Research areas within Inorganic Chemistry
Our research is rooted in inorganic chemistry - the study and synthesis of materials. We have a wide range of research projects focused on the development of new materials with designed properties. Our materials are synthesised using high-temperature solid state, solution or vacuum based techniques. The structures developed are as powders, compacts, sponges, and films and coatings. We have also several on-going projects on additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D-printing of alloys and composite materials. An integral part of materials research and development is materials characterisation, and within our projects we do not only use, but also develop advanced characterisation methods to investigate our materials at different length scales using, for example, x-ray and neutron diffraction, imaging electron microscopy, x-ray spectroscopy and various electrochemical techniques. This is done using both local and large-scale research infrastructure.
Our research profile is focused on two major research themes: new materials for harsh environments and materials for more sustainable energy solutions. In both these areas, control and fundamental understanding of the chemistry is of paramount importance.
New materials for harsh environments
Many materials are used in tough and harsh environments. There is need for new materials which can withstand very corrosive environments or high temperatures without oxidation or detrimental phase transformations. In many applications materials are exposed to high loads, stresses, erosion, radiation etc which can destroy or seriously damage the material. There is also a need for new materials which exhibit functional properties also at harsh conditions. This includes, for example, sensor materials and catalysts.
Examples of on-going research projects on materials for harsh environments in the Inorganic Chemistry Programme are:
- Corrosion-resistant materials
- Hard and abrasion resistant materials
- Materials for nuclear power applications
New materials for renewable energy
The change towards a more sustainable society, using renewable energy with no or a very low carbon dioxide foot-print, is a critical challenge human kind must meet. This requires not only new technical solutions, but also the development of new materials. For example, we need materials which can give better performing and longer lasting fuel cells, or improved capabilities to store energy in e.g. batteries or as hydrogen in alloys. Essential for the materials that will meet this challenge is also that they consist of abundant elements, so that the developed technology can be implemented in a large scale. Thus, replacement of critical elements, which are detrimental for the environment or too expensive for practical use, is also an essential goal of this research.
Examples of on-going research projects are:
- Hydrogen storage
- New coatings for fuel cells
- Rare-earth free magnetic materials
- New battery materials
- Materials for energy conversion
Additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D-printing is a rapidly growing technique to produce components for different applications. Many AM processes are very different from conventional material synthesis leading to completely new microstructures, phase compositions and properties. There is today also a strong need for design of new alloys more suitable for a printing process. AM can be used to produce components more suitable for harsh environments or for a more sustainable society. We are currently running several AM projects focused on design of new alloys and controlled microstructures.
Advanced materials characterisation
A very important part in materials research is the possibility to characterise materials and determine crystal structure, chemical composition and microstructure. All our projects involve qualified materials characterisation, to gain a fundamental understanding of the structure-property-correlations. We make use of both locally available standard techniques, and more advanced methods based on neutron scattering, synchrotron radiation, or unique instrumentation.
More on our research on
Our latest publications
Benesperi, Iacopo; Michaels, Hannes; Edvinsson, Tomas; Pavone, Michele; Probert, Michael R.; Waddell, Paul; Muñoz-García, Ana Belén; Freitag, Marina
Dynamic dimer copper coordination redox shuttles
Ghorai, Sagar; Shtender, Vitalii; Ström, Petter; Skini, Ridha; Svedlindh, Peter
Effect of small cation occupancy and anomalous Griffiths phase disorder in nonstoichiometric magnetic perovskites
Hanifpour, Fatemeh; Canales, Camila P.; Fridriksson, Emil G.; Sveinbjörnsson, Arnar; Tryggvason, Tryggvi K.; Lewin, Erik; Magnus, Fridrik; Ingason, Árni S.; Skúlason, Egill; Flosadóttir, Helga D.
Investigation into the mechanism of electrochemical nitrogen reduction reaction to ammonia using niobium oxynitride thin-film catalysts