Swedish Neutron Education for Science & Society

Paul Gratrex, British

This year, I received my MSci in Natural Sciences from the University of Exeter. Over the last four years, I have studied topics from across the scientific spectrum, ranging from geophysical surveys in Sweden, to studies of the primacy of sodium-ion pumps in metabolism. My focus, however, has been on physical chemistry. In my Master’s research, I was part of a team developing an electrochemical biosensor for the rapid detection of pulmonary aspergillosis, a fungal disease with high mortality rates.

Electrochemical energy devices, from fuel cells to electrolysers, are of utmost importance in developing the sustainable energy systems of tomorrow. My SwedNess project will focus on using neutron scattering techniques to probe the interiors of such devices, in-operando, in-situ and ex-situ. The depth and resolution of neutron scattering allows us to investigate new and improved materials and concepts, perform structural analyses of volume changes and mechanical stresses during the charge/discharge cycle, and probe the interfaces between ion-conducting polymers and solid electrodes.