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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/L021978/1
Title Multicomponent Supramolecular Hydrogels
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 80%;
Not Energy Related 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr DJ Adams
No email address given
University of Liverpool
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 31 December 2014
End Date 30 September 2016
Duration 21 months
Total Grant Value £1,240,595
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region North West
Programme NC : Physical Sciences
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr DJ Adams , Chemistry, University of Liverpool (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , University of Greenwich (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Bath (0.000%)
Project Contact , Aston University (0.000%)
Project Contact , Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (0.000%)
Project Contact , Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), USA (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract The vision of this fellowship is to develop the requisite understanding of multicomponent low molecular weight gels such that they can be used for practical applications in energy, complementing the growing body of work on the use of these systems in medicine and drug delivery. Multicomponent gels offer significant new opportunities in terms of generating useful and exciting new structures. Specifically in this fellowship, we will develop conductive materials, as well as bulk heterojunctions, using low molecular weight gelators. This requires specific assembly of multiple components with careful control over the assembly across many length-scales. The aim here is to develop effective solar cells in an unprecedented way.Currently, multicomponent systems are rare and introduce significant complexity and questions: for example, do the components mix, specifically or randomly, or do they self-sort, to create assemblies of one pure component co-existing with pure assemblies of the other? Also, once the primary assembly has occurred, how are these structures distributed in space? Do they interact randomly, or can specific, higher-order structures be formed? Such questions are fundamental to the development of technology such as solar cells, where energy transfer between the molecular components is core to their function. A particular challenge here is to guide multicomponent self-assembling systems across many length-scales, precisely positioning individual molecules or assemblies within well organised, highly-ordered structures in order to achieve a reproducible, highly-controlled network.Here, I focus on a class of low molar mass gelators with which I have significant experience. I will develop a thorough understanding of the conditions under which gelation occurs for each component to prepare gels where components are specifically located. For success, I will develop systems consisting of two LMWG containing aromatic groups whose spectral adsorptions complement each other with appropriate HOMO and LUMO levels. I will develop methods to ensure that well-ordered self-sorted structures are formed, which entangle to form structures with a suitable interface. This requires control over assembly across multiple length-scales. The main challenges here focus on ensuring the microstructure is correct and that the percolation paths are ideal. There is limited understanding for single LMWG systems, let alone for two-component systems. As such, this work will take the area significantly beyond the current state of the art and also provides a new application for these materials through their development for solar cell technology.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 21/01/15