News: Materialvetenskap related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 03 Jul 2020 14:40:16 +0200 material to protect us from various pandemics<p><b>​A new material that can kill bacteria has now shown early promise in de-activation of viruses, including certain coronaviruses. The material, developed by researchers at Chalmers, is now being evaluated against SARS-CoV-2, which causes covid-19.</b></p><div>​The novel material, recently presented in a doctoral thesis, has proven to be very effective in killing common infection causing bacteria, including those that are resistant to antibiotics such as MRSA and a E. coli superbugs.<br /></div> <div>The basis of the research is a unique and patented technology where microbe-killing peptides are combined with a nanostructured material. So far, it has been targeted towards bacteria, but with the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the researchers started a study to <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/porträtt_martin_320%20x%20400.jpg" alt="" style="height:229px;width:180px;margin:5px" />understand if the material would work against the virus. <br /><br />“Similar peptides that we work with have previously shown to be effective against various other coronaviruses, including those that have caused the outbreaks of SARS and MERS. Our premise is that the antimicrobial effect of our peptides seen on bacteria can be also be used to inactivate the coronavirus, says Martin Andersson”, research leader and professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.<br /> </div> <div>Tests with the new material on another human coronavirus has shown promising early results where the material deactivated 99.9 percent of the virus. The researchers now see great potential for it to work on SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19. They have initiated collaboration with researchers, based in Gothenburg University/ Sahlgrenska Academy, with access to the SARS-Cov-2.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Can be produced in various forms - mimics the body's immune system</h2> <div>The material can be produced in many different forms such as surface treatments and as small particles. When microbes such as bacteria and viruses come in contact with the material surface, they are rapidly killed, and further spread is prevented. The material can easily be adapted for use in personal protective equipment such as face masks and medical devices including respirators and intubation tubes. This way, the material may offer reliable protection against the current and future pandemics. The researchers see it as valuable technology for our efforts towards pandemic preparedness.<br />   </div> <div>“A surface layer of our new material on face masks would not only stop the passage of the virus but also reduce the risk that it can be transported further, for example when the mask is removed and thus reduce the spread of infection”, explains Martin Andersson.<br />  </div> <div>The strategy is to imitate how the body's immune system fights infectious microbes. Immune cells in our body produce different types of peptides that selectively damage the outer shell of bacteria and viruses. The mechanism is similar to the effect that soap and water has on bacteria and viruses, although, the peptides have higher selectivity and are efficient while totally harmless to human cells. A major advantage is that the way the material works provides a high flexibility and gives it a low sensitivity to mutations. Unlike vaccines, the peptides continue to inactivate the virus even if it mutates. The idea behind the research is to make us less vulnerable and better prepared when the next pandemic comes.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Connection between the ongoing pandemic and antibiotic resistance</h2> <div>As covid-19 unfolds, another healthcare threat, what many call the “silent pandemic” caused by antibiotic resistance has been ongoing for decades. According to WHO, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to humanity. Without drastic action, estimates show that more people are likely to die of bacterial infections than cancer by 2050. Unfortunately, there is a worrying link between the ongoing pandemic and antibiotic resistance. Many covid-19 patients develop secondary bacterial infections which must be treated with antibiotics. According to the researchers, the new material may prove efficient for preventing both the viral and bacterial infections. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Meant to protect health care personnel and individuals</h2> <div>To enable societal benefit from the new technology, the researchers started a company, Amferia AB, with support from Chalmers Innovation Office and Chalmers Ventures. Amferia is based at Astrazeneca BioVentureHub in Mölndal, Sweden.</div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/porträtt_saba_320%20x%20400.jpg" width="320" height="400" alt="" style="height:244px;width:190px;margin:5px" /><br />Earlier this year, Saba Atefyekta defended her PhD at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers. She presented the new material in her doctoral thesis titled &quot;Antibacterial Surfaces for Biomedical Applications&quot;. Saba is one of the founders of Amferia and the company's research manager<br />   </div> <div>“If we are not going to meet a dark future, we must prevent infections from happening. We believe that the materials we develop can help prevent future infections and thus reduce the use of antibiotics, so that we can continue to use these life-protecting medicines in the future”, says Saba Atefyekta</div> <div> </div> <div>When the antiviral effect of the material on the SARS-CoV-2 is confirmed, the next step is to make it rapidly available to protect both healthcare professionals and the general public.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Text: Jenny Jernberg</div> <div>Portrait photo  Saba Atefyekta: Mats Hulander<span style="display:inline-block"></span></div> <br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Complementary fresh news about Amferia</h2> <div>Tuseday 30 June it was announced that Amferia has been selected as a “one to watch” in this year’s Spinoff Prize, which is organized by Nature Research and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.