Functional OXides through HOlistic UNDerstanding (FOXHOUND)
About the project
FOXHOUND merges key complementary competences within structural and materials chemistry, ionics and electrochemistry, semiconductor and structural physics into one targeted effort exploiting unique potentials for synergy. The FOXHOUND platform will, apply unconventional approaches to critical challenges that advances the scientific frontiers on functional oxides beyond the traditional concepts which, in turn, allows for tailoring of materials at the atomic scale to unprecedented levels. Within the thematic area of metal oxides, two focus areas have been identified for future and novel energy applications; hydrogen and defects in oxides (WP1), and properties of nanostructures and interfaces (WP2).
Work Package 1: Hydrogen and defects in oxides.
Metal oxides have properties dominated by various defects, located in the bulk or at interfaces. One omnipresent and often dominating defect species is hydrogen, responsible for impurity states, extended defects, transport, and chemical reactivity. Hydrogen has many faces in compounds, appearing as the bare proton (H+) in hydroxides and hydrates, as covalent H atoms in organics, as metallically (covalently) bonded atoms in transition metal hydrides, and as large hydride anions (H-) in ionic hydrides. Here, key competences in several of the research groups joins forces and explore the underlying physics/chemistry of fundamental/intrinsic defects and hydrogen; effects on materials properties, possibilities for utilization, and unresolved mysteries, in a truly novel research activity with innovative potentials.
Work Package 2: Properties of nanostructures and interfaces in oxides.
Surfaces and interfaces determine to a large extent the physical and chemical properties of all functional materials. For example, controlling metal-oxide interfaces may radically increase the efficiency of present-day solar cells by utilizing oxide based tandem/triple cells or nanostructure concepts, or a proper functionalization of metal-oxide surfaces may serve as in-expensive and non-toxic water purification.