers in Slovenia, was awarded a stipend in 2017 from the Rune Bernhardsson Graphene Fund, and thereby got the opportunity to become a guest researcher at Chalmers. This allowed the two research groups to begin tackling the challenge together, with Gothenburg as their base. Chalmers worked on the aluminium anode and the electrolyte, while Jan Bitenc developed the organic cathode concept, which had already demonstrated its potential in magnesium batteries. The project became the start of a multi-year collaboration, where the cathode material was developed and optimised to become more resilient, and the mechanism behind the energy storage could be analysed. </div> <div> </div> <div>The results have been published in the journal Energy Storage Materials, in the article, ‘<a href="">Concept and electrochemical mechanism of an Al metal anode ‒ organic cathode battery​</a>’. It was written by Jan Bitenc, Niklas Lindahl, Alen Vižintin, Muhammad E Abdelhamid, Robert Dominko and Patrik Johansson. </div> <div>Patrik Johansson and Robert Dominko are two of three leaders in Europé’s biggest battery research network: <a href="">Alistore – European Research Institute (Alistore-ERI).​</a></div> <div> </div> <div>The research has been financed by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Energy Agency, and Chalmers’ own Areas of Advance for Material Sciences and Energy. </div> <div style="text-align:right"><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/Battery_Illustration_Muhammad750x340.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;font-size:20px" />​<span style="font-size:12px;background-color:initial">Illustration: Mu</span><span style="font-size:12px;background-color:initial">hammad Abdelhamid ​</span></div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Towards next generation batteries</h2> <div>Anyone who follows the debates around electric vehicles knows that the most energy-dense batteries currently available contain lithium. But lithium is expensive, and is expected to become even more so, with growing demand leading to scarcity. Furthermore, lithium-ion batteries often contain the metal cobalt, which is mined under dangerous working conditions, and can fuel conflicts in the countries where it is extracted. </div> <div>Intensive work is ongoing at Chalmers regarding developing more sustainable alternatives to energy storage.<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Read further articles on Chalmers research into energy storage:</h2> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Graphene_sponge_paves_the_way_for_future_batteries.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Graphene sponge paves the way for future batteries </a></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/news/Pages/Three-out-of-eight-to-Chalmers-in-Vinnova-investment.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />A new centre for Swedish batteries</a></span><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/carbon-fibre-can-store-energy.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Carbon fibres can store energy in the body of a vehicle </a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Liquid-storage-of-solar-energy-–-more-effective-than-ever-before.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Liquid storage of solar energy</a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Battery-idea-from-Chalmers-won-international-contest-on-energy-storage.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Battery idea from Chalmers wins international contest on energy storage ​</a></div> ​Mon, 30 Sep 2019 07:00:00 +0200 Sustainability Day: Minimised waste and maximum use<p><b>The 8th of November, it&#39;s time for this year&#39;s edition of Chalmers Sustainability Day. The theme Circular Economy is a common word within sustainability but what does it really mean? We asked Anton Grammatikas and Lars Nyborg, responsible for this year&#39;s event, to brief us.</b></p><strong>​</strong><a href="/en/about-chalmers/Chalmers-for-a-sustainable-future/sustainability-day2019/Pages/masterclasses.aspx" target="_blank" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:16px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​Find the program here​​</a><div><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Hello Anton Grammatikas, project manager for Chalmers Sustainability Day. Tell us a bit about the arrangement!</strong></span><div>&quot;We will start the day with a master class session, where some of Chalmers' own researchers, leading in their respective fields, give lectures about their research linked to the theme of circular economics. We want to give a broad perspective on the concept, ranging from business models, materials, product development to future civil society. The first talk of the day will be held by an invited speaker who can give a broad understanding and background to the theme.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Circular economy - how would you describe it?</strong></div> <div>&quot;Oh, there are many descriptions of it. To me it is about being able to dare to change from linear to circular business models. To achieve true sustainability, we not only need to change our technical conditions, but also the ways we consume. Everything has to be linked, from business value for those who produce and deliver products and services, to the actual customer benefit.