</div> <div> </div></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div>Mon, 29 Jun 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Swedish and mastering microstructures<p><b>Fiona Schulz is new Postdoctoral Researcher at the division of Materials and Manufacture. She started her work at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science this year and will be assisting CAM2&#39;s director Eduard Hryha.</b></p><p><span lang="EN-US"><b>Field of research</b></span><span lang="EN-US"><b>:</b> Additive manufacturing of nickel-based superalloys focusing on the relationship between microstructure and mechanical properties, mainly related to Centre for Additive Manufacture – Metal (CAM2).</span></p> <p><br /></p> <p><b>Give us a short info about you. How did your career start?</b></p> <p>“I grew up in the west of Germany. To explore more corners of the country, I took my BSc in the north, in <a href="">Bremen</a>, and did my course internship at <a href="">ZF Friedrichshafen</a> in the very south at Lake Constance. After that I moved to the point furthest away from any coast on the UK 'island' – as I was welcomed in my first lecture in Birmingham. Here, I discovered that both road cycling and rowing were excellent distractions from doing a PhD.&quot;​<br /></p> <p><br /></p> <p><b>What attracted you to Chalmers?</b></p> <p>&quot;As a University of Technology, Chalmers offers so much potential for research and learning, both in materials science and cross-collaborations. I specifically applied because working at <a href="/en/centres/cam2/Pages/default.aspx" title="link to CAM2 centre" target="_blank">CAM2​</a> is a great opportunity for me to explore metal additive manufacturing (AM), and the role basically described what I wanted to do – applied research!”</p> <p><br /></p> <p><b>What did you do before coming to Chalmers?</b></p> <p>“I did my PhD at the metallurgy and materials department at the <a href="">University of Birmingham</a>. My focus was on the relationship of microstructure and mechanical properties in a nickel superalloy in collaboration with Rolls Royce – not the cars but the aero engines! </p> <p>After that I joined <a href="">Materials Solutions</a> – a Siemens business where I discovered metal AM in an industrial and production environment. There I had the chance to gain experience across the entire manufacturing chain for an AM component. And while it certainly was a very challenging environment, I missed the research a little bit too much…and that’s how I landed here.”</p> <p><br /></p> <p><b>What type of challenges do you find most interesting / what kind of challenges do you foresee?</b></p> <p>“On a research level, one of the big challenges is to understand the microstructure and what it means for the material and component use. </p> <p>On a personal level, I find having multiple research projects going on at the same time both exciting and challenging – as was starting to learn Swedish…where do all those consonants go?!”</p> <p><br /></p> <p><b>How do you see your role as a key player in CAM2?</b></p> <p>“For one, I like being part of a team – and research is really a form of team sport! And considering that nickel superalloys are increasingly important for metal AM and will be a fixed part of its future, my background in these materials will be complementary to the research topics that are already being investigated at the centre. Having gained two years of industry experience also helps navigating the many collaborations between companies and CAM2 and I can offer a perspective on the industrial applications and expectations for metal AM.”</p> <p><br /></p> <p><b>What are you most passionate about in your research?</b></p> <p>“I am fascinated by the fact that the different aspects of microstructure can have such a huge effect on how you can use the material later. And additive manufacturing adds another level of complexity as  we’re still understanding how the processing parameters and post-processing procedures influence the material – AM microstructures can look completely different to what we’re used to from other manufacturing processes.”</p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p><b style="background-color:initial">AM is often mentioned together with sustainability. Can you see some extraordinary possibilities with the method?</b></p> <p>“I see the complete re-thinking of design (component design but also material dependent design)  as a possility. To make systems, like gas turbines for power generation more sustainable, they have to run more efficiently. Reducing weight through clever re-design, improving flowability through surface feature design, and producing near-net-shape parts made of difficult to manufacture high temperature materials are some of the many opportunities available through AM to achieve that.</p> <p><br /></p> <p><br /></p> <p>Read more about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/sfion.aspx">Fiona Schulz</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="link to film on youtube"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Film about her research at University of Birmingham </a></p> <p><br /></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"></span></p> <p>​​<br /></p>Thu, 25 Jun 2020 11:00:00 +0200 quality of recycled plastic needs to be improved<p><b>​​Plastic is a resource that has both environmental and economic reasons to recycle, but today&#39;s recycling system is less developed in some respects. A major problem is that recycled plastic can be unpredictable and of varying quality. Researchers at Chalmers will therefore study how to develop a more reliable and qualitative raw material from the recycled plastic.</b></p><div>The basic and first step in plastic recycling is the initial sorting. The more pollution and indigestible material that goes to the next step, the more expensive and more complicated it becomes to produce a raw material that can be used for new products. It is then necessary to make greater use of purification measures as well as new additives.