Nanotechnology for Energy and Environment
Can you imagine the new possibilities that can be explored by using nanometre thin and light carbon nanotubes that are much stronger than steel?
Possible areas of application for such kind of nanomaterials are almost unlimited, from aircrafts to ski poles. However it is not only the strength that will be increased, but also functional properties like electronic conductivity, magnetic behaviour and optical properties. These are influenced by controlling the structure of the materials at the nanoscale level. Nanotechnology will bring us new materials with these unique properties, which make possible the development and production of new devices and products.
These nanostructured materials can be made by using different synthesis technologies. If you decide to study nanotechnology, you will learn about a number of advanced techniques to either build nanostructured materials atom by atom, or to start with a larger material and create structures on the nanometer scale. Some of these techniques you will also use yourself in the laboratory. We have so far only seen the beginning of what is possible to create of nanomaterials, and new techniques are constantly being developed.
Development of new energy technologies and technologies for a cleaner environment are two important focus areas. For example, the development of light and strong new materials would make planes, trains and cars lighter and thus reduce energy consumption. Development of effective methods for the conversion of one type of energy to another is another important area. Materials with new functional properties will be able to streamline the energy conversion, for example from sunlight to electricity in solar cells, or from electrical energy to chemical energy in the form of hydrogen gas. The production of new and effective nanomaterials will also provide an environmental benefit because the material need will be less than with the use of traditional materials.
Choosing the main profile of “Nanotechnology for materials, energy and environment” you will contribute to the development of such new environmental friendly energy technologies. You will also be able to contribute to the development of for example new, effective methods for purifying gases, liquids and drinking water as well as separating CO2 for storage. In order to avoid possible negative effects, it is also crucial to understand the impact new nanomaterials will have on the environment. A specialisation within “Nanotechnology for materials, energy and environment”, will equip in facing the world's climate challenges.