Canada Foundation for Innovation

Canada Foundation for Innovation

November 17, 2010 14:30 ET

CFI News Brief: New Ways to Harness Energy

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 17, 2010) - Advances in our quality of life are closely linked to the discovery of new materials. As an example, rechargeable batteries play a critical role in today's world of mobile communications and portable electronics. Windmills and solar panels are becoming a common fixture on the landscape. And now, automakers are looking for improved batteries for hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

So it's no surprise that Jeffrey Dahn, professor of physics and chemistry at Dalhousie Un iversity, and his research partners are intensely involved in finding new materials for lithium-ion batteries and organic solar cells that improve energy production, energy storage and sustainability.

"We have about a 50-year supply of fossil fuel. Wind and solar are renewable options, but we need some way to store that energy in order to have a constant supply," says Dahn.

Finding new approaches to energy production, energy use and energy storage to respond to today's growing population is a concern for the Dalhousie Centre of Excellence in Material Discovery, which Dahn heads.

This unique centre with its cutting-edge equipment may very well pave the way for novel discoveries that could reduce resource consumption and fossil fuel dependency.

The advanced research infrastructure in this lab, funded in part by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, provides an edge for novel discoveries unlike other labs of its kind in the world. This lab has the capacity to test over 60 material compositions at the same time under the exact same conditions.

And this technique has caught the attention of many players in the economic landscape such as 3M Canada, Toshiba, Axion Power International, Polysteel Atlantic to name just a few.

If you would like to receive similar News Briefs from the Canada Foundation for Innovation every few weeks, email Yves Melanson at

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. Since its creation in 1997, the CFI has committed $5.3 billion in support of 6,800 projects at 130 research institutions in 65 municipalities across Canada.

For more information on the research conducted at the Centre of Excellence in Material Discovery, contact:

Contact Information

  • Dr. Jeffrey Dahn
    Department of Chemistry – Dalhousie University
    Media relations - Dalhousie University
    Charles Crosby
    Senior Advisor - Media relations