News: Materialvetenskaphttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 23 Oct 2020 13:07:42 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Food-and-material---how-can-that-be-combined.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Food-and-material---how-can-that-be-combined.aspxFood and materials - how can that be combined?<p><b>​​Mats Stading is newly elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences&#39; National Committee for Nutrition and Food Science and continues the work of uniting the two areas of food and materials. The aim of the National Committees is to promote research and education in their subject areas, as well as to promote collaboration with related disciplines.</b></p><div>Mats Stading is adjunct professor at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, where his research is mainly focused on biological materials. The research issues include extrusion of proteins and polysaccharides that have applications as barriers in packaging, absorbents for wound care or as matrices for cell culture.</div> <div> </div> <div>– Biopolymers from forests and agriculture often behave like petroleum-based polymers, that is plastics, and can be shaped in a similar way. They are sensitive to water though, which determines the areas of use. This property is excellent for materials that will eventually degrade, but is negative for construction materials, Mats Stading states.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">3D-printed food makes it easier for the elderly to swallow</h2> <div>When Mats is not at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, he works at the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden at Agriculture and Food. His research at RISE deals with food of the future rather than with biomaterials. The RISE research group in Product Design develops food for the elderly with swallowing difficulties, plant-based alternatives to meat, cultured muscles, personalized, 3D-printed food and new advanced analytical methods. Unlike construction materials, food is 3D-printed from a viscoelastic paste which is then solidified or heat-treated. The technology is well suited for personalised food with a specific texture, nutritional content, taste or appearance. Many seniors experience difficulties in swallowing as they get older (40% of everyone over the age of 70) and need food with an adjusted consistency. It should be easy to chew and swallow but still resemble ordinary food as much as possible. A solution is to print a puree of, for example broccoli mixed with egg that exactly looks and tastes like a broccoli bouquet but has the right consistency for safe swallowing.</div> <div> </div> <div>A common theme for Mats’ research is flow behaviour, or rheology, for various systems.</div> <div> </div> <div>– Food and materials may seem to be two completely different areas, but the basic materials science is the same. To extrude a foamed protein or starch material, we must control the flow behaviour in the extruder. The resulting porous material can be used equally well as shock absorbers in packaging, for cell culture or as cheese doodles. The materials and science are the same even though the applications are completely different, Mats explains.</div> <div> </div> <div> Read more about the research group <a href="/en/departments/ims/research/em/polymera/Pages/default.aspx">Polymeric materials and composites</a></div>Fri, 23 Oct 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Groundbreaking-research.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Groundbreaking-research.aspxGroundbreaking research into solar energy in EU-project<p><b>​Over the last few years, a specially designed molecule and an energy system with unique abilities for capturing and storing solar power have been developed by a group of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Now, an EU project led by Chalmers will develop prototypes of the new technology for larger scale applications, such as heating systems in residential houses. The project has been granted 4.3 million Euros from the EU.</b></p><div>In order to make full use of solar energy, we need to be able to store and release it on demand. In several scientific articles over the last few years, a group of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated how their specially designed molecule and solar energy system, named MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage System), can offer a solution to that challenge and become a<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Kasper%20Moth-Poulsen%20MOST/Kasper_Moth_Poulsen_labb-320-x-350-A.gif" alt="" style="height:207px;width:230px;margin:5px" /> vital tool in the conversion to fossil-free energy.<br />The technology has generated great interest worldwide. With the MOST system, solar energy can be captured, stored for up to 18 years, transported without any major losses, and later released as heat when and where it is needed. The results achieved in the lab by the researchers are clear, but now more experience is needed to see how MOST can be used in real applications and at a larger scale.</div> <div>“The goal for this EU-project is to develop prototypes of MOST technology to verify potential for large-scale production, and to improve functionality of the system,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen, coordinator of the project, and Professor and research leader at the Department for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Pushing towards products for real applications</h2> <div>Within the project, the technology will be developed to become more efficient, less expensive and greener, thereby pushing towards products that can be used for real applications. Strong research teams from universities and institutes in Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany will connect and work together.