There is a consensus today that supplying a growing world population with energy is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – challenge mankind is facing in the 21st century. The reasons for this are numerous and are among others related to the observation that energy is critical to human development, including economic growth, equity and employment, and that fossil fuels – our current energy backbone – are slowly but inevitably declining. This generates an increasing demand of well-educated young scientists knowledgeable in materials science for energy conversion and storage, because a central problem for all forms of energy is their efficient generation or conversion as well as energy storage with sufficiently high density (e.g., hydrogen or biofuels). In this broader context, the proposed Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) "MATCON" will concentrate on the following topics of fundamental importance:
- Photo-electrochemical generation of hydrogen by water splitting - Bio-inspired and biomimetic energy conversion - Thermoelectric and thermoionic heat conversion
For all of these topics, alternative or new materials and materials combinations will be necessary to improve the efficiency of energy conversion or to overcome existing problems with stability. Therefore, the Network will also put considerable emphasis on the tailoring and development of specific materials for electrodes, substrates and functional interfaces. This expertise will be of central importance for the successful implementation of the different research topics outlined above and, at the same time, provide an ideal basis for the training of the young researchers in state of the art materials science and semiconductor technology.
Tento projekt je financován EU.