Energy-related materials research at Chalmers spans across the full spectrum of energy production, transport, storage and conversion. It includes curiosity-driven fundamental research, engineering technology as well as applied research in collaboration with industry. All aspects from material synthesis and characterisation to integration of these materials into devices are covered and target global energy challenges. The strength lies in a long-standing experience in basic physics and chemistry of energy materials, an integrated approach with theory and experiments, state-of-the-art infrastructure, strong collaborations with national and international partners, and financially well-supported activities.
The research makes use of external large-scale facilities such as ESRF, ILL, ISIS, MAX-lab, as well as advanced local infrastructure such as the Chalmers Nanofabrication Laboratory (MC2). Competence centres at Chalmers within this profile area are Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC), Centre for Additive Manufacture - Metal (CAM2), and Swedish Electromobility Centre. We have several well-established collaborations and networks with leading universities and research institutes across the globe. The activities are supported by many externally funded programs (VR, Formas, STEM, Mistra, SSF, DSF and EU). Chalmers researchers participate in several EU projects and in initiatives for coordinated energy research. The scientific output reaches a high standard, as evidenced by frequent publications in high-impact journals and regular invitations to present keynote lectures at international conferences. There are also several courses given at the MSc and PhD levels covering our research in these topics, thus ensuring that qualified personnel are educated.
These are the active fields within this profile area:
• Materials for Energy Harvesting
• Materials for Energy Transport and Storage
• Materials for Energy Conversion
Examples of Excellence
Internationally, the development of new thermoelectric materials for direct conversion of waste heat to electricity has received renewed interest and resulted in significant improvements. Chalmers’ research has resulted in a new nanocage-structured semiconducting material, which currently holds a world record in thermoelectric energy conversion performance. Our progress has benefited from international collaborations with groups in EU, USA and Asia. Nationally, we are now uniquely equipped to perform thermoelectric materials property evaluation.
To bring the new materials development to the benefit of society we are engaged in a joint project with Swedish industry through the E4-MISTRA project. Our aim here is to adapt these materials for application in a truck with the ambition of improving the overall efficiency of the vehicle sufficiently to sustain its energy consumption related to exhaust gas aftertreatment measures. The target for the prototype to be developed within the project is 2 kW electrical power.
The profile Materials for Energy Applications is a joint profile with the Energy Area of Advance.