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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G060940/1
Title: Nanostructured Functional Materials for Energy Efficient Refrigeration, Energy Harvesting and Production of Hydrogen from Water.
Principal Investigator: Alford, Professor N
Other Investigators:
Harrison, Professor N Cohen, Professor LF Sandeman, Dr KG
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Ames National Laboratory Camfridge Ltd Ericsson
IFW Dresden (Leibniz Institute) National Physical Laboratory NPL NETZSCH (UK)
STFC Laboratories (Grouped) TWI Ltd University of Cambridge
University of Nova Gorica
Department: Materials
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Programme Grants
Starts: 01 October 2009 Ends: 31 July 2015 Value (£): 3,868,581
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Storage Materials Characterisation
Materials Processing RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Mar 2009 Materials Programme Grants Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This program is about using nanostructured materials to address key areas in energy related applications. This proposal will deliver world class materials science through ambitious thin and thick film development and analysis and the proposal targets the EPSRC strategic areas Energy and Nanoscience through nanoengineering. The programme grant will provide the opportunity to integrate three well established research areas that currently operate independently of each other and will establish a new consortium of activities. Collectively they offer the essential ingredients to move this particular field forward. The planned program of work is timely because of the convergence of modelling capability, precision multilayer oxide growth expertise and nanofabrication facilities. The overall vision for the Programme Grant is focussed on Energy. Within the Programme we aim to find means of reducing energy consumption for example by using electro and magnetocaloric means of cooling; generating energy by use of nanoscale rectifying antennas and finally storing energy by photocatalytic splitting of hydrogen from water. Our program is divided into two themed areas:1) Nanostructured oxides for Energy Efficient Refrigeration with 2 project areasElectrocaloricsMagnetocalorics2) Nanostructured oxides for energy production and storage with 2 project areasSolar HarvestingPhotocatalysisThis research will enable :- The development of new materials, new material architectures and new device concepts for energy refrigeration and energy harvesting. The synergy across a range of programs particularly the underpinning activities of materials theory, modelling and characterisation will move these important fields closer to application.- The research will also enable a new forum to be established, with representation from UK and European scientists and industrialists so that broad discussions can be held to enable moving these fields forward. We place a significant emphasis on training, outreach and knowledge transfer.The research challenges that need to be addressed are:- Designing physical systems that are close to an instability so that small external perturbations from magnetic or electric fields, optical or thermal excitation will tip the system into a new ground state- Optimising control over (strain, defects, doping inhomogeneity, disorder) and first layer effects in thin film oxides (with thicknesses of the order of 10nm or less) so that we can develop the capability to tune the band gap of the oxide using directed modelling and targeted growth control.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk