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Energy and Functional Materials

The structure-property relationship of ionic conductors are investigated for applications in energy storage and conversion devices. This work includes the synthesis of the materials, the characterisation by techniques such as X-ray diffraction and synchrotron-based techniques (such as total scattering and X-ray absorption spectroscopy) as well as other complementary techniques. Ionic conductivity is probed using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Thermal analysis and variable high temperature measurements are also conducted using most of these techniques. Atomistic modelling is done to gain an integrated understanding of the structure.

Dr Roy Forbes | | Google Scholar

The characterization of functional materials is at the center of understanding the structure-property relationship. My work involves the use of, primarily, laboratory and synchrotron x-ray based characterization techniques on a number of functional materials which includes batteries, heterogeneous catalysts, solid state electrolytes, pharmaceuticals and other functional ceramic and metal based materials. Additionally, to better understand the mechanisms at play, I make use of a number of additional complementary characterization techniques which allows for the development of more realistic and accurate descriptions of the chemical and structural processes that occur in these materials.

Dr Dean Barrett |

The LU(γ)Z group focuses on the design and development of instrumentation and experimental methods for multimodal studies of materials under operating conditions. We endeavour to study heterogeneous and electrocatalysts with high temporal and spatial resolution. We combine researchers from physics, chemistry and engineering with the aim of holistically understanding how these complex systems operate and to design instrumentation for the experimental requirements. We are proud to work alongside our global synchrotron partners to develop these new tools for research and make the developments available to scientists across Africa. We also work alongside industry partners to provide instrumentation and data tailored to their research needs.