NWO Open Competition Domain Science - XS Grant for research on efficient Redox flow batteries and research on the principles of magnetism

Evan Zhao and Dima Afanasiev, researchers within the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) of Radboud University, have both been awarded an NWO Open Competition ENW - XS for research on creating efficient Redox flow batteries and research on fundamental principles of magnetism. The NWO Domain Science - XS grants are specifically intended to encourage curiosity-driven and bold research that involves the relatively rapid exploration of a promising idea.

Efficient energy storage in batteries

For a greener and more sustainable future, we need to find new ways to store large amounts of energy. Currently, most technologies rely on lithium-ion batteries, but they have disadvantages like high maintenance, safety concerns, and limited availability. Copper redox flow batteries provides a promising solution for large-scale renewable energy storage. Copper is a common metal, and therefore more accessible. In the project ‘Copper-Catechol Synergy for the Development of an Energy-Dense and Long-Lived Redox Flow Battery’, Zhao and collaborators will explore ways to create a highly efficient and long-lasting type of battery, called Redox Flow Battery.

A Redox Flow Battery is a type of energy storage system that stores electricity in liquid solutions. The ultimate goal is to develop a new generation of copper redox flow batteries that last over 20 years and store more energy than the current best copper redox flow batteries. These improvements will help in the transition to a cleaner energy world. This project will be carried out in collaboration with Jana Roithová’s research group. Noël de Kler played a crucial role in writing the research proposal based on his results as a PhD and will spearhead the work. 

Birth of a magnet

Understanding how atoms behave when they come together to form a material and create magnetic effects has been a challenging and intriguing topic that scientists have been exploring for a very long time. In the project ‘Observing the birth of a magnet in real time: ultrafast emergence of spontaneous magnetic order in van der Waals magnets’ Afanasiev tries to find answers to this fundamental question and will use a special type of magnet that behaves like a 2D material that can become 3D material when under high pressure. The team will study in real-time how the magnetic properties of the material evolve changing from 2D-state to 3D-state. These insights will help to understand the behavior of magnetic materials and the principles of material science.

Open Competition Domain Science - XS

The Open Competition Domain Science - XS grants (€ 50,0000) are intended to support promising ideas and to facilitate innovative and more speculative initiatives within the seven Domain Science disciplines. At the end of the project, researchers can decide for themselves whether or not to pursue this new line of research any further.

We warmly congratulate the researchers with the grant!

Official press release NWO

Contact information

Dr Afanasiev, D. (Dmytro) , Dr Zhao, W. (Evan)
About person
Dr Zhao, W. (Evan) , Dr Afanasiev, D. (Dmytro)
Sustainability, Molecules and materials, Science