Sven Rogge awarded an ERC Starting Grant STRAINSWITCH

Sven Rogge has been awarded a Starting Grant 'STRAINSWITCH' by the European Research Council (ERC). With this grant, he is poised to establish his research team at the CMM, with a focus on computational materials modelling.

Given enough time, diamonds transform into graphite. Similarly, many materials around us have the intriguing ability to switch between different solid-state phases, thereby changing their macroscopic behavior such as colour, conductivity, and adsorption capacity. While it is straightforward to observe such phase transformations, it remains highly challenging to control under which conditions of temperature, stress, and guest adsorption they take place. In ‘STRAINSWITCH: Strain engineering to design functional 4D polymorphism in nanostructured materials’, Sven and his research team aim to develop computational models that predict how both atomic-level modifications and phase transformations deform the material and, thus, induce strain fields. These strain fields–areas where the material gets stretched or compressed–are key to understanding how atomic-level modifications and phase transformations interact. This could open the door to rationalising nanostructured materials design for sustainable applications in photovoltaic devices or water harvesters, among others.

ERC Starting Grants are designed to fund talented early-career scientists who are ready to work independently and show potential to be a research leader. In their 2023 call, 400 ERC Starting Grants were awarded, including five granted to researchers at Ghent University.

Researchers specialising in developing and applying computational modelling tools for nanostructured materials who wish to be part of Sven’s research team are encouraged to apply through this page.