Home > Press > Sun shines as new Canada Research Chair
A researcher at The University of Western Ontario hopes that small steps he takes in his lab will help us address energy needs while helping us leave an even smaller footprint on the environment.
Sun shines as new Canada Research Chair
Ontario, Canada | Posted on December 3rd, 2007
"Energy shortages and environmental pollution pose serious long-term challenges to the planet," says Mechanical & Materials Engineering professor Xueliang (Andy) Sun, named a Tier Two Canada Research Chair (CRC) in the Development of Nanomaterials for Fuel Cell Applications.
The ‘small steps' he takes are actually in the field of nanotechnology, which creates useful and functional materials, devices and systems through control of materials on the nanoscale, or one billionth of a metre - which is no small feat.
"We're trying to make nanomaterials to address clean energy," says Sun, who will receive $100,000 annually for the next five years to continue his work.
The CRC program also announced the renewal of Western's Victor Han, Tier One CRC in Fetal and Maternal Health ($200,000 annual for seven years) and Yining Huang, Tier Two CRC in Materials Characterization ($100,000 annually for five years).
For Sun, he hopes to accelerate the fuel cell commercialization process by combining nanomaterials with fuel cell electrodes to lower their cost and to increase their stability.
"There is a growing awareness that nanotechnology will have a profound impact on energy generation, storage and utilization," he says. "Fuel cells are energy conversion devices that are efficient, quiet and environmentally-friendly; however, high cost and low durability of electrodes still pose significant challenges."
Sun's lab is paying particular attention to the synthesis and characterization of carbon nanotubes and metal oxide nanowires. Carbon nanotubes are one-atom thick sheets of graphite rolled into seamless cylinders with a diameter of about one nanometre. They are 100-times harder than steel and four-times better than copper for electrical conductivity.
While Sun describes nanotubes as ‘the perfect structure,' difficulty mass-producing them remains their biggest downside. His lab hopes to address this shortcoming and to continue to improve fuel cell technology.
As an alternative to oil, protein exchange membrane fuel cells being developed in Sun's lab use hydrogen oxygen, producing a by-product of pure water and, at the same time, electricity. That's why, Sun says, it's good for the environment, and also for energy.
For more information, please click here
361 Westminster College, The University of Western Ontario, LONDON N6A 3K7
Copyright © University of Western Ontario
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Rice physicist emerges as leader in quantum materials research: Nevidomskyy wins both NSF CAREER Award and Cottrell Scholar Award August 20th, 2014
Graphene may be key to leap in supercapacitor performance August 20th, 2014
Newly-Developed Nanobiosensor Quickly Diagnoses Cancer August 20th, 2014
Ultrasonic Waves Applied in Production of Graphene Nanosheets August 20th, 2014
Production of Toxic Ion Nanosorbents with High Sorption Capacity in Iran August 17th, 2014
PerkinElmer to Display Innovative Detection and Informatics Offerings at ACS National Meeting & Exposition Detection, Data Visualization and Analytics for Chemistry Professionals August 8th, 2014
Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics July 30th, 2014
Iranian Scientists Use Waste Cotton Fibers to Produce Cellulose Nanoparticles July 29th, 2014
Chemical reaction yields "tapes" of porphin molecules: Flexible tapes from the nanoworld August 13th, 2014
Eco-friendly 'pre-fab nanoparticles' could revolutionize nano manufacturing: UMass Amherst team invents a way to create versatile, water-soluble nano-modules August 13th, 2014
“Active” surfaces control what’s on them: Researchers develop treated surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move August 6th, 2014
Used-cigarette butts offer energy storage solution August 5th, 2014
Media Advisory: Minister Rempel to Announce Support for Alberta's Nanotechnology Sector June 20th, 2014
Evolution of a Bimetallic Nanocatalyst June 6th, 2014
University of Surrey collaborates with India and Tata Steel to revolutionise renewable energy March 26th, 2014
Novel membrane reveals water molecules will bounce off a liquid surface: Study may lead to more efficient water-desalination systems, fundamental understanding of fluid flow March 16th, 2014