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What do you hope Chalmers Sustainability Day will bring?</strong></div> <div>&quot;I want more people to be inspired and take circular economics into account in their research, in a wider sense than today. Chalmers vision to make the future more sustainable is reinforced by paying attention to all research internally. I hope this will create awareness of ongoing activities, so that synergies are found in various research areas.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Is it still time to propose something for the programme?</strong></div> <div>&quot;We have closed the agenda for the master class session but there are still a few slots open in the afternoon progamme. If you have a suggestion – talk to us! We hope for a greater participation of researchers and teachers this year. A possibility that not so many have reacted to is the poster exhibition. We would like to see more proposals here!&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The collaboration with the Student Sustainability Week Act! Sustainable is new this year! How will they contribute? </strong></div> <div>&quot;Above all, they can contribute with their perspective. The students have high demands on Chalmers as a university to work more with sustainability internally, but they also push to steer their education towards the circular perspective. We hope many students will show up and be able to take part in research and be inspired to make their own circular choices in the future.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><b><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Production/750x340_Lars-Nyborg_SDG12.jpg" alt="Picture of Lars Nyborg, director of Production Area of Advance" style="margin:5px;width:680px;height:312px" /></b><br /><br /><span></span><em>This year's theme is broad and embraces much of the research within the Areas of Advance, says Lars Nyborg, Director for Production Area of Advance and the organizer 2019 for Sustainability Day. Photo: Carina Schultz​</em><br /><br /><b>Hello Lars Nyborg, Director for the Production Area of Advance and responsible for this year's sustainability day at Chalmers. Why the choice of circular economy as a theme?</b></div> <div></div> <div>- We chose to focus on circular economics, as it is a theme that unites many of Chalmers Areas of Advance. The solutions of the future lie in how we implement circularity in society and here we have an opportunity to discuss it thoroughly. The theme can work both for big issues and in the small perspective as an individual citizen. We believe the theme can inspire and provide new knowledge for everyone - students, researchers and other staff at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong> What does circular economy mean to you?</strong></div> <div>- It's a quite difficult concept and theme. There is not only one answer, but many. I would like to compare the concept of circular economy to an umbrella, under which several different contexts and definitions can be gathered.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What do you hope visitors will bring home from the event? </strong></div> <div>- I hope for increased commitment and an understanding of what circular economics is. I also wish for a broadened understanding that a sustainable future is a matter of creating solutions. I would also be interesting if the discussions include a questioning attitude regarding suggested solutions. A sharper dialogue and debate are important for showing a sustainable way forward. Here, Chalmers can really contribute.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Production/SDG-9-11-12.jpg" alt="Picture of the logos of sustainable goals 9, 11 and 12" style="margin:5px;width:690px;height:345px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><strong>FACTS:</strong></div> <div>Chalmers Sustainability Day takes place on 8 November at the Chalmers Conference center. Campus Johanneberg. The event is primarily for Chalmers employees and students.</div> <div>This year's theme is circular economy and Production Area of Advance organizes this year's event.</div> <div>The Sustainability Day is being commissioned by Chalmers management through Anna Dubois, Vice President of Chalmers Areas of Advance.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>This year, we cooperate with the Gothenburg students' sustainability week, <a href="">Act! Sustainable</a>, which runs from November 4-9, where Friday, November 8, is the Chalmers students Day.</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><a href="/en/about-chalmers/Chalmers-for-a-sustainable-future/sustainability-day2019/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank" title="link to program"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />SEE PROGRAM​</a></h3> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>CONTACT:</strong></div> <div><a href="">Carina Schultz​</a>, Communications Officer</div> <div>mob 0733-68 99 96</div> <div><a href="" title="link to email">Anton Grammatikas</a>, Project manager</div> <div>mob 0708-88 26 20</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank" title="link to proposal form"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Link to proposal form</a></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank" title="link to more info"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more on how to participate</a></div> <div><a href="/sv/styrkeomraden/produktion/kalendarium/Sidor/Chalmers-hållbarhetsdag.aspx" target="_blank" title="link to calender post"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Calender post</a></div></div> ​​Thu, 26 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0200 in European master thesis competition<p><b>During the EUROMAT conference in Stockholm, a true Vinh-win situation happened. Vinh Tu, Chalmers University of Technology, was selected as one of the winners of Europe&#39;s top master theses 2019 on Materials Science and Engineering.