Mini-dynamos for higher efficiency of fuel cells


ERC Consolidator Grant for Jia Min Chin at the Department of Physical Chemistry

Consider a leaf, a seashell or even a butterfly wing. Such natural objects possess highly complex structures precisely organized across different scales: from the molecular, nano and micro level and extending to the macroscale, which is key to their functional performance. However, how can we, as scientists, do the same for synthetic composite materials? How can one organize and orient tiny particles or rods that are 1,000 times smaller than a grain of sand? The goal of the ERC Consolidator Grant project is to use electrical fields to direct these nano and microparticles - as a starting point for highly functional materials.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) serve as basic building blocks at the molecular level. In concrete terms, the aim is to develop improved materials for applications in the field of "green energy", e.g. a significant increase in the efficiency of various types of fuel cells.

Jia Min Chin started a tenure track professorship in physical chemistry at the University of Vienna in 2019. The assistant professor of the Faculty of Chemistry did her PhD at MIT in the USA under Nobel Prize winner Richard R. Schrock. Afterwards she did research at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore, where she established and managed a laboratory for advanced porous materials. The winner of the "L'Oréal Singapore for Women in Science National Fellowship" then moved to the University of Hull in the UK in 2014, where she led a research group until her move to Vienna.

Jia Min Chin (© Michael Reithofer)