Materials for Advancing Clean Energy
Advanced energy technologies provide an added reservoir of power for us to take advantage of, and they extend our resources in ways people might never have imagined decades ago. The technologies include solar cells (conversion of sunlight into electricity); fuel cells and hydrogen storage technologies (generating electricity from fuels such as hydrogen); and advanced batteries. Rechargeable batteries are used for both energy conversion and storage, and have already had enormous impact on our modern mobile society.
The means to progress in these areas lies with the discovery of new materials that can be designed and fabricated to serve in the efficient conduction of electrons and ions within the solid. Canada Research Chair Dr. Linda Nazar is a world leader in inorganic materials research. She has developed a new way for solid state structures to assemble themselves so that they can be designed to serve a particular purpose. She has also come up with novel processes to improve lithium-ion battery electrode materials, and her laboratory has both advanced materials processing capabilities and the instrumentation to screen the new materials.
Dr. Nazar and her team are now expanding their abilities to address materials problems related to lithium-ion batteries, and study other materials issues outside of energy storage. She is responsible for discovering how to build new classes of materials with electronic and ionic properties that are specifically suited to the needs of energy conversion, including fuel cells. She has targeted materials with special electronic and optical properties for solar cell energy conversion devices. Her work is also advancing nanoscience, an emerging field that focuses on developing materials and products of nanometric scale.