Find below some indicative projects that the Smart Functional Materials Group of CEMATEP was participated.
1. Electrochromic, low cost, advanced windows: a project implemented through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” action Archimedes III and co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national funds (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007 – 2013).
The aim of the project was the development of novel electrochromic devices with fast response, excellent coloration efficiency, durability and repeatability, using low cost and environmental friendly techniques. The project consists of four workpackages. The first one is related with the preparation of the deposition techniques, while the second is referred to the deposition and characterization of EC layers grown by chemical techniques at low temperatures (≤ 95 oC). The third workpackage is similar with the second one, but the materials will be grown at higher temperatures (≥ 450 oC) using different techniques. Finally, the forth workpackage is about the completion and the comparative study of electrochromic devices developed at low and high temperatures respectively. The expected results are EC devices; one prepared at low temperatures with the combination of transparent conducting substrates (glass, plastic) that can decrease the cost production, design and installment, while a second one will be developed at high temperatures, competing the conventional industrial physical techniques, thus lowering the cost production.
2. Smart and low cost thermochromic windows for energy saving in building: A project implemented through Operational Program ‘‘Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship’’, Action “Cooperation 2009” and co-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) and Greek national funds (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007 -2013).
The aim of the project is the development of novel thermochromic coatings exhibiting: (a) low and tailored phase transition temperature, (b) very good transparency in the visible and (c) large change in the IR transmission below and above the transition temperature. Towards this scope, the investigation is focused on: (i) the deposition of VO2 nanostructured layers on various types of buffer layers placed on glass substrates, (ii) the deposition of doped VO2 nanostructured layers with one or two dopants (dopants like W and Mg) and (iii) the deposition of multiple layers of the form ΖnO/AxV1-xO2/ZnO, where A stands for W, Mg or W+ Mg.
3. Growth and characterization of novel nanostructured layers suitable for the confinement of GHz electromagnetic radiation, a project implemented through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” action Archimedes III and co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national funds (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007 – 2013).
The aim of this project was the growth and characterization of novel, efficient, low cost, environmental friendly and easily applied nanostructured layers based on carbon allotropes and metal/metal oxide nanoparticles, suitable for EMC in the GHz range. Three approaches are employed:
- Study of the GHz electromagnetic confinement of layers that offer the possibility of tuning their performance by modifying the nanostructures basic characteristics.
- Study of the dependence of the performance of the nanostructured layers on the frequency of the incoming radiation, and
- Investigation of the correlation between the electrical characteristics of the nanostructured layers and their effectiveness in EMC.
4. Nanostructured metal oxide photocatalysts, a project implemented through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” action Archimedes III and co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national funds (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007 – 2013).
The aim of the project was the development of simple semiconductor materials of titanium, zinc and tungsten oxides, in the form of powders, thin films on steady substrates (e.g., glass), exhibiting strong photo-produced oxidation power, which provided new insight into the field of semiconductor chemistry for environmental, large-scale applications. The experimental approach concerned simple, eco-friendly preparation, and design of novel photocatalytic materials of low energy and production cost but with enhanced photocatalytic activity. The novelty relied on using safe, simple chemical techniques to (a) control, so as to improve their morphological, structural and surface characteristics (surface-to-volume ratio) to make them far more efficient in dealing with industrial effluents and/or volatile toxic compounds, while (b) to extend their applications from ultraviolet to visible-light range, resulting to important energy savings and cost, when applied to large scale purification systems. Making the best out of the “free of charge” energy of solar light the developed materials can find a special interest in sunny Mediterranean countries, such as Greece.
5. Investigation of the performance of polymer based outdoor insulators used in high voltage applications and development of a remote and real-time diagnostic technique for the evaluation of their functionality, Greek funded project implemented through the Operational Program ʽʽCompetitiveness and Entrepreneurshipʼʼ, Action “Cooperation 2011” (2013-2015).
The aim of this project is the investigation in a systematic way of the performance of polymer based outdoor insulators used in high voltage applications under the climatic conditions of Crete and Greece and the development of a remote and real time diagnostic tool for the on-the-field evaluation of their functionality. Towards this end, initially the physical/chemical parameters affecting the functionality of the insulators will be determined, so that the influence of ageing on the basic characteristics and the functionality of the insulators will be better understood. Afterwards, the performance of various optical techniques (like Spectral Imaging, Laser Induced Fluorescence and Laser Induced breakdown Spectroscopy) will be examined regarding lab and field scale recognition of the functionality of the insulators. Upon deciding on the more appropriate diagnostic technique, the respective model correlating the diagnosis results with basic characteristics and functionality of the insulators will be developed, tested and optimized. Finally, a prototype diagnostic tool will be developed and tested as well as new polymeric material will be designed, exhibiting properties suitable for outdoor composite insulators.
6. Photocatalytic active nanostructured coatings on fabric substrates for applications in air purification systems, PNII-RU-TE-2012-3-0202, grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS – UEFISCDI (**792.220 RON). The project is implemented at CEMATEP through the Bilateral collaboration agreement No594/14/05.2013 between the lab and the Chemistry Department of Al. I. Cuza University. (2013-2016)
The project has the following objectives:
- To obtain nanostructured ZnO based coatings on textile supports with controlled thickness, very good coverage, and robustness using as direct growth method different chemical simple routes (aqueous chemical growth, nonaqueous solution growth, and sol gel) using low cost precursors, and repeatability for potential commercial applications.
- To find the optimum material composition, structure and properties on each textile substrate and to achieve maximum surface to volume ratio for the active coating for each chemical growth method.
- To achieve materials with high photocatalytic activity against common air pollutants that can be used in indoor air purification systems.
- To create a small scale prototype reactor, integrating the best photocatalytic active ZnO based material onto textile support, with respect sustainability, feasibility and cost effectiveness for future scale up.