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The Chalmers project Recycling of collected plastic from packaging will study both how to develop the sorting step and how the plastic can be upgraded through modifications in the later stages of the recycling process. Based on the results, there is an expectation to be able to develop guidelines for the formation of new products, for example adapted process parameters for extrusion and injection molding.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Technical capability will give the industry confidence in the use of recycled plastic</h2> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/plastatervinning_2_340px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px 15px;width:265px;height:239px" />When it comes to the sorting process there is an interest in studying the purity of the plastic. Initially, the focus will be on so-called near-infra-red (NIR) technology, which is a technique where you can determinate which polymers the collected products consist of. The plan is to collaborate with Swedish Plastic Recycling in Motala, which is one of Europe's largest and most modern sorting plants. Other supplementary sorting techniques, in addition to NIR technology, may also be included in the study.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>After the plastic is sorted, there will also be studies on the continued treatment in order to further improve the quality and predictability. Based on detailed studies, guidelines will be drawn up for suitable processes and process parameters for the production of suitable granules that can be used as raw material by industry.</div> <div> </div> <div><em>– </em><em>By reducing the uncertainty about the technical ability of recyclable materials, our expectation is that this project will lead to greater confidence in recycled plastic materials,&quot; says project manager Professor Antal Boldizar.</em></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project also includes production of some selected products in so-called demonstrators. The work with demonstrators will include detailed process studies, mainly of advantageous process parameters in both extrusion and injection molding with regard to microstructure and functional properties of the products. Examples of interesting functional properties are mechanical and thermal properties, shape accuracy, tolerances, surface character and durability.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/Materiallabbet_AntalBoldizar_EzgiNoyan_750x340px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:884px;height:440px" /><br /><em>Antal Boldizar and Ezgi Ceren in the </em><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/production/society-industry/laboratories/mpl/Pages/default.aspx"><em>Materials Processing Laboratory</em></a><em> at Chalmers</em><br /> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">By 2030, in Sweden, all plastic packaging shall consist of renewable or recycled material<br /></h2> <div>As the collection and sorting of plastic packaging increases in society, it is becoming increasingly important to develop the market for recycled plastic. The organization Swedish food retailer federation recently presented a roadmap where plastic packaging will be produced from renewable or recycled raw material before the end of 2030. Therefore, setting standards and quality standards for both sorted plastic waste and recycled plastic are important industrial issues.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Project members</h2> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Project leader professor <a href="/en/staff/Pages/antal-boldizar.aspx">Antal Boldizar</a></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">PhD student <a href="/en/staff/Pages/ezgic.aspx">Ezgi Ceren</a></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Docent <a href="/en/staff/Pages/giadal.aspx">Giada Lo Re</a></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Professor <a href="/en/staff/Pages/christer-persson.aspx">Christer Persson</a></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Financier</h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.5pt;line-height:107%">Plastkretsen AB:s Stiftelse för forskning</span></p> <div> </div> <div>  </div></div>Thu, 28 May 2020 00:00:00 +0200 spreadable way to stabilise solid state batteries<p><b>Solid state batteries are of great interest to the electric vehicle industry. Scientists at Chalmers and Xi&#39;an Jiaotong University, China now present a new way of taking this promising concept closer to large-scale application. An interlayer, made of a spreadable, ‘butter-like’ material helps improve the current density tenfold, while also increasing performance and safety.​​​​​​​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Shizhao_Xiong_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Porträtt av forskaren Shizhao Xiong " style="margin:5px;width:170px;height:150px" /><div>“This interlayer makes the battery cell significantly more stable, and therefore able to withstand much higher current density. What is also important is that it is very easy to apply the soft mass onto the lithium metal anode in the battery – like spreading butter on a sandwich,” says researcher Shizhao Xiong at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Alongside Chalmers Professor Aleksandar Matic and Professor Song's research group in Xi'an, Shizhao Xiong has been working for a long time on crafting a suitable interlayer to stabilise the interface for solid state battery. The new results were recently presented in the prestigious scientific journal Advanced Functional Materials.</div> <div><br /></div></span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/solidstatebatterilabb750x.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Bild från batterilabbet på Fysik på Chalmers." style="margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:5px;margin-left:10px;height:263px;width:350px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><div>Solid state batteries could revolutionise electric transport. Unlike today's lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries have a solid electrolyte and therefore contain no environmentally harmful or flammable liquids.