Postal address: Institutionen för Teknisk fysik, Chalmers, SE-412 96 Göteborg , Sweden
Visiting address: Kemivägen 9
Web page: http://www.chalmers.se/ap/EN/
Contact person: Associate Professor Bengt-Erik Mellander, phone: +46 (0)31 772 33 40
Within the Department of Applied Physics a wide array of experimental and theoretical applied physics is conducted. From basic research into the physics of biological membranes to applied projects concerning the development of new materials for fuel cell applications. The research profile includes biological physics, disordered systems, complex oxides, surface- and nano-physics, materials for energy-applications and nuclear technology.
Research collaboration with South Asia
In November 2008, Dr. Bengt-Erik Mellander, working in the research group on Solid State Physics within the Dept. of Applied Physics, received SEK 540 000 as a three years grant for the period 2009-11 from the Swedish Research Links programme (funded by Sida and the Swedish Research Council) for an project titled ”Development of novel polymeric materials for renewable energy sources: Rechargeable lithium batteries and photoelectrochemical (PEC) solar cells”. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. The contact person on the Srilankan side is Malavi Dissanayake, Professor of Physics at Peradeniya University.
Project abstract: New materials for solar cells and rechargeable batteries Due to the unprecedented demand for energy in the coming years, there is no doubt that devices based on electrochemical energy conversion, such as solar cells and rechargeable batteries will be of great importance in the future society where energy sources have to be renewable. With the rapid industrialization of economies with large populations, such as China, India and Brazil, it is inevitable that the world will be faced with a tremendous energy crisis within few years. The rapid depletion and the rising cost of fossil fuels would force the nations to look for supplementary energy sources. Rechargeable lithium batteries and solar cells may provide convenient supplementary sources of energy for the world. However, such devices at their present state of development still need considerable improvements to be feasible as cost effective alternatives for more general use. A key component for batteries as well as photoelectrochemical solar cells is the electrolyte, which has to have a very high conductivity for the specific ion used in the device while the electronic conductivity has to be practically zero. The electrolyte also has to have favorable properties regarding chemical and mechanical stability etc thus finding the ideal electrolyte is not easy. In this project the research groups will cooperate to find new electrolytes for these specific purposes and test these in solar cells and batteries. During the three year project we expect to be able to show considerable improvement of solar cell performance using these new types of electrolytes which are also of profound importance for the development of improved devices. The integration of batteries and solar cells may prove to be extremely useful, especially for mobile use or remote areas with abundant sunshine.