Lund University

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About the Project

"Nanoscale Materials for Energy: Fundamentals, Applications and Safety" (PhD4Energy) was a single-site innovative doctoral programme funded by the EC "People" program (€ 3.2M during 2014-2018). The project was hosted by NanoLund, the Center for Nanoscience at Lund University and Sweden's largest research environment for nanoscience, engaging more than 200 PhD students and scientists in the faculties of engineering, the natural sciences, and medicine at Lund University. The project consisted of three components: research, secondments and courses. Each of the 12 doctoral students in the project participated in all three components.

Picture: M. Risedal


The research focussed on the unique opportunities offered by nanowires and molecular engineering.

PhD4Energy developed

  • Solar cells that consist of nanowires and therefore are highly-efficient.
  • LEDs that can be combined to emit light in any colour and have very low energy consumption.
  • Practical methods to enhance the thermoelectric performance of nanomaterials.
  • Artificial molecular machines made from combinations of proteins and nanowires for the transfer of chemical to mechanical energy.

Furthermore, PhD4Energy concurrently evaluated the safety and sustainability of our novel nanomaterials and device fabrication.

The research goals were structured in 12 individual work packages.


In PhD4Energy, a secondment (internship) of 4 - 8 months duration is an integral part of the training. To enable this, we have built a network of companies and institutions that have a high interest in interacting with the Nanometer Structure Consortium at Lund University on the science and technology of nanoscale energy converters, and in hosting and training doctoral students. The companies that participate in the program are QuNano AB (Sweden), Volvo Technology AB (Sweden), GLO Inc. (USA), Sol Voltaics AB (Sweden), Molecular Sense Ltd. (United Kingdom), QuantumWise A/S (Denmark), and Awapatent AB (Sweden).


PhD4Energy students will take courses in the following areas

  • Scientific skills (advanced physics, chemistry, and safety)
  • Scientific equipment (a course specific for tools in nanoscience)
  • IP skills (specific for this project about handling intellectual property (IP) and entrepreneurship)
  • Transferable skills (Innovation management, entrepreneurship, leadership)

The project held its kick-off meeting on 8th - 9th October 2014 in the beautiful environment of Backagården conference center, Höör. The picture shows the participants: all doctorate students, several supervisors and representatives of the associated partners.

Funded by the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-People-2013-ITN) under REA grant agreement n°608153, PhD4Energy.