The Nanoionics and Solid State Energy Conversion Devices group (NANOEN) focuses its research on the fundamental and applied research of ionic, electronic and mixed conductive materials with applications in the energy field. In particular, the group deals with new transport phenomena that occur at the nanometric scale and interfaces for its implementation in solid state devices for energy conversion.
The areas of application are essentially two:
i) The group develops high-temperature solid fuel oxide fuel cells and electrolysers that allow efficient gas to power routes and chemical energy storage, respectively.
ii) The group develops micro-devices (fuel cells, Lithium ion batteries and thermoelectric generators) based on nanomaterials (thin layer and nanofibers) fully integrated in silicon technology with the main objective of covering the needs of autonomy in emerging sectors such as the Internet of Things (IoT).
The NANOEN research group was created in 2010 with the foundation of Catalan Institute of Energy Research (IREC). From the growth of the NANOEN group and from the consolidation of its activities, researchers and laboratories in recent years, the current request of a consolidated research group emerges. The growth of the group has materialized in the period 2014-2017 with the consolidation of two positions of senior researchers (to add a total of four permanent researchers), the obtaining by the main investigator of a contract “ERC Consolidator Grant “in 2015 and the coordination of a European project H2020 (Cell3Ditor) and a national project (3DMADE). The strong activity of specific technology transfer in hydrogen technologies has also meant a strong increase in the industrial contracting of the group in recent years, allowing the incorporation of new postdoctoral researchers. Currently, apart from the four permanent researchers, the group includes 6 doctors working directly in competitive and non-competitive R & D contracts.
The IREC’s fellowship program, direct recruitment and national and Catalan calls have allowed to maintain a high number of pre-doctoral contracts, which is currently located in 7 with exclusive dedication to the group’s research lines. In addition, relations with Catalan and foreign academic institutions have been strengthened in order to host research placements for undergraduate and master’s students. Over the last few years, up to 14 master’s theses have been defended by NANOEN group members in Norway, Italy and Spain.