</div> <div>Simply put, a solid-state battery can be likened to a dry sandwich. A layer of the metal lithium acts as a slice of bread, and a ceramic substance is laid on top like a filling. This hard substance is the solid electrolyte of the battery, which transports lithium ions between the electrodes of the battery. But the ‘sandwich’ is so dry, it is difficult to keep it together – and there are also problems caused by the compatibility between the ‘bread’ and the ‘topping’. Many researchers around the world are working to develop suitable resolutions to address this problem.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The material which the researchers in Gothenburg and Xi'an are now working with is a soft, spreadable, ‘butter-like’ substance, made of nanoparticles of the ceramic electrolyte, LAGP, mixed with an ionic liquid. The liquid encapsulates the LAGP particles and makes the interlayer soft and protective. The material, which has a similar texture to butter from the fridge, fills several functions and can be spread easily.</div> <div>Although the potential of solid-state batteries is very well known, there is as yet no established way of making them sufficiently stable, especially at high current densities, when a lot of energy is extracted from a battery cell very quickly, that is at fast charge or discharge. The Chalmers researchers see great potential in the development of this new interlayer.</div></span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/AleksandarMatic_200314_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Porträtt av professor Aleksandar Matic" style="margin:5px;height:150px;width:170px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><div><br /></div> <div>&quot;This is an important step on the road to being able to manufacture large-scale, cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly batteries that deliver high capacity and can be charged and discharged at a high rate,&quot; says Aleksandar Matic, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, who predicts that solid state batteries will be on the market within five years.</div> <div><br /></div></span></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the scientific paper in </a><span style="font-size:10pt;background-color:initial"><a href="">Advanced Functional Materials.</a></span></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and dowload high resolution images. ​</a></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><strong>Text and photo​: </strong>Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Caption: </span><span style="background-color:initial">A large part of the experimental work on developing a multifunctional spreadable interlayer for the solid-state batteries of the future has been done in the battery lab at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the scientific paper </h2> <div>The paper <a href="">”Design of a Multifunctional Interlayer for NASCION‐Based Solid‐State Li Metal Batteries”</a>  has been published in Advanced Functional Materials. It is written by <span style="background-color:initial">Shizhao Xiong, Yangyang Liu, Piotr Jankowski, Qiao Liu, Florian Nitze, Kai Xie, Jiangxuan Song and Aleksandar Matic. </span></div> <div>The researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, China, the Technical University of Denmark and the National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, Hunan, China.</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contact: </h2> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Shizhao-Xiong.aspx">Shizhao Xiong</a></strong>, Post doc, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 62 84, <a href=""> </a></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Aleksandar-Matic.aspx">Aleksandar Matic​</a></strong>, Professor, <span style="background-color:initial">Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology,</span><span style="background-color:initial"> +46 </span><span style="background-color:initial">31 772 51 76, </span><a href=""> ​</a></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Further battery research at Chalmers​</h2> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Testbed-for-electromobility-gets-575-million-SEK.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Testbed for electromobility gets 575 million SEK​​</a><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-new-concept-could-make-more-environmentally-friendly-batteries-possible-.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />A new concept for more sustainable batteries</a></div> <div><span></span><a href="/sv/institutioner/fysik/nyheter/Sidor/Grafensvamp-kan-gora-framtidens-batterier-mer-effektiva.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#5b97bf"><b><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Graphene_sponge_paves_the_way_for_future_batteries.aspx">Graphene sponge paves the way for future batteries​</a></b></font></span></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="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#5b97bf"><b><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></b></font></span></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 – more effective than ever before</a></div>Tue, 19 May 2020 07:00:00 +0200 enables a more robust electrical system<p><b>​​The use of more renewable energy sources in Europe will rely on the smart electric grids, able to distribute and store energy matching production and demand. Circuit breakers are safety-critical components of electric grids, associated with very high and recurring maintenance costs. By adding graphene to the circuit breakers, the electrical system will become more robust and reduce the costs of maintenance drastically.</b></p><div>Low voltage circuit breakers, common in domestic and industrial applications, need grease to function properly. The grease is applied to all circuit breakers during manufacturing. The problem is that the grease stiffens and dries out with age and has a narrow temperature range. This leads to a metal-to-metal wear that must be serviced at high maintenance costs, and to an increased risk of circuit breaker failure. Lack of lubrication is the number one problem that test technicians find when servicing circuit breakers in the field. </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Self-lubrication properties enables maintenance free operation</h2></div> <div> </div> <div>Graphene is a material with self-lubricating properties; the Swedish company ABB, partner of the Graphene Flagship research program, has recently demonstrated that multifunctional graphene-metal composite coatings could improve the tribological (interactive surfaces in relative motion) performance of metal contacts. ABB will thus lead a new project, starting in April 2020, with the aim to take such graphene-based composites to commercial applications.