Our projects will integrate research groups across the University in order to meet the challenges of fundamental materials discovery, deliver enhanced properties, and develop more efficient devices.
From full-time scientific computing support to develop new modelling tools, to combining material properties to deliver the step change in performance demanded by industry, our projects are on the path to becoming the foundation of sustainable transport across the aerospace, automotive and marine sectors.
Explore our projects
Thermal analysis equipment
Lead researcher: Xiangui Hou
This kit will support research and funding by providing fast, versatile and precise measurements over a much wider range of thermal conductivity, diffusivity, temperature and atmosphere. It will also accelerate research, and boost national and international collaborations.
Lead researcher: Christopher Mellor
This instrument will provide new insights into optical properties at the microscale.
We will work with a wide range of materials, such as polymer photovoltaics, exfoliated flakes of graphene, and much more.
Researchers: Richard Wheatley, David Rogers
Modelling tools and optimised software often gets lost when researchers move on. This project will carefully record the progress we make in developing scientific techniques and discovering new materials – such as those used in batteries, fuel cells and hydrogen storage devices.
Lead researcher: Ming Li
To significantly increase the capability of the advanced materials needed to build various devices, we are introducing three key pieces of equipment. They will enable us to better process materials such as nanocomposite coatings, ionic conductors and thermoelectric oxides.
Near-ambient pressure XPS
Lead researcher: James O’Shea
While normal XPS enables us to look at the chemical and electronic structure of the atoms and molecules at the surfaces of energy materials, near-ambient pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (NAP-XPS) allows us to do this at pressures up to tens of millibars – bridging the pressure gap between surface science and real systems.
Dynamic nuclear polarization
Lead researcher: Jeremy Titman
New products and devices for advanced applications cannot be developed without knowledge of the relationships between the structure and properties of their component materials. Our researchers will now be able to determine the properties of new materials at a molecular level.
Inverted Raman microscope
Lead researcher: Lee Johnson
The Renishaw InVia inverted Raman microscope will be configured specifically to serve researchers studying energy materials and energy devices containing a liquid, such as batteries, solar cells and fuel cells. The inverted microscope will open new avenues for characterising energy material, providing a unique research capability here and beyond.
Thin film analysis equipment
Lead researcher: Simon Woodward
We aim to develop a range of technologies including next-generation lightweight thermoelectric materials, high performance conducting and insulating layers, photovoltaics and batteries. Unlike existing screening abilities, this is the first reliable commercial kit that can be used on a thin film sample to help determine a material’s optimal final device use.
Molecular beam epitaxy of group III-nitrides
Lead researcher: Sergei Novikov
We will study applications of boron-nitride as a protective thermal, electrical insulating and wear-resistant coating for metals used in electric machines, allowing them to be more compact and operate at higher temperatures. The project will create the only molecular beam epitaxy system world-wide. If successful, our project will provide proof-of-the-concept and a major technological breakthrough.
Electron paramagnetic resonance facility
Lead researcher: Jon McMaster
This facility will provide an electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer at Nottingham with improved sensitivity.
It is capable of probing materials for photovoltaics, energy storage and thermo-electrochemical cells, and it will provide new data that is crucial for the success of other key projects.
Thermal coating nanocomposites
Lead researcher: Xiangui Hou
Current state-of-the-art materials such as aluminium nitride have limited applications – due to their chemical volatility or instability. With a crucial need for new materials, we will explore the potential of using nanocomposite coatings with specific nanofillers and matrices to provide greater stability and meet the demanding conditions of high-density electrical power systems.