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25 Scientists Attend Workshop “Soft Matter and Neutrons GO Energy”

22 October 2015

by: Olaf Holderer and Rainer Bruchhaus, JCNS.

The first Jülich Workshop “Soft Matter and Neutrons GO Energy” took place in Feldafing from 08 - 09 October. Twenty-five scientists exchanged ideas in an interdisciplinary environment on topics related to soft matter and neutron research for sustainable energy supplies. The event, organized by the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) and the Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Electrochemical Process Engineering (IEK-3), was held in the GIZ Conference Centre (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit).

The quest for a sustainable supply of sufficient energy is one of the grand challenges that societies are facing around the globe. Major research projects focus therefore on tackling “green” energy production as well as efficient energy storage using advanced technologies and materials. Recently, soft matter materials have become very attractive for use in advanced batteries, solar cells and efficient fuel cells. Here, neutrons are a key tool, providing deep insight into the structure and dynamics and thus the function of technologies based on soft matter materials. In addition, neutron scattering methods have significantly contributed to address the open questions surrounding Li-ion battery research.

JCNS Workshop SMNGE 2015Attendees of the workshop "Soft Matter and Neutrons GO Energy"
Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich

The idea behind the workshop “Soft Matter and Neutrons GO Energy” was to bring scientists together to improve communication between the different communities and to fully explore the potential of neutron scattering in this field. Twenty-five scientists used the workshop to discuss the most recent developments in the field and explore future possibilities for collaboration and scientific exchange.

The workshop hosted sessions on batteries, on materials relevant for diverse energy-related applications from solar cells to new types of rubber for tyres, as well as on fuel cells. Lively discussions resulted from the different sessions, showing that energy-related topics and neutron scattering form a very attractive combination. Some of the findings presented during the workshop included  neutron radiography and tomography used to bring new insights to the operation of batteries and fuel cells, and quasi elastic neutron scattering was shown to be an excellent tool for studying proton diffusion in complex multicomponent systems. Furthermore, the grazing incidence SANS was shown to be an extraordinary tool for studying buried interfaces in layered structures.

Save the date: The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) is currently planning the conference “Neutrons for Energy”, to be held in Bad Reichenhall from 18 – 21 July 2016.

 


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