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Deep multi-scale modelling of electrified metal oxide nanostructures

Project description

A deep dive into the electrified water-metal oxide interface at the nanoscale

Nanomaterials and nanotechnology have revolutionised applications from sensing to energy. The extremely small-scale structures of nanomaterials simultaneously afford them unique and exotic properties not seen in bulk materials – and help them get into tight spaces in the environment and the human body to which they perhaps should not have access. Nanoscale particles of metal oxide-based materials form an electric double layer at interfaces with liquids, the nature of which likely plays an integral role in the materials' functioning and degradation; yet, very little is known about this reactive region. The EU-funded DeepProton project will develop a deep learning-based multiscale modelling framework to gain insights for the benefit of safety, design and control.


One promising solution toward a sustainable society and a green economy is to use metal oxide-based materials. Metal oxides are a class of inorganic materials that have various energy and environmental applications such as heterogeneous catalyst, fuel cell, lithium-ion battery, supercapacitor, water treatment and antimicrobial application. Most metal oxides are synthesized as nanostructures which leads to unique properties and reduced economical costs. The very properties that make the metal oxide nanostructures attractive and indispensable in modern science and technology also cause an issue for the environment and human safety. In both the functioning and the degradation of metal oxide nanostructures, aqueous interface plays a vital role. The metal oxide-aqueous solution aqueous interface is electrified in working conditions due to acid-base chemistry and composed of protonic electric double layer. Given the importance of metal oxide surfaces in practical applications, surprisingly little is known about the relation between atomic structure of protonic double layer and the interfacial reactivity. This is largely due to the fact that our knowledge is mostly based on macroscopic observations such as current and concentration in electrochemistry and microscopic information of protonic double layer is difficult to be obtained in experiments. Therefore, developing a novel deep-learning empowered multi-scale modelling framework and providing a revolutionizing understanding at microscopic level of the functioning and degradation of electrified metal oxide nanostructures are the aims of this proposal. The outcome of this project will not only lead to the knowledge discovery about the impact of protonic electric double layer on porous metal oxide-based supercapacitors and on the degradation of metal oxide nanoparticles, but it will also propose useful design principles for synthesis and fabrication.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 400 600,00
751 05 Uppsala

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Östra Sverige Östra Mellansverige Uppsala län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 400 600,00

Beneficiaries (1)