</div> <div> </div> <div>The project, named “Circuitbreakers” is one of eleven selected Spearhead projects funded by the Graphene Flagship, Europe’s biggest initiative on graphene research, involving more than 140 universities and industries located in 21 countries. Chalmers University of Technology is the coordinator of the Graphene Flagship. </div> <div> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Prototype for industrial use</h3></div> <div> </div> <div>All spearheads will start in April 2020, building on previous scientific work performed in the Graphene Flagship in last years. The aim of the Circuitbreakers project is to develop a fully functional and tested prototype ready for industrial implementation in just three years. This new generation of circuit breakers will be self-lubricant and have a wider temperature range than existing circuit breaker options. This will enable maintenance-free operation, which will save business huge costs and reduce the risk on any undesired outage of the electrical system due to circuit breaker failure.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Extensive experience of graphene- and graphene-based composites</h2></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/VincenzoPalermo.png" alt="Vincezo Palermo" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px 15px;width:141px;height:155px" />Prof. Vincenzo Palermo and Dr. Jinhua Sun from the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Technology will support ABB in the spearhead project providing new solutions to process graphene in coatings, to fabricate graphene-enhanced circuit breaker prototypes for practical application in the industrial scale. The research group has more than ten years of research experience in graphene and graphene-based composites. Their knowledge on characterization and processing of graphene-based materials will help industrial partners to select the appropriate graphene raw materials. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/JinhuaSunChalmers.jpg" alt="Jinhua Sun" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px 10px;width:235px;height:178px" />Prof. Palermo and Dr. Sun will help work on developing new chemical procedures and industrial applicable processing methods to coat graphene on the major component of circuit breakers. In addition, the advanced characterization techniques available at Chalmers Materials Analysis Laboratory (CMAL) will be important to evaluate the added value of graphene on the performance of circuit breaker.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More information: </h2> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">About the Graphene Flagship</h3></div> <div> <a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Partners</h3> <div> The Circuitbreakers Spearhead project is a multidisciplinary project that consists of both academic and industrial partners. The industrial partners are ABB (Sweden), Nanesa (Italy) and Graphmatech AB (Sweden). </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Funding</h3> <div>The Graphene Flagship is one of the largest research projects funded by the European Commission. With a budget of €1 billion over 10 years, it represents a new form of joint, coordinated research, forming Europe's biggest ever research initiative. The Flagship is tasked with bringing together academic and industrial researchers to take graphene from academic laboratories into European society, thus generating economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span>Chalmers University of Technology as a core partner will receive 481,000 Euro to work in the Circuitbreakers Spearhead project, which will formally start from April 2020 with a total period of 3 years.<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /></div>Thu, 23 Apr 2020 09:00:00 +0200 nanoplatelets prevent infections<p><b>​Graphite nanoplatelets integrated into plastic medical surfaces can prevent infections, killing 99.99 per cent of bacteria which try to attach – a cheap and viable potential solution to a problem which affects millions, costs huge amounts of time and money, and accelerates antibiotic resistance. This is according to research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, in the journal Small.​</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>Every year, over four million people in Europe are affected by infections contracted during health-care procedures, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Many of these are bacterial infections which develop around medical devices and implants within the body, such as catheters, hip and knee prostheses or dental implants. In worst cases implants need to be removed.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Bacterial infections like this can cause great suffering for patients, and cost healthcare services huge amounts of time and money. Additionally, large amounts of antibiotics are currently used to treat and prevent such infections, costing more money, and accelerating the development of antibiotic resistance.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The purpose of our research is to develop antibacterial surfaces which can reduce the number of infections and subsequent need for antibiotics, and to which bacteria cannot develop resistance. We have now shown that tailored surfaces formed of a mixture of polyethylene and graphite nanoplatelets can kill 99.99 per cent of bacteria which try to attach to the surface,” says Santosh Pandit, postdoctoral researcher in the research group of Professor Ivan Mijakovic at the Division of Systems Biology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​&quot;Outstanding antibacterial effects&quot;</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Infections on implants are caused by bacteria that travel around in the body in fluids such as blood, in search of a surface to attach to. When they land on a suitable surface, they start to multiply and form a biofilm – a bacterial coating.