Self-Assembly in Confined Space


new catalytic materials

Catalysis is a major science behind sustainability. No matter what the energy source is – oil, natural gas, coal, biomass or solar – a clean sustainable energy future will involve catalysis. Apart from improving the performance of existing industrial processes for energy production, nano-catalysts have the potential to lead to exploitation of renewable, efficient, and inexpensive sources for alternative energy production. Nano-catalysts, as will be developed in this consortium, also have the potential to reduce Europe's reliance on imported rare earths/precious metals, as the catalysts proposed here are (see WP3). Furthermore the nanostructured photoactive systems proposed have a strong potential in pushing photocatalysis towards industrial relevance.

For achieving the goals of this project many expertise’s in different fields need to be combined, such as inorganic synthesis, organic-inorganic host-guest materials, spectroscopic characterization of fluorescent properties, advanced structural characterization and theoretical modeling. Therefore this collaboration within a European context is ideally suited to match the competences from the different partners in order to create a versatile platform of knowledge leading to innovative new materials.

The new phosphor materials resulting from this project will induce a new twist in the lighting industry in the EU. The scarce, expensive and environment-unfriendly rare-earth elements, which moreover are mainly available through Asian markets, can be eliminated. This way, a more reliable material flow to the European lighting industry will be secured. Note that lighting applications constitute a major market for rare-earth materials.

The newly developed phosphor materials will provide an answer to the need for artificial light sources that have a similar light appearance as natural light. In this regard the proposed SACS phosphors have the potential to surpass the performance of the rare-earth-based phosphors. Moreover, the SACS phosphors are non-toxic (similar materials are currently used in washing powders and anti-microbial cheese coatings), and have only limited impact on the ecosystem, compared to rare-earth materials. As it is in fact a stable, solid material, SACS phosphors can be easily recycled as the most expensive components can be extracted and reused. The new material can thus be considered as a true eco-sustainable alternative to rare-earth based phosphors.