Science and Technology
Today, the main conversion and energy storage technologies are based on ceramic materials. They are able to transfer not only electrons, as in a “usual” conductor, but also mass in the form of ions (for example, oxygen or lithium ions). Such materials are called ionic or mixed ionic-electronic conductors and are at the basis of, for example, lithium batteries and oxide fuel cells.
The superior performance of our μ-Harvestorers require the use of advanced materials with superior properties. For this, Harvestore will take advantage of new emerging disciplines in the field: Nanoionics and Iontronics.
Nanoionics and Iontronics
Nanoionics and Iontronics investigate the possibility of precisely tuning the population of ions and electrons. By introducing a material discontinuity (such as an interface or an extended structural defect) we are able to create a new local environment with surprising properties of fast conduction and high storage capacity. Material designing at the nanoscale is now fully within reach.
The concepts behind Nanoionics and Iontronics have already been proven by advanced research experiments, but their application in real devices is still missing. This is mainly due to the typical use of non-scalable fabrication techniques and of non-technical supports.
In order to become part of the “real” world, Nanoioncs and Iontronics need to feed well into mainstream technology.
With Harvestore, we want to integrate such interface-dominated oxide materials on silicon. Silicon ensures superior manufacturability, cost-effectiveness and the possibility to host dense structures in a seamless architecture; all in an environmentally friendly material. Silicon is the champion to bring micro and nano technologies to the economy of scale and is therefore the material of choice for the support of our harvestorers.