Materials Design 

How far can we push the design and tailoring of materials properties for new applications? This ultimately depends on the control of atomic constituents while composing and structuring a material.

To explore the range of attainable properties, we need to increase the fundamental understanding of the materials and the synthesis processes in which they form, on an atomistic level.

The research in the Materials Design Division is therefore a stimulating mix of fundamental physics and application inspired research, including theory and modelling,  material synthesis and characterization of 3D and 2D materials, and property testing.

A particular focus is on materials for a sustainable future, targeting applications within, e.g., the area of energy storage and energy conversion.

We are currently a team of ~25 people using an interdisciplinary approach to find optimal solutions for the design of novel materials.

The Division is divided in three Units:

  • Thin films and nanolaminated materials
  • Materials theory
  • Applied electrochemistry.

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Thin films and nanolaminated materials unit

We work on thin films, i.e. a thin layer of material deposited onto a surface to achieve properties that can not be attained by the surface material alone.

Our goal is to enable design of thin films with specific properties, and to control for example hardness, conductivity, transparency, magnetism, and ability to withstand heat and wear.

Another focus within the unit is to synthesize laminated 3D materials (in powder form) that can be converted into 2D, through chemical exfoliation. Exampled of such materials are 2D metal carbides (MXenes) and borides (boridene). These materials display a large surface to volume ratio, which makes them potentially very interesting for energy storage and catalysis.


Materials theory

Within the Materials theory unit we perform predictive and explanatory simulations based on primarily Density Functional Theory (DFT).

A major goal is to theoretically predict novel materials that can be synthesized in the lab, and to aid in fundamental understanding of the formed structure, composition and basic properties.

The simulations involve 3D as well as 2D materials, and we work in close connection to experimentalists.

 

Applied electrochemistry

Within the Applied electrochemistry unit, we work on already know materials as well as new materials discovered within the Materials design division.

We focus on sustainable materials development, and design electrodes and devices that we test for energy storage (supercapacitors, batteries) and energy conversion (HER, OER, etc.).


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