AMBER researcher awarded €2.5m to create groundbreaking high-tech customisable battery
23 February 2016
An AMBER researcher, Professor Valeria Nicolosi, has been announced as a recipient of the European Research Council’s (ERC) consolidator grants. The ‘ERC consolidator grant’ is one of the most sought-after competitive research grants in Europe and will provide Prof Nicolosi with €2.5 million in funding over five years for her project ‘3D2DPrint’.
The project focuses on creating a new type of extremely long-lasting battery – one that can come in any shape or size and can be camouflaged within any type of material – whether that’s clothing, your mobile phone, your car dashboard or even implanted inside your body (for example, for an implanted cardiac device).
This funding will enable her to establish a multidisciplinary research group to develop this unique class of energy storage devices. Prof Nicolosi is Ireland’s only four-time ERC awardee, and has been awarded more than €11 million in funding for her research in the past five years at TCD.
Family of batteries that recharge in a few minutes
Imagine a family of batteries that recharge in a few minutes, that can come in any shape or size and can be disguised within any type of material – whether a piece of clothing or the hard plastic shell of a mobile device. These are revolutionary batteries that could be customised just for you and could even be implanted within your body to power a device that monitors your health – they could be hidden and integrated to the extent that you might not really know they were even there.
From there, consider that these batteries won’t die after a year’s worth of repeated recharging – they could last 50 times longer than the normal battery life as they are ‘smart’ batteries – they harvest energy from their surroundings and are actually charging themselves. These are a new type of battery that Prof Nicolosi and her team are working to create.
The project Prof Nicolosi and her team are working on will develop fully customisable batteries – they will be custom-made and formulated for whatever specific application is needed. They will be able to be used for general fitness (for example, within a 3D printed smart fitness watch), as well as being manufactured and fully integrated within a 3D printed implanted cardiac device. These batteries will also, compared to the current Li-battery technology, be fully non-harmful and non-flammable.
The aim of this project is to develop a new energy storage technology using a unique combination of Prof Nicolosi’s novel two-dimensional nanomaterials and 3D printing processes. It is hoped that this innovative approach will produce a range of energy storage devices by exploiting 3D printing to develop complex material shapes, which may offer further performance enhancement at low cost.
Grant will enable hiring of six additional researchers
This grant will enable Prof Nicolosi to employ six researchers (three senior postdoctorates and three PhD candidates). This is her fourth ERC award, she has previously received an ERC Starting and two Proof of Concepts grants worth €4.3 million in total.
Prof Nicolosi, professor at the School of Physics and the School of Chemistry, TCD, and principal investigator at AMBER, said: “I am delighted to be awarded the European Research Council’s (ERC) consolidator grant. Since 2011, the first year of my ERC Starting Grant, my group has grown from three to 25 people.
“The ERC grants I have been awarded were not only important in helping fund our research and grow our team, but to also help leverage more funding and realise partnerships with large multinationals. What is key is that these grants allow us to take the next step with our research – whether it is the licensing of technology or starting up a new company.”
Prof Michael Morris, director of AMBER, said: “The work Prof Nicolosi and her team are doing is at the fore front of their fields, and this grant will help them take the next step in combining the team’s expertise of advanced materials methods to integrate nanomaterials into 3D printed energy storage devices.
“During her time at Trinity, Prof Nicolosi has received more than €11 million in funding, including €4.3 million to date from the ERC, and now an additional €2.5 million to further her research. She is an exceptional asset to the AMBER team and this funding also reaffirms how competitive Ireland is as a place for research.”
The European Research Council awards these competitive ERC research grants to top researchers who engage in pioneering research, at the frontier of knowledge in their field.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2016/02/23/amber-researcher-awarded-e2-5m-to-create-groundbreaking-high-tech-customisable-battery/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/aaaamber1-1024x682.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/aaaamber1-300x300.jpgNews3D Printing,AMBER,funding,research,Trinity College Dublin