</div> <div>“A very exciting aspect of the project is how we are combining excellent interdisciplinary research in molecule design along with knowledge in hybrid technology for energy capture, heat-release and low-energy building design,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Using the molecule in blinds and windows</h2> <div>Advances in the development of MOST technology have so far exceeded all expectations. The first, very simple – yet successful – demonstrations took place in Chalmers’ laboratories. Among other things, the researchers used the technology in a window film to even out the temperature on sunny and hot days and create a more pleasant indoor climate. Outside the EU project, application of the molecule in blinds and windows has begun, through the spin-off company Solartes AB.  </div> <div> “With this funding, the development we can now do in the MOST project may lead to new solar driven and emissions-free solutions for heating in residential and industrial applications. This project is heading into a very important and exciting stage,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about: The function of the MOST technology </h2> <div>The technology is based on a specially designed molecule which when hit by sunlight changes shape into an energy-rich isomer – a molecule made up of the same atoms but arranged together in a different way. The isomer can then be stored for later use when needed, such as at night or in winter. The researchers have refined the system to the point that it is now possible to store the energy for up to 18 years. A specially designed catalyst releases the saved energy as heat while returning the molecule to its original shape, so it can then be reused in the heating system.</div> <div>Earlier press releases about MOST:</div> <div>•    <a href="https://news.cision.com/chalmers/r/window-film-could-even-out-the-indoor-temperature-using-solar-energy%2cc3205508">Window film could even out the indoor temperature using solar energy</a></div> <div>•    <a href="https://news.cision.com/chalmers/r/emissions-free-energy-system-saves-heat-from-the-summer-sun-for-winter%2cc3179315">Emissions-free energy system saves heat from the summer sun for winter</a></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about: The EU project</h2> <div>The EU project, which is also named Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Systems, will extend over 3.5 years and has been allocated 4.3 million Euros. Partners in the project Include: Chalmers University of Technology, University of Copenhagen, University of Rioja, Fraunhofer Institute, ZAE Bayern and Johnson Matthey. At Chalmers, researchers from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering will participate.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about: Great impact and attention globally</h2> <div>As the Chalmers researchers have published their results, interest in MOST has grown all over the world. In the last 18 months, over 400 articles about MOST have been published in international media. CNN, the BBC, and Bloomberg are just a few examples of major news outlets that have published features and interviews with Kasper Moth Poulsen.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Funding from the European Union</h2> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Kasper%20Moth-Poulsen%20MOST/flag_yellow_low_100px.jpg" alt="" style="height:49px;width:70px;margin:0px 5px" />This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 951801.<br /> </div>Mon, 05 Oct 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/Materials-science-photo-exhibition.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/Materials-science-photo-exhibition.aspxMaterials science photo exhibition at Gothenburg Science Festival<p><b>As part of the 2020 Gothenburg Science Festival, a photo exhibition premieres this week, showing the beauty of materials science. Images produced by materials science researchers at Chalmers and University of Gothenburg take us on a journey into a world invisible to the naked eye! Since the festival is mostly digital this year, the photo exhibition has been published in the form of a digital magazine.​</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>The images are submissions to a photo contest organized over the last five years by the Materials Science Area of Advance at Chalmers. With newly added image descriptions in both Swedish and English, the photos tell stories of how materials science contributes to the development of a sustainable society.</span></p> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>The exhibition is open for all and free of charge! </span></p></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><a href="https://chalmersmaterialsscience.reader.mywomags.com/Material-i-narbild/">Visit the online exhibition</a></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Dessutom kommer några av de forskare som bidragit att vara med i en livesändning på Vetenskapsfestivalens hemsida den 4 oktober kl 16.00-16.50. Då kommer vi samtala (på svenska) om bakgrunden till bilderna och hur de kom till.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="https://program.vetenskapsfestivalen.se/activity/index/904/2020-10-04">Läs mer om livesändningen på Vetenskapsfestivalens hemsida​</a></p></div> <div> </div>Wed, 30 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Areas-of-Advance-Award-for-wireless-centre-collaboration.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Areas-of-Advance-Award-for-wireless-centre-collaboration.aspxAreas of Advance Award for wireless centre collaboration<p><b>​Collaboration is the key to success. Jan Grahn and Erik Ström, who have merged two Chalmers competence centres, GigaHertz and ChaseOn, to form a consortium with 26 parties, know this for sure. Now they receive the Areas of Advance Award 2020 for their efforts.