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Previous studies from the Chalmers researchers showed how vertical flakes of graphene, placed on the surface of an implant, could form a protective coating, making it impossible for bacteria to attach – like spikes on buildings designed to prevent birds from nesting. The graphene flakes damage the cell membrane, killing the bacteria. But producing these graphene flakes is expensive, and currently not feasible for large-scale production.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“But now, we have achieved the same outstanding antibacterial effects, but using relatively inexpensive graphite nanoplatelets, mixed with a very versatile polymer. The polymer, or plastic, is not inherently compatible with the graphite nanoplatelets, but with standard plastic manufacturing techniques, we succeeded in tailoring the microstructure of the material, with rather high filler loadings , to achieve the desired effect. And now it has great potential for a number of biomedical applications,” says Roland Kádár, Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​No damage to human cells</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The nanoplatelets on the surface of the implants prevent bacterial infection but, crucially, without damaging healthy human cells. Human cells are around 25 times larger than bacteria, so while the graphite nanoplatelets slice apart and kill bacteria, they barely scratch a human cell. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“In addition to reducing patients’ suffering and the need for antibiotics, implants like these could lead to less requirement for subsequent work, since they could remain in the body for much longer than those used today,” says Santosh Pandit. “Our research could also contribute to reducing the enormous costs that such infections cause health care services worldwide .”</p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​Correct orientation is the decisive factor</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In the study, the researchers experimented with different concentrations of graphite nanoplatelets and the plastic material. A composition of around 15-20 per cent graphite nanoplatelets had the greatest antibacterial effect – providing that the morphology is highly structured.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“As in the previous study, the decisive factor is orienting and distributing the graphite nanoplatelets correctly. They have to be very precisely ordered to achieve maximum effect,” says Roland Kádár.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The study was a collaboration between the Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, and the Division of Engineering Materials at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers, and the medical company Wellspect Healthcare, who manufacture catheters, among other things. The antibacterial surfaces were developed by Karolina Gaska when she was a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Associate Professor Roland Kádár. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The researchers’ future efforts will now be focused on unleashing the full potential of the antibacterial surfaces for specific biomedical applications.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read the scientific article in the scientific journal Small</strong></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#333333"><a href="">Precontrolled Alignment of Graphite Nanoplatelets in Polymeric Composites Prevents Bacterial Attachment​</a></font></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read the previous news text, from April 2018</strong></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Spikes-of-graphene-can-kill-bacteria-on-implants.aspx">Spikes of graphene can kill bacteria on implants​</a></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Text:</strong> Susanne Nilsson Lindh and Joshua Worth<br /><strong>Ilustration:</strong> Yen Strandqvist</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Mon, 23 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0100​Graphene cleans water more effectively<p><b>​Billions of cubic meters of water are consumed each year. However, lots of the water resources such as rivers, lakes and groundwater are continuously contaminated by discharges of chemicals from industries and urban area. It’s an expensive and demanding process to remove all the increasingly present contaminants, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, perfluorinated compounds, heavy metals and pathogens. Graphil is a project that aims to create a market prototype for a new and improved way to purify water, using graphene.</b></p><div>Graphene enhanced filters for water purification (GRAPHIL) is one of eleven selected spearhead projects funded by The Graphene Flagship, Europe’s biggest initiative on graphene research, involving more than 140 universities and industries located in 21 countries. Chalmers is the coordinator of the Graphene Flagship. </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The purpose of the spearhead projects which will start in April 2020, building on previous scientific work, is to take graphene-enabled prototypes to commercial applications. Planned to end in 2023, the project aims to produce a compact filter that can be connected directly onto a household sink or used as a portable water purifying device, to ensure all households have access to safe drinking water.