active projects in bold

eGEM grid energy storage technology, Institute CES d.o.o.
  Industrial project, Slovenia, 2019-2020
› Radiation induced paramagnetic defects in vitreous P2O5 and sodium-
  phosphate glasses 
  Research cooperation project with CEA, France, 2019-2021
Heterogeneuos processes on solid surfaces for sustainable technologies
  National Research Program 2019-2024
› Nano-Region: Open access Network for Nanotechnology-Based Innovations 
  INTERREG SLO-IT, 2019-2022 (PI: Mattia Fanetti)
Retina: Strengthening cross-border competitivness, research and innovation
  INTERREG SLO-AUT, 2018-2021
(PI: Giovanni Denino)
› A many-body pertubation theory study of the optical absorption spectrum of 
 “open-shell” defects
  Research contract with CEA, France, 2018-2019
A multidisciplinary approach to the treatment and application of waste water
  to agriculture
  Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), 2018-2020 (PI: Saim Emin)
Multi-Scale Modeling of E' Centers Kinetics in Irradiated MOSFETs - (E' Project)
  Research cooperation project with CEA, France, 2017-2019
Biological remediation of waters polluted with heavy metals
  MIZS project, Slovenia, 2017-2020
Metallization of polymer surfaces using hydrogen-producting algae
  MIZS project, Slovenia, 2017-2020
Simulation and Modeling of Materials and Processes
  National research program, 2016-2018 (PI: Sandra Gardonio)
Characterization of Alumina Coatings, Gald d.o.o.
  Industrial project, Slovenia, 2016-2017
Topologically designed magnesium alloys for biomedical applications
  National research project, 2016-2018 (PI: D. Orlov)
Computationally Aided Hardening of silica-based components for extreme   environments  (CADHARD)
  Research cooperation project with CEA, France, 2015-2017,
Active and healthy aging – molecular mechanisms, nutrition and targeted delivery with   nanoparticles
  Creative core cohesion programme, 2013-2015,
Heterogeneous photocatalytic processes: hydrogen production, water and air   purification
  National Research Programme, 2012-2017,
Heterostructure Nanomaterials for Water Splitting - HETMAT
  Marie-Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2012-CIG (Dr. Saim Emin), 2013-2017,
Strengthening University of Nova Gorica Research Potential in Environmental Sciences   and Novel Nanomaterials - SUNGREEN
  European Grant, 7FP RegPot, 2011-2016
Transparent SiC coatings on glass, International Investment Development Corporation,   Industrial project, 2012-2016
 Mixed oxides synthesied from heterometallic oxalate precursors characterisation
  and, SLO - Croatia bilateral project, 2015-2016
Hole Doped Double Perovskites for Sensor and Spintronics Applications
  SLO - India bilateral project, 2015-2017
Metal/oxide nanostructures for water treatment, SLO- Romanian bilateral project
Plasmonic Induced Water Splitting for Hydrogen Generation
  National project based on ERG-2010-AdG, 2011-2014
Synthesis, Characterisation and Properties of Nanostructured Multiferroic-Metal-   Polymer Composite
  SLO-Indian (NIIST, Trivandrum) bilateral project, 2011-2013
Development of a highly conductive heat exchanger for use in shallow boreholes
  Industrial project Corus Inzenirji d.o.o. 2010-2011
New Nano-Photocatalysts for Hydrgen Production with Solar Light
  USA-SLO (Berkley National Lab) bilateral project, 2009-2012
Chemistry of New Multiferroic Compounds
  National research project, 2009-2012,
Heterogeneous photocatalytic processes: hydrogen production, water and air   purification
  National Research Programme, 2009-2012,
New energy-efficient cooling technologies,
  Research Networks Projects UK-SLO (2008),
Nanostructured Magnetoelectric and Multiferroic Systems,
  National research project, 2008-2011,
Active substrate approach for switchable multiferroic thin films,
  Leverhulme Trust Award, (UK research project) 2006-2009,
Multiferroic thin films using artificial supercells,
  EPSRC Responsive (UK research project) 2005
Glass-free LTCC materials for microwave applications II,
  EPCOS OHG, Deutschlandsberg, Austria (industrial project) 2004-2005
Tantalum-Free Microwave Dielectric Resonators with Enhanced Quality Factor
  NATO project (international applied) 2005-2008
Materials For Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramics (LTCC) Applications Made By   Electrophoretic Deposition (EPD)
  E!2913- LOT-CFC Eureka project (international applied) 2003-2006
Nouveaux matériaux vitreux et cristallisés à base d'oxyde de tellure pour l'optique non   linéaire,
  Proteus - Actions Integrees (France-Slovenian bilateral) 2004-2005
New LTCC Materials for Microwave Application II
  EPCOS OHG, Deutschlandsberg, Austria (industrial) 2001
Synthesis of New Materials and Development of the Components Based on these   Materials for Communication Devices,
  Slovenian-Ukrainian Intergovernmental S&T Cooperation Programme 2003-2004
Glass-Free LTCC Materials for Microwave Applications
  EPCOS OHG, Deutschlandsberg, Austria (industrial) 2002-2004
New LTCC Materials for Microwave Application
  EPCOS OHG, Deutschlandsberg, Austria (industrial) 2000
Processing of Ag(Nb,Ta)O3-Based Ceramics
  EPCOS OHG, Deutschlandsberg, Austria (industrial) 2000
Ag(Nb,Ta)O3-Based Ceramics,
  Siemens-Matsushita Co.,Deutschlandsberg, Austria (industrial) 1999
MLC and Microwave Ceramics,
  Kekon Ceramics Capacitors, Zuzemberk, Slovenia (industrial) 1997-1999
Influence of the Crystal Structure Modifications of High-Permittivity Microwave   Materials on Dielectric Properties,
  National research project 1996-2001,
research in progress
awards & honors
Updated on 17.05.2019....................

