To tackle climate change, we need cleaner, more efficient ways to store and use energy. Many of the proposed “next generation” energy devices (things like fuel cells or advanced battery technologies) require conductive solid components known as Solid State Electrolytes or SSEs.
Unfortunately, all the current options for SSE materials have drawbacks. Inorganic materials tend to be highly conductive, but difficult to work with. Organic materials (usually polymers) tend to be easy to process, but are relatively poor conductors.
In this project, we will make “hybrid” materials (i.e. metal-organic frameworks and other materials with both organic and inorganic components) with the intent to combine the best of organic and inorganic materials. We will also combine these materials with known redox-active compounds to influence the electronic properties of our materials. We will also look at phase changes between crystalline, liquid and amorphous states of our materials.
What will you do? You’ll make and characterise some new materials. This will involve a bit of organic synthesis, lots of inorganic synthesis, and as many solid-state characterisation techniques as possible. You’ll also investigate the transition between different phases of your materials using techniques like Dynamic Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). If things look promising, there would be a chance to collaborate with international colleagues for some additional characterisation on your materials.
If you’re interested in the project, feel free to come and talk to me about it (Jacobs 1211).
This is a brand new research group, and it will be a dynamic and engaging environment. My biggest priority is that you'll learn new skills and grow your abilities as a scientist. Depending on how the project goes, you'll get to work with collaborators in Ireland, the UK, Germany, New Zealand and Japan.