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The master thesis of Vinh Tu, former master student within Applied Mechanics, was selected by the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS) as one of Europe's top master theses 2019 on Materials Science and Engineering. Vinh was invited to attend the EUROMAT congress that took place in Stockholm 1-5 September. He presented his work during the final round of the master thesis competition. The prize committee awarded him with a fantastic 2nd place.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div><b><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/MoB/Vinh-diploma_225x300.jpg" alt="A close up on the diploma" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px 10px" />“To me, this is a proof </b>that we do world class research,&quot; says professor Leif Asp, one of Vinh’s supervisors. &quot;Out of all material science societies around Europe, they identified four finalists. One of them came from Chalmers and he ended up in second place. Clearly, we do things that interest people and is viewed upon as something original and strong.&quot; </div> <div><br /></div> <div><b>The competition started</b> last year and is based on the nomination by the different materials science societies across Europe, currently 23 member societies. Vinh Tu was selected to represent Sweden on behalf of the Swedish Society for Materials Technology (SFMT) and he <span style="background-color:initial">was surprised by the nomination:</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><strong>“I feel very honored</strong> and happy that I got to participate in the competition. It was also very fun to attend such a large conference with so many interesting presentations. This couldn’t have been possible without the constant support of my supervisors at the division.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div></div> <div><b>“This is really outstanding</b>, and I think it’s quite a success story for Vinh as well as for our department. I also found it particularly remarkable that Vinh as a student from Applied Mechanics wins an award from Materials Science community.​</div> <div><span></span><span></span><div><b><br /></b></div> <div><b>FACTS</b></div> <div><b>Title of Vinh's thesis and presentation: </b><a href="">Modelling and finite element simulation of the bifunctional performance of a microporous Structural Battery Electrolyte</a> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/vinh-tu.aspx">Vinh Tu​</a> is </span><span style="background-color:initial">now a PhD student at the Divison of Material and Computational Mechanics</span><br /></div> <div><b><br /></b></div> <div><b>Supervisors:</b> Ralf Jänicke, Leif Asp, <span style="background-color:initial">Fredrik Larsson </span><span style="background-color:initial">and Kenneth Runesson, all from the Division of Material and Computational Mechanics, Department of Industrial and Materials Science​</span></div> <span></span><div></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><b><a href="">Learn more about FEMS</a></b> <em>Note: the web page isn't updated with the 2019's result yet.</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text and photo: Carina Schultz</em></div> <div><div></div> </div></div></div>Thu, 12 Sep 2019 01:00:00 +0200 the periodic table at high pressure<p><b>​The periodic table has been a vital foundational tool for material research since it was first created 150 years ago. Now, Martin Rahm from Chalmers University of Technology presents a new article which adds an entirely new dimension to the table, offering a new set of principles for material research. The article is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The study maps how both the electronegativity and the electron configuration of elements change under pressure. These findings offer materials researchers an entirely new set of tools. Primarily, it means it is now possible to make quick predictions about how certain elements will behave at different pressures, without requiring experimental testing or computationally expensive quantum mechanical calculations. </span><div><br /><div>“Currently, searching for those interesting compounds which appear at high pressure requires a large investment of time and resources, both computationally and experimentally. As a consequence, only a tiny fraction of all possible compounds has been investigated. The work we are presenting can act as a guide to help explain what to look for and which compounds to expect when materials are placed under high pressure,” says Martin Rahm, Assistant Professor in Chemistry at Chalmers, who led the study. