Latest grant brings to €12m amount raised by AMBER’s Valeria Nicolosi

27 Jul 2016161 Shares

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AMBER researcher Prof Valeria Nicolosi has raised €12m in grant funding in the last five years to pioneer future energy technologies. Picture via Naoise Culhane

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A €150,000 funding award for AMBER to develop new thermal management technologies for the car industry brings to €12m the amount of funding brought in by Prof Valeria Nicolosi in the last five years.

AMBER-based researcher Prof Valeria Nicolosi is Ireland’s only five-time European Research Council grant awardee and has brought in €6.8m to date from the council.

The latest proof of concept grant, worth €150,000, is a top-up on her ERC starting grant of €1.5m awarded in 2011.

The 2011 grant was for her work in processing and characterising nanomaterials for the development of novel energy storage devices.

‘This technology has the potential to become a feasible, easy and efficient solution for a range of manufacturing companies’
– PROF VALERIA NICOLOSI, AMBER

As a result, Nicolosi began collaborating with a company in the automotive industry to explore the use of novel two-dimensional nanomaterials to solve heat dissipation issues.

Her technology was successful and the aim of this proposal is to determine the economic and technical feasibility of using readily scalable technologies for the development of inexpensive and high-performance solutions to solve heat dissipation for a wide range of technologies.

At the forefront of 2D nanomaterials research

Prof_Valeria_Nicolosi_AMBER_2

Prof Valeria Nicolosi with the most powerful microscope in Ireland at the AMBER research centre

It is estimated that the global market for thermal management products will grow from about $10.7bn in 2015 to $14.7bn by 2021.

Nicolosi’s technology will offer a cheap, scalable solution of using advanced 2D nanomaterials for enhanced heat transport. 2D nanomaterials improve heat transport due to their thermal conductivity properties and at the same time provide a lightweight solution.

‘Prof Nicolosi is at the forefront in 2D nanomaterials research and her work will bring economic and societal benefits to Ireland in developing more efficient ways to deal with energy consumption’
– PROF MICHAEL MORRIS, AMBER

The technology offers the advantage of being extremely versatile. 2D nanomaterial dispersions can be sprayed on their own directly onto surfaces or they can be mixed with different materials to obtain additional enhanced resistance to wear, abrasion and oxidation. This will allow manufacturers to improve the performance of existing systems, as well as improve the performance of new designs.

“What is exciting about this work is that, in addition to the automotive industry, there are a huge range of industrial applications that can benefit from more efficient and lightweight thermal management systems such as advanced aircraft, injection moulding, pharmaceutical manufacturing and household appliances,” Nicolosi said.

“This technology has the potential to become a feasible, easy and efficient solution for a range of manufacturing companies. This grant is allowing me to take the next step with the technology to really see it applied in industry,” she added.

Earlier this year, Nicolosi was awarded €2.5m to create the battery of the future.

Economic and societal benefits

“The awarding of this Proof of Concept Grant to Prof Nicolosi is an excellent acknowledgement of the research work she and her team are currently undergoing,” said Prof Michael Morris, director of AMBER (Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research).

“She is at the forefront in 2D nanomaterials research and her work will bring economic and societal benefits to Ireland in developing more efficient ways to deal with energy consumption.

“During her time at Trinity, Prof Nicolosi has received over €12m in funding, including €6.8m to date from the ERC, and now an additional €150,000 to further her research. She is an exceptional asset to the AMBER team and this funding also reaffirms how competitive Ireland is as a place for research,” Morris added.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com