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">A competence centre is a platform for knowledge exchange and joint projects. Here, academia and external parties gather to create new knowledge and innovation. The projects are driven by need, and can be initiated from industry – who have a problem to solve – or from the research community, as new research results have generated solutions that may be applied in industry.</span><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Stronger as one unit</h2> <div>The competence centre GigaHertz focuses on electronics for high frequencies, while ChaseOn focuses on antenna systems and signal processing. They overlap in microwave technology research, which is relevant for communication and health care, as well as defense and space industry. And even if some areas differ between the two centres, numerous points of contact have been developed over the years. The two directors – Jan Grahn, Professor at Microtechnology and Nanoscience, and Erik Ström, Professor at Electrical Engineering – saw that close collaboration would result in obvious advantages. In 2017, the two centres therefore formed a joint consortium, bringing together a large number of national and international companies.</div> <div>“Formally, we are still two centres, but we have a joint agreement that makes it easy to work together”, says Erik Ström.</div> <div>“For Chalmers, it is a great strength that we are now able to see the whole picture, beyond departmental boundaries and research groups, and create a broad collaboration with the companies. This is an excellent example of how Chalmers can gather strength as one unit”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Multiplicity of applications</h2> <div>Technology for heat treatment of cancer, detection of foreign objects in baby food, antenna systems for increased traffic safety, components to improve Google’s quantum computer, 5G technology and amplifiers for the world’s largest radio telescope… The list of things that have sprung from the two competence centres is long. The technical development has, of course, been extreme; in 2007, as GigaHertz and ChaseOn were launched in their current forms, the Iphone hit the market for the very first time. Technology that today is seen as a natural part of everyday life – such as mobile broadband, now almost a necessity alongside electricity and water for most of us – was difficult to access or, at least, not to be taken for granted.</div> <div>The companies have also changed, which is noticeable in the flora of partners, not least for GigaHertz.</div> <div>“In the early 2000s, when our predecessor CHACH centre existed, the collaboration with Ericsson was dominant. Today, we collaborate with a much greater diversity of companies. We have seen an entrepreneurial revolution with many small companies, and even though the technology is basically the same, we are now dealing with a multiplicity of applications”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <div>As technology and applications developed and changed, the points of contact between the two centres grew, and this is also what initiated the merger:</div> <div>“When we started, in 2007, we were competing centres. The centres developed completely independently of each other, but have now grown into one. The technical convergence could not be ignored, we simply needed to start talking to each other across competence boundaries – which in the beginning was not so easy, even though today we view this as the obvious way forward”, says Erik Ström.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Research to benefit society</h2> <div>The knowledge centres are open organisations, where new partners join and collaborations may also come to an end. Several companies are sometimes involved together in one project. Trust and confidence are important components and take time to build. One ground-rule for activities is the focus on making research useful in society in the not too distant future.</div> <div>Chalmers Information and Communication Technology Area of Advance can take some of the credit for the successful collaboration between GigaHertz and ChaseOn, according to the awardees.</div> <div>“Contacts between centres were initiated when I was Director of the Area of Advance”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <div>“The Areas of Advance show that we can collaborate across departmental boundaries, they point to opportunities that exist when you work together.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">They believe in a bright future</h2> <div>The competence centres are partly financed by Vinnova, who has been nothing but positive about the merger of the two. Coordination means more research for the money; partly through synergy effects and partly by saving on costs in management and administration.</div> <div>The financed period for both GigaHertz and ChaseOn expires next year. But the two professors are positive, and above all point to the strong support from industry.</div> <div>“Then, of course, we need a governmental financier, or else we must revise the way we work. I hope that Vinnova gives us the opportunity to continue”, says Erik Ström.</div> <div>“The industry definitely wants a continuation. But they cannot, and should not, pay for everything. If they were to do so, we would get a completely different type of collaboration. The strength lies in sharing risks in the research activities by everyone contributing funds and, first and foremost, competence”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">“Incredibly fun”</h2> <div>Through their way of working, Erik Ström and Jan Grahn have succeeded in renewing and developing collaborations both within and outside Chalmers, attracting new companies and strengthening the position of Gothenburg as an international node for microwave technology. And it is in recognition of their dynamic and holistic leadership, that they now receive the Areas of Advance Award.</div> <div>“This is incredibly fun, and a credit for the entire centre operation, not just for us”, says Erik Ström.