One of Humanity’s most urgent and greatest scientific and technological challenges is the need for more efficient methods to access renewable energy sources and more effective ways to reduce energy consumption. This requires the development of highly efficient energy-conversion devices with minimal material consumption and with minimal environmental impact. The use of nanomaterials and nanotechnology opens up fundamentally novel routes to address these challenges, with the advantages of the ability to independently design and optimize electronic, thermal and structural properties by use of nanostructures, the ability to use non- toxic materials optimized by nanostructuring, and the potential for significantly reduced materials consumption compared to traditional approaches, enabling sustainability. To harness the full potential of available and future nanoscience and technology, and to ena le transition from laboratory to industry, a highly integrated approach is needed that reaches from the fundamental physics of nanoscale processes via basic materials science all the way to device design, characterization, and safety evaluation.
PhD4Energy will employ such an approach and will focus on the unique opportunities offered by III- V nanowires and molecular engineering. We will develop (i) highly - efficient, cost - effective, and flexible NW solar cells, (ii) cost effective, phosphor - free LEDs for RGB and light ing with optimised color rendering index and very low energy consumption, (iii) practical methods to enhance the thermoelectric performance of nanomaterials, and we will (iv) pioneer the use of proteins for direct chemical - to - mechanical energy conversion in artificial molecular machines.
Concurrently, PhD4Energy will evaluate the safety and sustainability of the developed novel nanomaterials and devices .
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