Luca Porcarelli

Luca Porcarelli

Oraingo lanpostua / Puesto actual

Innovative Polymers Group, POLYMAT.

Nire Europako proiektua / Mi proyecto europeo

Today, lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are enabling the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables. LIBs are the leading energy storage technology in the market of consumer electronics and electric mobility. However, safety concerns limit the use of LIBs on a large-scale because some components of LIBs – such as the liquid electrolyte – are highly flammable and can provoke fires. The goal of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action eJUMP is to develop new electrolyte materials with improved safety to enable the next-generation of rechargeable batteries

The electrolyte plays the role of transporting lithium ions inside the battery. Commercial liquid electrolytes are based on molecules called organic carbonates that are highly flammable and can provoke fires. Solid electrolytes are new materials with intrinsic safety features. Until now, two main families of materials have been intensively investigated. Inorganic Glass-Ceramics exhibit high ionic conductivities but are very brittle materials and their industrial processing is very complex. On the other hand, Ion-Conductive Polymers have desirable mechanical properties but their ionic conductivity falls short of expectations. The eJUMP action is developing a new class of electrolyte materials called Organic Ionic Plastic Crystals (OIPCs). OIPCs are crystalline materials entirely composed of small organic ions with several unique mechanical and ion transport properties, which can greatly improve the performance of lithium batteries. The goal of eJUMP is to collect fundamental data and guidelines for the design of future OIPC-based electrolyte materials.

Formakuntza eta ikerketa-ibilbidea/Formación académica y trayectoria investigadora

I received a Degree in Chemistry from the University of Bologna with a thesis on electrolyte materials for high voltage lithium batteries. Then, I moved to the Polytechnic University of Turin to pursue a Ph.D. in Materials Science for the development of polymeric ionic liquids electrolytes and single-ion conductors. After my PhD, I obtained a Postdoctoral Research position in the Innovative Polymers Group at the University of the Basque Country. In this new role, I continued to develop new electrolytes and conducting polymers for bioelectronics applications. Between 2019 and 2021, I moved to the Institute for Frontier Materials (Deakin University, Australia) as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellow. My current research interests focus on the synthesis of innovative polymer electrolytes for emerging energy storage applications, redox polymers for organic batteries and conducting polymers for bioelectronics.

Ikerketan aritzeko motibazioa/Mi motivación para dedicarme a la investigación

Sustainability and environmental safeguards have always been my passion. The study of chemistry gave me the opportunity to pursue a scientific career and join the fight against climate change. In my current position, I am leading the development of polymer materials to enable e-mobility and energy storage from renewables.

Aritzen naizen taldea eta ikerketa-lerroak/Grupo y líneas de investigación que desarrollo

The Innovative Polymers Group combines different research activities between organic and polymer chemistry, materials science, physical chemistry, electrochemistry, energy, corrosion and bioelectronics. We are oriented towards developing the POLYMERS OF THE FUTURE. Our main goal is the development of INNOVATIVE POLYMERS such as poly(ionic liquid)s, redox polymers, polymer electrolytes, conducting polymers, or iongels. We have a highly collaborative spirit and devotion to WORK TOGETHER WITH PEOPLE interested in the applications of innovative polymers. We are currently developing polymers for emerging technologies such as ELECTROCHEMICAL ENERGY STORAGE (BATTERIES), BIOELECTRONICS OR CORROSION.

Nire ikerketa-ibilbidean aipatzen dut…/En mi trayectoria investigadora destaco…

International mobility played an important role for my professional and personal development. Working in science gave me the opportunity to travel and work in many international research institute around the world – including Australia, USA, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Etorkizunari begira/Mirando al futuro

Working as part of the University of the Basque Country gave me the opportunity to share my passions via outreach and teaching activities. I hope my work will encourage younger peers to choose a scientific career and gain interested in the applications of innovative polymers.