Materials technology has been a prerequisite for the development of a wide range of products such as TVs with LCD monitors, solar cell panels, advanced mobile phones as well as rechargeable electric cars.
For seventy years, our researchers have analyzed materials down to the atomic levels. We build and test new materials nanometers by nanometers. By comparison, a human hair is 100,000 nanometers thick.
Through this work, we have acquired extensive expertise in materials science and nanotechnology. Our foremost tool at work for new energy systems is the research reactor at Kjeller. The knowledge we gain about materials enables us to deliver internationally leading research.
Norway’s largest microscope
A few examples: Where an x-ray examination shows the bone structure of the body, we can distinguish between the properties of different magnets by use of neutron radiation. When neutrons are radiated through materials, we can see and understand how materials are made up of atoms, how the atoms work and rebuild materials from the very bottom. The research reactor at Kjeller is by some referred to as Norway’s largest microscope.
Our fundamental research in physics is highly specialized. Only a dozen research institutes in the world that can provide similar analysis. In order to improve and innovate existing materials used in items such as batteries and magnets in refrigerators and electric bikes, we are researching and testing new ones: Materials innovation will also provide more environmentally friendly alternatives and reduce dependency on the use of rare minerals.
Fulfillment of the United Nation’s sustainability goals
The international community is dependent on the development of new materials and the conservation of natural resources in order to meet the UN sustainability goals, reduce climate change, provide clean energy for all and make sustainable cities.
This requires precise insight into the structure and dynamics of materials at atomic level. As one of Norway’s largest research institutes for energy, we provide a wide range of solutions for tomorrow’s energy systems. We have leading laboratories and partners on five continents and in multiple countries.
Our ambitions are continuously being extended. We have great ambitions. By use of our highly specialized competence and the research facilities at the Kjeller research reactor, we strengthen basic research in physics, which is the foundation of research on renewable technology, oil and gas, radioactive drugs and energy systems. IFE aims to be an internationally leading center for neutron-based research. This is how we contribute to research for a better future.