</div> <div>“Being a centre director is not always a bed of roses. Getting this award is a fantastic recognition, and we feel great hope for the future”, concludes Jan Grahn.<br /><br /><div><em>Text: Mia Malmstedt</em></div> <div><em>Photo: Yen Strandqvist</em></div> <br /></div> <div><strong>The Areas of Advance Award</strong></div> <div>With the Areas of Advance Award, Chalmers looks to reward employees who have made outstanding contributions in cross-border collaborations, and who, in the spirit of the Areas of Advance, integrate research, education and utilisation. The collaborations aim to strengthen Chalmers’ ability to meet the major global challenges for a sustainable development.<br /><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/ghz/Pages/default.aspx">Read more about GigaHertz centre</a></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/chaseon/Pages/default.aspx">Read more about ChaseOn centre​</a></div> <div>​<br />Areas of Advance Award 2019: <a href="/en/news/Pages/Areas-of-Advance-Award-given-to-research-exploring-the-structure-of-proteins.aspx">Areas of Advance Award for exploring the structure of proteins​</a></div> Thu, 10 Sep 2020 08:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Spin-galvanic-effect-in-graphene-with-topological-topping-demonstrated.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Spin-galvanic-effect-in-graphene-with-topological-topping-demonstrated.aspxSpin-galvanic effect in graphene with topological topping demonstrated<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have demonstrated the spin-galvanic effect, which allows for the conversion of non-equilibrium spin density into a charge current. Here, by combining graphene with a topological insulator, the authors realize a gate-tunable spin-galvanic effect at room temperature. The findings were published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.</b></p>“We believe that this experimental realization will attract a lot of scientific attention and put topological insulators and graphene on the map for applications in spintronic and quantum technologies,” says Associate Professor Saroj Prasad Dash, who leads the research group at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory (QDP), the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2.<br /><br />Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, has extraordinary electronic and spin transport properties. However, electrons in this material experience low interaction of their spin and orbital angular moments, called spin-orbit coupling, which does not allow to achieve tunable spintronic functionality in pristine graphene. On the other hand, unique electronic spin textures and the spin-momentum locking phenomenon in topological insulators are promising for emerging spin-orbit driven spintronics and quantum technologies. <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/dmitrii_2020_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Dmitrii Khokriakov." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><br />However, the utilization of topological insulators poses several challenges related to their lack of electrical gate-tunability, interference from trivial bulk states, and destruction of topological properties at heterostructure interfaces. <br />“Here, we address some of these challenges by integrating two-dimensional graphene with a three-dimensional topological insulator in van der Waals heterostructures to take advantage of their remarkable spintronic properties and engineer a proximity-induced spin-galvanic effect at room temperature,” says Dmitrii Khokhriakov (to the right), PhD Student at QDP, and first author of the article.<br /><br />Since graphene is atomically thin, its properties can be drastically changed when other functional materials are brought in contact with it, which is known as the proximity effect. Therefore, graphene-based heterostructures are an exciting device concept since they exhibit strong gate-tunability of proximity effects arising from its hybridization with other functional materials. Previously, combining graphene with topological insulators in van der Waals heterostructures, the researchers have shown that a strong proximity-induced spin-orbit coupling could be induced, which is expected to produce a Rashba spin-splitting in the graphene bands. As a consequence, the proximitized graphene is expected to host the spin-galvanic effect, with the anticipated gate-tunability of its magnitude and sign. However, this phenomenon has not been observed in these heterostructures previously.<br />“To realize this spin-galvanic effect, we developed a special Hall-bar-like device of graphene-topological insulator heterostructures,” says Dmitrii Khokhriakov. <br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/saroj_prasad_dash_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Saroj Dash." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />The devices were nanofabricated in the state-of-the-art cleanroom at MC2 and measured at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory. The novel device concept allowed the researchers to perform complementary measurements in various configurations via spin switch and Hanle spin precession experiments, giving an unambiguous evidence of the spin-galvanic effect at room temperature. <br />“Moreover, we were able to demonstrate a strong tunability and a sign change of the spin galvanic effect by the gate electric field, which makes such heterostructures promising for the realization of all-electrical and gate-tunable spintronic devices,” concludes Saroj Prasad Dash (to the left).<br /><br />The researchers acknowledge financial support from the European Union Graphene Flagship, Swedish Research Council, VINNOVA 2D Tech Center, FlagEra, and AoA Materials and EI Nano program at Chalmers University of Technology.