Grid Electric Energy Storage
With increasing amount of renewable electrical energy included in the grid, the need for storing occasional surpluses of the produced electricity increases. The electrical energy is being stored when its production exceeds consumption and released when the consumption exceeds the production. In systems, where options for balancing of the grid power or the storage of surplus electrical energy are absent, the surpluses are curtailed. World-wide, several thousand TWh of electric energy is curtailed annually.
       We are developing an innovative technology for surplus grid energy storage in solid matter with a high energy efficiency and very high volume energy density. A goal is to lower the amount of curtailed electricity and to enable higher amount of the renewable sources to be included in the electrical grid. This would make the energy production efficiency higher and less fossil or nuclear fuels used. The development of the smart city concept is based on renewable energy sources that will become much more energy efficient with this new storage technology due to lower amount of curtailed energy. At the same time, smarter and more flexible management of the electricity production and consumption will be enabled, which will further increase the share of utilized electricity.

Topological Insulators
One of the fascinating aspects of the recently discovered topological insulators (TI) - materials that are bulk insulators but have conducting surface states (topological surface states, TSS) - is robustness of the surface states against perturbations. At the surface of semiconductor, due to saturation of dangling bonds and atomic reconstruction, surface states exist and have energy in the band gap. These surface states are easily modified/destroyed by the presence of defects and adsorbates atoms while TSS are not. The robustness of TSS is due to a property called topological invariant, which can not change as long as the bulk of the material remains insulating. TSSs exist independently of local chemical bonding structures.

Biogenic production of hydrogen
the objectiveis development of new green technologies for metallization of polymeric surfaces and for remediation of metal polluted wastewaters by reductive potential of algae.
Metallization by algae does not require expensive industrial facilities, which are adapted to conventional vacuum loading. Additionally it completely removes the use of toxic and aggressive chemicals that have a big influence on the environment. Another advantage is that for metallization there is no need for high temperatures as is for vacuum loading since the processes are carried out at room temperature. Because of this also the use of energy is reduced. Systems with hydrogen producing algae will be used for research of biological remediation of waters polluted with metal ions. Obtained knowledge will contribute to better understanding and more efficient removal and recycling of metal ions from wastewaters.
Project is co-financed by Republic of Slovenia and European Union (European Regional Development Fund).

Photocatalysts for water splitting
The water splitting is an uphill reaction with a large positive change in Gibbs free energy (237 kJ/mol). A potentially attractive route to overcome a thermodynamic potential, required for the water splitting, is in use of photo-electrochemical cells with a photo-active catalyst immersed in water. The key for achieving a quantum efficiency of visible light over 10%, which is the limit for a commercial realization of such a system, is in further improvement of existing photocatalysts and/or development of new materials, which will efficiently exploit their unique functional and surface properties to achieve the targeted catalytic activity. Within this research we focuse on
- development of new types of materials and their application in photocatalytic process
- studies of the structural, electronic and photocatalytic charcteristics of new catalysts
- synthesis of nano-powders with controlled morphology
- understanding an influence of morphology, composition, polymorph characteristic
and particle size on photocatalytic activity
- understanding of the photo-catalytic processes on the surface of the catalyst
- development of the microreactor design for hydrogen conversion

Computational solid-state chemistry
Computational chemistry has become a good proactive tool for guiding the scientists' experimental work. Simulations based on density functional theory (DFT) have become an extremely successful tool for describing the ground state properties of a wide range of bulk and more complex form of matter such as nanostructures and interfaces. Our projects include modelling of novel corundum-based photocatalysts, static electric field dependence of the band structure of crystals, simulations of vibrational frequency spectra and new perovskites. Simulations are performed with the ab-initio computational chemistry code Quantum Expresso. We run the simulation project more or less in parallel to our experimental work, which turned out to be an important advantage.

Electrocalorics (... more)
The research on environmental materials currently focuses on solid-state cooling technologies using the electrocaloric effect. We developed a microscopic theory of EC effect for linear dielectrics and are currently developing one for multidomain systems.With this we gained a new insight into the materials, which we want to optimse in order to developed a working solid-state refigerator. We are studying thermal effects in the new type of cooling unit based on quasi-adiabatic principle and constructing a refrigeration system based on such cooling unit. The system will consist of no moving parts or electric compressor and involve no refrigerants. The device will be characterized by a high cooling efficiency, low power consumption and no environmental hazards.

> The French Alternative and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), France
> London South Bank University, UK
> Institute of Fundamental and Frontier Sciences, University of Electronic Science    and Technology of China, Chengdu, China
> Elletra Synchrotron Trieste, Italy
> Istituto Officina dei Materiali (IOM) of CNR, Italy
> Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
> Department of Mechanical Engineering, LTH, Lund University, Sweden
> Laboratoire Hubert-Curien, Université Jean Monnet St. Etienne, France
> CEA-DAM-DIF, Laboratoire Composants et Technologies Durcies, France
> Istituto di Struttura della Material, CNR, Italy
> Istituto Nanoscienze, CNR, Italy
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
University of Toronto, Canada
> Yerevan State University, Armenia
University of Barcelona, Spain
> University of Padue, Italy
> Università Ca’Foscari Venezia, Italy
> Faculty for Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Univ. of Maribor, Slovenia
National Chemical Institute Slovenia
> Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
> Vall-cer d.o.o., Ljubljana, Slovenia
> Seven Refractories d.o.o., Divaca, Slovenia
> Institue CES d.o.o, Slovenia


partners in current projects
principal investigator in projects