As the age of cheap oil and fossil fuels is coming to an end, humanity will face an energy crisis. Many alternative energy sources have already been identified. However, there is no optimal solution to replace fossil fuels on a short time scale with new sources that are economically viable and environmentally sustainable in the long term. History reports disastrous consequences for human societies that exploited their resources in a non sustainable way1, and arguably this is exactly what is happening today on a global scale. Evidence for climate change is overwhelming. This public lecture aims at describing a general picture of the looming energy crisis, particularly to promote awareness2. Some possible solutions are discussed, involving the use of advanced materials and nanotechnology for energy saving, energy storage and energy conversion.
1 Jared Diamond, ‘Collapse’ Viking Penguin (2005).
2 N. Armaroli, V. Balzani. “The Future of Energy Supply: Challenges and Opportunities”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 46, 52 (2007).
Federico Rosei has held the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Nanostructured Organic and Inorganic Materials between 2003 and 2013. He is Professor and Director of Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications, Université du Québec, Varennes (QC) Canada. Since January 2014 he holds the UNESCO Chair in Materials and Technologies for Energy Conversion, Saving and Storage and since May 2016 he also holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Nanostructured Materials. He received MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in 1996 and 2001, respectively.
Dr. Rosei’s research interests focus on the properties of nanostructured materials, and on how to control their size, shape, composition, stability and positioning when grown on suitable substrates. He has published over 230 articles in prestigious international journals with over 7400 citations and an H index of 47. He is Fellow of numerous prestigious national and international societies and academies. He has received several awards and honours, including the most recent Recognition for Excellence in Leadership from the American Vacuum Society, the Selby Fellowship from the Australian Academy of Sciences and the John C. Polanyi Award (Canadian Society for Chemistry 2016).