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/VincenzoPalermo.png" alt="Vincenzo Palermo" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:10px;width:196px;height:216px" /><br />&quot;This is a brand-new research line for Chalmers in the Graphene flagship, and it will be a strategic one. The purification of water is a key societal challenge for both rich and poor countries and will become more and more important in the next future. In Graphil, hopefully we will use our knowledge of graphene chemistry to produce a new generation of water purification system via interface engineering of graphene-polysulfone nanocomposites,&quot; says Vincenzo Palermo, professor at the Department of industrial and materials science. </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Graphene enhanced filters outperforms other water purification techniques</h2> <div>Most of the water purification processes today are based on several different techniques. These are adsorption on granular activated carbon that removes organic contaminants, membrane filtration that removes for example, bacteria or large pollutants, and reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis is the only technique today that can remove organic or inorganic emerging concern contaminants with high efficiency. Reverse osmosis has however high electrical and chemical costs both from the operation and the maintenance of the system. </div> <div> </div> <div>Many existing contaminants present in Europe’s water sources, including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides and surfactants, are also resistant to conventional purification technologies. Consequently, the number of cases of contamination of ground and even drinking water is rapidly increasing throughout the world, and it is matter of great environmental concern due to their potential effect on the human health and ecosystem.</div> <div> </div> <div>Graphil is instead proposing to use graphene related material polymer composites. Thanks to the unique properties of graphene, the composite material favours the absorption of organic molecules. Its properties also allow the material to bind ions and metals, thus reducing the number of inorganic contaminants in water. Furthermore, unlike typical reverse osmosis, granular activated carbon and microfiltration train systems, the graphene system will provide a much simpler set up for users. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/Grafenprov.jpg" alt="Grafenprov" style="margin:5px;width:660px;height:309px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Graphil will not just replace all the old techniques, but significantly out-perform them both in efficiency and cost. The filter works as a simple microfiltration membrane, and this simplicity requires lower operation pressures, amounting in reduced water loss and lower maintenance costs for end users.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Upscaling the technique for industrial use</h2> <div>Chalmers has, in collaboration with other partners of the Graphene Flagship, investigated during the last years the fundamental structure-property relationships of graphene related material and polysulfones composition in water purification. A filter has then been successfully developed and validated in an industrial environment by the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) and the water filtration supplier Medica.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Now the task is to integrate the results and prove that the production can be upscaled in a complete system for commercial use.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Prof. Vincenzo Palermo and Dr. Zhenyuan Xia from the department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers will support Graphil with advanced facilities for chemical, structural and mechanical characterization and processing of graphene oriented-polymer composite on the Kg scale. Chalmers’ role in the project will be to perform chemical functionalization of the graphene oxide and of the polymer fibers used in the filters, to enhance their compatibility and their performance in capturing organic contaminants.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/ZhenyuanXia_grafenprov_600px.jpg" alt="Zhenyuan Xia" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:15px 10px;width:295px;height:207px" /><br />&quot;We are very excited to begin this new activity in collaboration with partners from United Kingdom, France and Italy, and I hope that my previous ten years’ international working experience in Italy and Sweden will help us to better fulfil this project,&quot; says Zhenyuan Xia, researcher at the Department of industrial and materials science. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Partners</h2> <div>Graphil is a multidisciplinary project that consists of both academic and industry partners. The academic partners include Chalmers, the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) and the University of Manchester. The industrial partners are Icon Lifesaver, Medica SpA and Polymem S.A – all European industry leaders in the water purification sector. The aim is to have a working filter prototype that can be commercialized by the industry for household water treatment and portable water purification.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Funding</h2> <div>The Graphene Flagship is one of the largest research projects funded by the European Commission. With a budget of €1 billion over 10 years, it represents a new form of joint, coordinated research, forming Europe's biggest ever research initiative. The Flagship is tasked with bringing together academic and industrial researchers to take graphene from academic laboratories into European society, thus generating economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities.</div> <div> </div> <div>The total budget of the spearhead project GRAPHIL will be 4.88 million EURO and it will start from April 2020 with a total period of 3 years.</div>Sun, 22 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0100 rubber-like material could replace human tissue<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have created a new, rubber-like material with a unique set of properties, which could act as a replacement for human tissue in medical procedures. The material has the potential to make a big difference to many people&#39;s lives. The research was recently published in the highly regarded scientific journal ACS Nano.</b></p><div>​In the development of medical technology products, there is a great demand for new naturalistic materials suitable for integration with the body. Introducing materials into the body comes with many risks, such as serious infections, among other things. Many of the substances used today, such as Botox, are very toxic. There is a need for new, more adaptable materials.