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Manuel was awarded an ERC Starting Grant

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Manuel Souto, researcher at CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials and Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Aveiro, a highly prestigious Starting Grant worth 1.5 million euros. This is the second and third ERC Starting Grant awarded to CICECO and UA researchers, respectively.

The ERC project of Manuel Souto aims at exploring a new generation of porous organic polymers, known as Covalent Organic Frameworks (COFs), to be used as electrodes in lithium batteries, and is entitled “Molecular design of electrically conductive COFs as efficient electrodes for lithium batteries”. One of the advantages of these materials is their great versatility, because their physical properties can be modulated à la carte by chemical design.

One of the major project challenges is to increase COFs electrical conductivity, as this is the main bottleneck for real applications, explains the ERC awarded researcher. “An important goal is to further understand at the fundamental level the charge transport in these materials, so the project will also have a major impact on other fields, such as optoelectronics, and on the development of other energy storage devices, besides lithium batteries.” Another important objective is to optimize COFs processing, in order to increase the performance of the batteries. 

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