The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has provided £6.65m for research into advanced materials and their applications in the energy sector, including future solar cells and novel energy storage technologies.
Professor Matthew Rosseinsky from the University of Liverpool will lead the project, aiming to study new materials on atomic levels in order to improve understanding of their properties and enhance their design.
“The controlled arrangement of atoms and molecules to create function is a grand scientific challenge,” Professor Rosseinsky said. “With the approaches we will develop, we aim to address problems such as how to create materials for sustainable energy production and storage like safer new battery technologies or the efficient capture and utilisation of solar energy.”
The team will combine computational modelling with experimentation to discover new materials and develop new manufacturing techniques.
The programme will exploit its discoveries and share its approach with its commercial partners via the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry and the new Materials Innovation Factory, a state-of-the-art materials research facility for both academic and industrial users.
“Advanced materials will be crucial for future energy storage technologies like smaller, longer-lasting batteries and more efficient solar panels,” said Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson. “With this £6.65m investment from government, researchers will be able to develop a smarter design process from the single atom all the way up to new materials that will speed up discovery and strengthen commercial capabilities in this increasingly important field.”