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Strategic basic research is carried out to realize the targeted synthesis of specific compounds and materials.  The material’s property really matters now: A very specific goal is to be achieved by the developed synthesis route, which is dictated by the desired property to be held by the materials obtained from the route.  Herein, the knowledge regarding precursors, mechanisms and the library of compounds and structures that have been found in the fundamental research, provide a sound basis to build further on towards the end goal: the material with a specific function.  Discovering the relations of the final property with the synthesis route, mostly through experimental feedback loops, allows to define specific design principles on which a synthesis is to be based for a novel case.

Thanks to Energyville (https://www.energyville.be/en/labs/battery-lab)

Strategic basic research includes:

  • Development of successful chemical solution deposition methods for (ultra)thin films and spraycoating methods of high aspect ratio 3D micropillars, e.g. based on precursors developed in fundamental research.
  • Development of dedicated routes towards (structured/nano-) powders of inorganic materials with a specific functional property
  • Use or adjust available synthesis methods to create materials with a specific composition and structure to verify a hypothesis regarding their function
  • Synthesis of doped or substituted materials based on available synthesis routes for their mother compound.

4 examples of recent publications illustrating this type of research in our group:

Polymeric backbone eutectogels as a new generation of hybrid solid-state electrolytes

Bjorn Joos, Jordi Volders, Ricardo Ribeiro da Cruz, Evelien Baeten, Mohammadhosein Safari, Marlies K Van Bael, An T Hardy

Chemistry of Materials 32 (9), 3783-3793

Ti surface doping of LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4-delta positive electrodes for lithium ion batteries

F. Ulu Okudur; J. D’Haen; T. Vranken; D. De Sloovere; M. Verheijen; O.M. Karakulina; A.M. Abakumov; J. Hadermann, M.K. Van Bael, A. Hardy;

RSC Advances, 2018  8 (13) 7287-7300

A novel explanation for the increased conductivity in annealed Al-doped ZnO: an insight into migration of aluminum and displacement of zinc.

Momot, Aleksandr; Amini, Mozhgan; Reekmans, Gunter; Lamoen, Dirk; Partoens, Bart; Slocombe, Daniel; Elen, Ken; Adriaensens, Peter J.; Hardy, An & Van Bael, Marlies K.

Physical chemistry Chemical physics 2017(19), p. 27866-27877

Ultrasonic spray deposition of metal oxide films on high aspect ratio microstructures for 3D all-solid-state Li-ion batteries

E. Jonathan van den Ham,  Sven Gielis, Marlies Van Bael, An Hardy

ACS Energy Letters, 2016 1, p.1184-1188