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Towards Application specific tailoring of CarbOn nanoMAterials

Project description

An improved spectroscopic technique for carbon nanomaterial characterisation

Their remarkable physical, chemical and mechanical properties make nanomaterials suitable for a wide array of applications, for example in sensors, catalysis, supercapacitors and energy storage. Glassy carbon is widely used in sensors, but its properties are still poorly understood. Lack of high-sensitive, high-resolution methods for characterising material properties hinder the development of tailor-made carbon nanomaterials and further improvements in sensor performance. Together with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and NASA, and funded under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the TACOMA project is developing the world's first soft X-ray spectroscopy set-up based on transition-edge sensor technology. The technology should allow on-site spectroscopic studies on carbon surface functional groups and carbon–metal bonds.


Impact of carbon nanomaterials (CNM) on society can be significant as they have the potential to revolutionize applications in sensors, catalysis, supercapacitors and energy storage. For sensors, currently used materials such as glassy carbon (GC), cannot selectively and sensitively detect neurotransmitters in physiological environment and the required surface properties in a given application environment are not known. However, by understanding the connection between sensing performance and material properties we can enable tailor-made materials. Unfortunately, even with the rigorously studied GC, this is not known. This can be attributed to the limited access to highly sensitive and high-resolution characterization methods and especially to the lack of in situ measurements. TACOMA-Project offers implementation of the world’s first in situ soft X-ray Spectroscopy (X-RS) setup with Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory and NASA based on the new transition edge sensor technology allowing detailed spectroscopic studies of carbon, its surface functional groups and various carbon-metal bonds under realistic use environments. Further, a novel hybrid characterization method combining photoelectron, absorption and X-ray emission spectroscopy to study CNM as fabricated, chemically modified and aged under laboratory conditions will be established. TACOMA is supported by a network of collaborators providing (i) access to machine learning and atomistic simulations that are integrated with the experimental work, (ii) insight into electrochemistry and (iii) access to high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The TACOMA-Project will address questions such as what is the root cause of the electrocatalytic properties of CNM and how surface of the CNM evolves in the application environment? This will realize the huge potential of CNMs and allow the future fellow to transfer this unique knowledge of CNM and X-RS to European universities, industry and synchrotron facilities.


Net EU contribution
€ 278 606,40
90014 Oulu

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Manner-Suomi Pohjois- ja Itä-Suomi Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 278 606,40

Participants (1)

Partners (1)