"Structural energy harvesting composite materials"
Funding: European Union, Horizon 2020 Programme (Grant Agreement 678565). ERC Starting grant
Project period: 2016 – 2021
Principal Investigator: Dr. Juan José Vilatela (juanjose.vilatela(AT)imdea.org)
The purpose of this project is the development of new multifunctional structural composite materials that combine high performance mechanical properties and the possibility to harvest energy. The multifunctional composites are based on a continuous macroscopic fibre made up of highly aligned carbon nanotubes that has bulk mechanical, electrical and thermal properties already similar to carbon fibre and the mesoporosity and chemical resistance of an activated carbon; which will be combined with nanostructured semiconductors that can transfer charge/energy when subjected to external stimuli and integrated in a polymer matrix to form composite structures. The project comprises a detailed multiscale study of materials synthesis and properties, including in-situ spectroscopy, electron microscopy and synchrotron XRD during mechanical testing, and basic optoelectronic measurements.