<br /><br />Illustration: Dmitrii Khokhriakov<br />Photo of Saroj Prasad Dash: Oscar Mattsson<br />Photo of Dmitrii Khokhriakov: Private<br /><br /><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17481-1">Read the full paper in Nature Communications</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<br /><br />References<br />1. D. Khokhriakov, A.M. Hoque, B. Karpiak, &amp; S.P. Dash, Gate-tunable spin-galvanic effect in graphene-topological insulator van der Waals heterostructures at room temperature, Nature Communications. 11, 3657 (2020).<br />2. A. Dankert, P. Bhaskar, D. Khokhriakov, I. H. Rodrigues, B. Karpiak, M. V. Kamalakar, S. Charpentier, I. Garate, S.P. Dash. Origin and evolution of surface spin current in topological insulators. Phys. Rev. B 97, 125414 (2018).<br />3. A. Dankert, J. Geurs, M. V. Kamalakar, S. Charpentier, &amp; S.P. Dash, Room Temperature Electrical Detection of Spin Polarized Currents in Topological Insulators. Nano Letters 15, 7976–7981 (2015).<br />4. D. Khokhriakov, A. W. Cummings, K. Song, M. Vila, B. Karpiak, A. Dankert, S. Roche, S. P. Dash, Tailoring emergent spin phenomena in Dirac material heterostructures. Science Advances. 4, eaat9349 (2018).<br />Thu, 27 Aug 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-green-solvents.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-green-solvents.aspxChalmers researchers are probing the properties of new green solvents<p><b>​Researchers in the Industrial Materials Recycling unit at Chalmers University of Technology have done experiments, that can provide a key to unlock the innermost secrets of a new class of green and sustainable solvents – Deep eutectic solvents (DES). The new experimental method was recently presented in the scientific journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.</b></p><p>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Gröna%20lösningsmedel/Mark%20Foreman%20320%20x%20400.jpg" alt="" style="height:253px;width:200px;margin:5px" />“After this work, it feels like we have got special glasses which allow us to see clearly things which previously were blurred shadows”; says Mark Foreman, Associate Professor in Nuclear Chemistry/Industrial Materials Recycling.</p> <p>To move towards a more sustainable society we need to detoxify industrial processes and products, by replacing harmful substances with safer alternatives. The experiments presented in the study can now provide us with a new ability to create these alternatives. For a relatively very small investment, the experiment required for the study, could be done in many university chemistry departments.  </p> <p>“We hope that our experimental method becomes a standard experiment for probing existing green solvents and new ones”, continues Mark Foreman.</p> <p>The study is an important breakthrough for understanding deep eutectic solvents (DES). DES has been known for some time as a promising environmentally friendly alternative, and could, for example, be used to recycle waste such as batteries into valuable products without using hazardous reagents. Up to know DES have not been very well understood. Together with an adjunct professor Kastriot Spahiu from Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB), Mark Foreman and his group has now been able to gain a new deep insight into the new solvents which will greatly increase our ability to understand them and apply them to new problems.</p> <p> </p> <div>Contact: <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/foreman.aspx">Mark Foreman </a>Associate Professor in Nuclear Chemistry/Industrial Materials Recycling </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the scientific paper </h2> <div>The article “<a href="https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/CP/C9CP05982B">Metal extraction from a deep eutectic solvent, an insight into activities</a>” was published in </div> <div>the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics is written by Peng Cen, Kastriot Spahiu, Mikhail S. Tyumentsev and Mark R. St. J. Foreman</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Facts: research background step by step </h2> <div>Almost twenty years ago Andrew Abbott in Leicester  published the idea of using mixtures of choline chloride with benign substances such as urea to make new solvents, these are the deep eutectic solvents. The group at Leicester have shown that they can use these new solvents to plate silver  onto copper, chromium  and electropolish stainless steel  without using any of the hazardous reagents such as cyanide and chromates which are often used in the metal finishing industry. Their metal finishing is truly miraculous in terms of greening the metal finishing sector.</div> <p> </p> <p>In 2013 with the COLABATS EU project Mark Foreman at Chalmers started to work both with the Leicester electrochemists and others on the use of DES for the recycling of batteries.  It was recognized during the project that while the DES solvents can be used to recycle waste into valuable products and perform other useful tasks in an environmentally friendly way sadly these solvents were not well understood. We knew they do wonderful things but not how they did these things.</p> <p>While working at Chalmers, in Mark Foreman´s research group the doctoral student Peng Cen was able to develop this work further to allow key parameters for these new liquids to be measured by a relatively simple experiment. This experimental work would has now proved to be able to reduce greatly the number of experiments which would be needed for the rational design of a new process or product using one of the new solvents. The work was also done together with an adjunct professor Kastriot Spahiu from Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB SKB. </p> <div> </div>Thu, 02 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/protect-us-from-pandemics.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/protect-us-from-pandemics.aspxNew 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 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/meet-fiona-schulz.