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>At high pressures the properties of atoms can change radically. The new study shows how the electron configuration and electronegativity of atoms change as pressure increases. Electron configuration is fundamental to the structure of the periodic table. It determines which group in the system different elements belong to. Electronegativity is also a central concept to chemistry and can be viewed as a third dimension of the periodic table. It indicates how strongly different atoms attract electrons. Together, electron configuration and electronegativity are important for understanding how atoms react with one another to form different substances. At high pressure, atoms which normally do not combine can create new, never before seen compounds with unique properties. Such materials can inspire researchers to try other methods for creating them under more normal conditions, and give us new insight into how our world works. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“At high pressure, extremely fascinating chemical structures with unusual qualities can arise, and reactions that are impossible under normal conditions can occur. A lot of what we as chemists know about elements’ properties under ambient conditions simply doesn’t hold true any longer. You can basically take a lot of your chemistry education and throw it out the window! In the dimension of pressure there is an unbelievable number of new combinations of atoms to investigate” says Martin Rahm.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A well-known example of what can happen at high pressure is how diamonds can be formed from graphite. Another example is polymerisation of nitrogen gas, where nitrogen atoms are forced together to bond in a three-dimensional network. These two high-pressure materials are very unlike one another. Whereas carbon retains its diamond structure, polymerised nitrogen is unstable and reverts back to gas form when the pressure is released. If the polymer structure of nitrogen could be maintained at normal pressures, it would without doubt be the most energy dense chemical compound on Earth. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Currently, several research groups use high pressures to create superconductors – materials which can conduct electricity without resistance. Some of these high-pressure superconductors function close to room temperature. If such a material could be made to work at normal pressure, it would be revolutionary, enabling, for example, lossless power transfer and cheaper magnetic levitation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“First and foremost, our study offers exciting possibilities for suggesting new experiments that can improve our understanding of the elements. Even if many materials resulting from such experiments prove unstable at normal pressure, they can give us insights into which properties and phenomena are possible. The steps thereafter will be to find other ways to reach the same results,” says Martin Rahm.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read the article <a href="">‘Squeezing All Elements in the Periodic Table: Electron Configuration and Electronegativity of the Atoms under Compression’</a> in the Journal of the American Chemistry Society. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>High pressure research: </strong></div> <div>The research has theoretically predicted how the nature of 93 of the 118 elements of the periodic table changes as pressure increases from 0 pascals up to 300 gigapascals (GPa). 1 GPa is about 10,000 times the pressure of the Earth’s surface. 360 GPa corresponds to the extremely high pressure found near the Earth’s core. Technology to recreate this pressure exists in different laboratories, for example, using diamond anvil cells or shock experiments. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The pressure that we are used to on Earth’s surface is actually rather uncommon, seen from a larger perspective. In addition to facilitating for high pressure material synthesis on Earth, our work can also enable a better understanding of processes occurring on other planets and moons. For example, in the largest sea in the solar system, many miles under the surface of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. Or inside the giant planets, where the pressure is enormous,” says Martin Rahm. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The work was done using a mathematical model, in which each atom was placed in the middle of a spherical cavity. The effect of increased pressure was simulated through gradual reduction of the volume of the sphere. The physical properties of the atoms in different stages of compression could then be calculated using quantum mechanics.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More information: </strong></div> <div>At high pressure, atoms and molecules come closer together, and take on different atomic and electronic structures. A consequence of this is that materials that are usually semi-conductors or insulators can transform into metals. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Only some materials that form at high pressure retain their structure and properties when returned to ambient pressure. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research was done together with colleagues Roberto Cammi, University of Parma, as well as Neil Ashcroft and Nobel prize winner Roald Hoffmann, both at Cornell University. </div> <div><br /></div> </div>Wed, 14 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0200