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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The cool way to polarize

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.09.01  Engineering sciences and technologies  Electronic components and technologies  Materials for electronic components 

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
Keywords
energy, storage, harvesting, ceramics, cold sintering, dissolution, precipitation, composites, magnetoelectric, ferroelectric, polarization, grain connectivity, energy transfer via strain
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19038  PhD Andreja Benčan Golob  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  537 
2.  52039  Oana Andreea Condurache  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022  61 
3.  02556  PhD Goran Dražić  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  1,039 
4.  06896  Silvo Drnovšek    Technical associate  2020 - 2023  306 
5.  30036  Brigita Kmet    Technical associate  2020 - 2023  169 
6.  50610  Gorazd Koderman Podboršek  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021  36 
7.  13369  PhD Danjela Kuščer Hrovatin  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2020 - 2023  541 
8.  04587  PhD Barbara Malič  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2020 - 2023  1,482 
9.  29547  PhD Mojca Otoničar  Materials science and technology  Head  2020 - 2023  171 
10.  33270  PhD Kristian Radan  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2020 - 2021  86 
11.  53544  Samir Salmanov  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  27 
12.  52065  PhD Matej Šadl  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022  100 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,415 
2.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,112 
Abstract
Reducing energy cost when fabricating materials and producing new materials' designs for efficiently converting freely-available, sustainable or waste energies into electricity to face the ever-increasing demand for powering modern equipment and electronics, is one of the main concerns of materials scientists. Here we want to use a newly-revealed cold sintering process for fabricating new ferroelectric-based functional materials with enhanced performances. The main goal of our project is to understand the mechanisms underlying this low temperature (< 350 °C), pressure- (< 600 MPa) and solution-assisted technique and explore its full potential in designing advanced ferroelectric ceramics, multifunctional composites and novel materials’ structures that are by the standards of ‘normal’ sintering procedures difficult to achieve due to possible inter-diffusion of species between different phases, causing their properties to deteriorate. Indeed, standard sintering requires very high temperature processing (typically above 1000 °C) and shows several drawbacks such as high energy consumption and thus negative impact on the environment, not to mention potential harmful element volatilization, but also restrictions in materials design when we want to combine materials of different nature (e.g., oxide, metal, polymer), which then becomes very challenging or even impossible. The very first work on successful cold-sintering of a ferroelectric perovskite ceramic, namely BaTiO3, which is in principle insoluble, has been reported in December 2019 by Prof. C. Randall from Penn State University (a collaborator of the PI). This finally proved that perovskites can be sintered at 300 °C, however, while this technique was proved very promising for fabrication of functional ceramics, there are still many unknowns to the processes driving cold sintering, and the method is still in its infancy, ready to be explored. Fundamental understanding of the cold-sintering process and the key parameters (solution, temperature, pressure, time, grain surface and size) are thus crucial for its future development. To achieve this goal, we propose to use cold sintering for designing ferroelectric-based materials, which are multifunctional materials with useful applications in energy storage and conversion as they show unique dielectric, piezoelectric, pyroelectric, electrocaloric and even magnetoelectric properties. As building blocks for our project, we selected oxides exhibiting specific ferroelectric-related features, i.e., ferroelectric, antiferroelectric and relaxor materials, which display different arrangements of the polarization and, consequently, different responses to external solicitations such as electric field or stress. Taking advantage of the advanced and state-of-the-art tools and skills available at the Electronic Ceramics Department at JSI and through on-going collaborations developed by the PI and the wide expertise on ferroelectrics and related materials of the PI and her colleagues and collaborators, as well as the recently acquired cold-sintering machine funded by JSI, we aim to investigate single-oxide cold-sintered ceramics, multi-oxide-based composites, and cold-sintered multi-compound-based structures mixing various oxides, metal and polymer. We believe such methodology will enable us to reveal the key ingredients at the heart of the process of cold sintering, and how to play with them to engineer unique ferroelectric-related materials with improved performances and novel properties for energy-related applications. Our project is ambitious, original and timely. It will enable not only to provide a fundamental understanding of the cold sintering process and guidelines for the design of new electronic materials structures with boosted properties, but will also help us to acquire an international visibility in this very promising field, serving as springboard for the submission of future projects at the European scale and for establishi
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