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/meet-fiona-schulz.aspxConquering 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="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bremen">Bremen</a>, and did my course internship at <a href="https://www.zf.com/mobile/en/homepage/homepage.html">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="https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/metallurgy-materials/index.aspx">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="https://materialssolutions.co.uk/">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="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS2bKHlGgWg" 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 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/The-quality-of-recycled-plastic-needs-to-be-improved.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/The-quality-of-recycled-plastic-needs-to-be-improved.aspxThe 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 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Foldable-chemistry.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Foldable-chemistry.aspxFoldable chemistry - a new perspective on porous materials<p><b>​A research group at Chalmers University of Technology presents the concept of foldable networks. The scientific paper, in which mechanics and chemistry meets, is of importance for how we understand and construct a new class of materials, so-called metal-organic frameworks and was recently published in Journal of the American Chemical Society.</b></p>​We are used to solid materials behaving in a certain way. If you heat them, they expand, if you put them under pressure, they decrease slightly in volume, and if you pull an elastic material such as a rubber band, it becomes narrower. However, some materials with channels and voids at the molecular level have proved to be more complex. If you heat them, they can shrink in one or more directions, if you pull them, they can increase in volume, if you put pressure on them, they can expand. These properties are found, for example, in metal-organic frameworks that are built up, not as densely packed atoms and molecules, but as regular networks in three dimensions. These networks have nodes of metal ions linked by longer organic molecules. <div> </div> <div>The Chalmers study now shows that in some of these networks the nodes are linked in a unique way that allows them to collapse without affecting neither the geometry around the nodes, nor the links between them. In practice, this means that the material can change shape, volume and density without breaking or distorting the molecular components. A bit like a foldable bottle rack. The discovery is expected to be useful in different MOF areas such as harvesting of water from desert air, storage of hydrogen and biogas in renewable energy technology, catalysis and drug development.</div> <div> <img width="320" height="171" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Vikbar%20kemi/Francoise%20Mystere%20Amombo%20Noa_320%20x%20340.jpg" alt="" style="width:161px;margin:5px" /></div> <div>&quot;We found this group of networks when using a classic molecular-model construction kit, with plastic tubes and balls, solving the problem of how to join nodes with triangular geometry and hexagonal geometry to an infinitely repeating pattern in three dimensions.&quot; says Françoise Noa, PhD in chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Then we simply discovered that the model we had built could be fo<img width="319" height="173" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Vikbar%20kemi/Lars%20Öhrström%20320%20x%20340.jpg" alt="" style="width:173px;margin:5px" />lded flat&quot; continues Lars Öhrström, professor of inorganic chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, research leader of the study.<br /><br />The researchers have also been able to identify several other such network topologies (the description of the pattern by which the various nodes are interconnected). These now become possible synthesis targets for new metal-organic framework compounds with unique properties, such as expanding when placed under gas pressure or increasing in volume of stretched in one direction but not in another.</div> <div> </div> <div>Characterization of the new MOF materials that were also included in the study were a collaboration with researchers at the universities of Southern Denmark, Stockholm University and Uppsala University. The principal method used was single-crystal diffraction, using X-ray radiation to determine the exact atomic positions in a solid material. An indispensable way to study everything from proteins to drug molecules and materials. In addition, a mass spectrometry technique, ToF-SIMS, was used to look inside some of these framework crystals.</div> <div> </div> <div>”A very nice study, beautiful MOFs and expert topological analysis. An enjoyable read!” comments Professor Neil Champness, well known researcher in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) at the University of Nottingham, England, the research on twitter</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Contact:</strong><br /><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/ohrstrom.aspx">Lars Öhrström,</a> professor of inorganic chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology <br />+ 46 703 941 442, <a href="mailto:ohrstrom@chalmers.se">ohrstrom@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /><strong>More on the scientific paper </strong></div> <div>The article ”<a href="https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.0c02984">Metal–Organic Frameworks with Hexakis(4-carboxyphenyl)benzene: Extensions to Reticular Chemistry and Introducing Foldable Nets</a> “ was published in Journal of the American Chemical Society<br />It is written by Francoise M. Amombo Noa, Erik Svensson Grape, Steffen M. Brülls, Ocean Cheung, Per Malmberg, A. Ken Inge, Christine J. McKenzie, Jerker Mårtensson, and Lars Öhrström </div> <div> </div> <div>A 6 minute talk accompanying the article highlighting the most important points is found here: <a href="http://pubs.acs.org/doi/suppl/10.1021/jacs.0c02984">http://pubs.acs.org/doi/suppl/10.1021/jacs.0c02984</a><br /></div> <div><strong>Facts: Crystallography – Single Crystal Diffraction</strong><br />Single crystal diffraction is based on a deceptively simple equation that tells us about how X-ray light bounces between two planes, the Bragg equation. In this context, this simple formula gives rise to very complicated mathematics with links to, among other things, the abstract field of group theory. The solution of the equation in the form of precise atomic positions in a crystal also requires sophisticated coding, advanced X-ray detector materials and incredible precise mechanics in the many moving parts of the instrument.