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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/R023522/1
Title Emergent Nanomaterials (Critical Mass Proposal)
Status Completed
Energy Categories Not Energy Related 40%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Energy storage) 30%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Fuel Cells, Stationary applications) 15%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Fuel Cells, Mobile applications) 15%;
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 Professor J Irvine
No email address given
University of St Andrews
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 June 2018
End Date 31 January 2023
Duration 56 months
Total Grant Value £1,562,333
Industrial Sectors Chemicals; Energy
Region Scotland
Programme NC : Infrastructure, NC : Physical Sciences
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor J Irvine , Chemistry, University of St Andrews (99.997%)
  Other Investigator Dr PA Connor , Chemistry, University of St Andrews (0.001%)
Dr CD Savaniu , Chemistry, University of St Andrews (0.001%)
Professor S Lee , Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Ceres Power Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Johnson Matthey plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , AFC Energy (0.000%)
Project Contact , Haldor Topsøe A/S, Denmark (0.000%)
Project Contact , Hexis AG, Switzerland (0.000%)
Project Contact , Rolls-Royce PLC (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract In recent work we have identified a very powerful and extensive phenomenon, the constrained production of nanoparticles that opens up a new field impinging on chemistry, materials science and physics. The dispersion, stability, versatility and coherence with the substrate impart quite significant properties to the emergent nanoparticles opening up a major new topic. The process is driven by the lattice decomposition of a metal oxide under reduction by various means. Conventional thinking considers this as a simple phase separation; however, by careful control of the defect chemistry and reduction conditions, a very different process can be achieved. These nanoparticles emerge from the substrate in a constrained manner reminiscent of fungi emerging from the earth. The emergent nanoparticles are generally dispersed evenly with a very tight distribution often separated by less than one particle diameter.Here we will explore the composition and reaction space conditions necessary to optimise functionality, structure and applocability. We will also seek to better understand this phenomenology relating to correlated diffusion, driving energetics and mechanism of emergence. Further work is necessary to understand the critical dependence of composition in a very extensive domain of composition space depending upon charge and size of the A-site cations, oxygen stoichiometry and transition metal redox chemistry. Of particular importance is to understand the nature of the interaction between the nanoparticle and the substrate addressing the evolution of the nanoparticles from the surface and how the particles become anchored to the substrate. Exolved metals can react to form compounds whilst maintaining the integrity of the nanostructural array and this offers much potential for further elaboration of the concept.We will investigate the important catalytic, electrocatalytic and magnetic physics properties arising at constrained emergent particles, driven by dimensional restriction. Emergent nanomaterials provide very significant surface-particle interactions and promise new dimensions in catalysis. The electrochemical reactions in devices such as batteries and fuel cells are restricted to the domain very close to the electrolyte electrode interface. Emergent materials can be applied in exactly this zone.

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