</div> <div>In the new study, the Chalmers researchers developed a material consisting solely of components that have already been shown to work well in the body. </div> <div>The foundation of the material is the same as plexiglass, a material which is common in medical technology applications. Through redesigning its makeup, and through a process called nanostructuring, they gave the newly patented material a unique combination of properties. The researchers' initial intention was to produce a h<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/Anand%20Kumar%20Rajasekharan%20250.jpg" alt="" style="height:147px;width:180px;margin:10px 5px" />ard bone-like material, but they were met with surprising results. </div> <div>“We were really surprised that the material turned to be very soft, flexible and extremely elastic. It would not work as a bone replacement material, we concluded. But the new and unexpected properties made our discovery just as exciting,” says Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, PhD in Materials Science and one of the researchers behind the study.</div> <div>The results showed that the new rubber-like material may be appropriate for many applications which require an uncommon combination of properties – high elasticity, easy processability, and suitability for medical uses. </div> <div>“The first application we are looking at now is urinary catheters. The material can be construct<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/Martin%20Andersson%20172.jpg" alt="" style="height:172px;width:182px;margin:5px" />ed in such a way that prevents bacteria from growing on the surface, meaning it is very well suited for medical uses,” says Martin Andersson, research leader for the study and Professor of Chemistry at Chalmers.</div> <div>The structure of the new nano-rubber material allows its surface to be treated so that it becomes antibacterial, in a natural, non-toxic way. This is achieved by sticking antimicrobial peptides – small proteins which are part of our innate immune system – onto its surface. This can help reduce the need for antibiotics, an important contribution to the fight against growing antibiotic resistance. </div> <div>Because the new material can be injected and inserted via keyhole surgery, it can also help reduce the need for drastic surgery and operations to rebuild parts of the body. The material can be injected via a standard cannula as a viscous fluid, so that it forms its own elastic structures within the body. Or, the material can also be 3D printed into specific structures as required. </div> <div>“There are many diseases where the cartilage breaks down and friction results between bones, causing great pain for the affected person. This material could potentially act as a replacement in those cases,” Martin Andersson continues.</div> <div>A further advantage of the material is that it contains three-dimensionally ordered nanopores. This means it can be loaded with medicine, for various therapeutic purposes such as improving healing and reducing inflammation. This allows for localised treatment, avoiding, for example, having to treat the entire body with drugs, something that could help reduce problems associated with side effects. Since it is non-toxic, it also works well as a filler – the researchers see plastic surgery therefore as another very interesting potential area of application for the new material.</div> <div>“I am now working full time with our newly founded company, Amferia, to get the research out to industry. I have been pleased to see a lot of real interest in our material. It’s promising in terms of achieving our goal, which is to provide real societal benefit,” Anand concludes.</div> <div>Read the study, “<a href="">Tough Ordered Mesoporous Elastomeric Biomaterials Formed at Ambient Conditions</a>” in the scientific journal ACS Nano. </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The path of the research to societal benefit and commercialisation, through start-up company Amferia and Chalmers Ventures</h3> <div>In order for the discovery of the new material to be useful and commercialised, the researchers patented their innovation before the study was published. The patent is owned by <a href="">start-up company Amferia</a>, which was founded by Martin Andersson and Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, two of the researchers behind the study, as well as researcher Saba Atefyekta who recently completed a PhD in Materials Science at Chalmers. Anand is now CEO of Amferia and will drive the application of the new material and development of the company. </div> <div><a href="">Amferia has previously been noted for an antibacterial wound patch developed by the same team</a>. Amferia now has the innovation of both the new nano-rubber and the antibacterial wound patch. The development of the company and the innovations' path to making profit are now being carried out in collaboration with Chalmers Ventures, a subsidiary of Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research: interdisciplinary collaboration at Chalmers</h3> <div>Several of Chalmers’ departments and disciplines were involved in the study. In addition to researchers at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Marianne-Liebi.aspx">Marianne Liebi</a>, Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics, was a co-author of the article. She has developed a technology to make it possible to investigate the order of materials by means of x-ray irradiation, to see how the nanostructures relate to each other in the material. In the ongoing work, an industrially feasible process for production of the material will be developed. This will be done in collaboration with the Department of Industry and Materials Science.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:</h3> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Martin-Andersson.aspx">Martin Andersson</a>, Professor in Chemistry</div> <a href="">Anand Kumar </a><span>Rajasekhara</span>n, PhD in Materials Science and CEO of Amferia <br /><div> </div>Mon, 16 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +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="/sv/personal/redigera/Sidor/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="/sv/personal/Sidor/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="/sv/personal/redigera/Sidor/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="/sv/personal/Sidor/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="/sv/personal/redigera/Sidor/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