</div> <div> </div> <div>Also a skilled crystallographer is essential, since traps lurk around every corner and the possibilities of taking a wrong turn are many, from the laborious work of selecting crystals under a microscope, to the last mathematical modelling in the computer.</div> <div> </div> <div>The UN announced 2014 as the International Crystallography Year and more information is available on the international website <a href="https://www.iycr2014.org/">https://www.iycr2014.org</a>.</div> <div><br /><strong>More reading</strong></div> <div>About storing hydrogen and biogas in metal-organic frameworks, Omar K Farha and co-workers in Science 2020.<br />”<a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6488/297">Balancing volumetric and gravimetric uptake in highly porous materials for clean energy</a>”<br /></div> <div>On harvesting water from desert air using metal-organic frameworks, Omar Yaghi and co-workers in Nature Nanotechnology 2020. <br />”<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-020-0673-x">MOF water harvesters</a>”</div>Wed, 20 May 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-spreadable-way-to-stabilise-solid-state-batteries.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-spreadable-way-to-stabilise-solid-state-batteries.aspxA 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="https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202001444"><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="https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202001444">Advanced Functional Materials.</a></span></div> <div><a href="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/chalmers/pressreleases/a-spreadable-interlayer-could-make-solid-state-batteries-more-stable-2999857"><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="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se</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="https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202001444">”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="mailto:shizhao.xiong@chalmers.se">shizhao.xiong@chalmers.se </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="mailto:%20matic@chalmers.se">matic@chalmers.se ​</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 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Graphene-enables-a-more-robust-electrical-system.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Graphene-enables-a-more-robust-electrical-system.aspxGraphene 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="https://graphene-flagship.eu/project/spearhead"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />https://graphene-flagship.eu/project/spearhead</a></div> <div><a href="https://graphene-flagship.eu/news/Pages/European-industries-lead-new-Graphene-Flagship-projects-to-shape-EU%E2%80%99s-environmental-future.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />https://graphene-flagship.eu/news/Pages/European-industries-lead-new-Graphene-Flagship-projects-to-shape-EU%E2%80%99s-environmental-future.aspx</a></div> <div><a href="https://graphene-flagship.eu/news/Pages/European-industries-lead-new-Graphene-Flagship-projects-to-shape-EU%E2%80%99s-environmental-future.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />https://graphene-flagship.eu/project/spearhead/Pages/CircuitBreakers.aspx</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 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Graphite-nanoplatelets-on-medical-devices-prevent-infections-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Graphite-nanoplatelets-on-medical-devices-prevent-infections-.aspxGraphite 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="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/matvanor-halsa--miljo/kostrad-och-matvanor/all-fisk-ar-inte-nyttig"><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="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/smll.201904756">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="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/matvanor-halsa--miljo/kostrad-och-matvanor/all-fisk-ar-inte-nyttig"><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 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/graphene-cleans-water-more-effectively.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/graphene-cleans-water-more-effectively.aspx​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 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Nanostructured-rubber-like.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Nanostructured-rubber-like.aspxNanostructured 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="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.9b01924">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="http://www.amferia.com/">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="https://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/chalmers-ventures/pressreleases/amferia-raises-sek-6-punkt-2-million-in-investment-for-innovative-wound-care-patches-that-kill-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria-2964059">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="mailto:anandk@amferia.com">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