744 Projects, page 1 of 149
Mathematical models have become central tools in global environmental assessments. To serve society well, climate change stabilization assessments need to capture the uncertainties of the deep future, be statistically sound and track near-term disruptions. Up to now, conceptual, computational and data constraints have limited the quantification of uncertainties of climate stabilization pathways to a narrow set, focused on the current century. The statistical interpretation of scenarios generated by multi-model ensembles is problematic due to availability biases and model dependencies. Scenario plausibility assessments are scant. Simplified, single-objective decision criteria frameworks are used to translate decarbonization uncertainties into decision rules whose understanding is not validated. EUNICE aims to transform the methodological and experimental foundations of model-based climate assessments through quantification and debiasing of uncertainties in climate stabilization pathways. Our approach is threefold: construct, consolidate and convert. We first apply simulation and statistical methods for extending scenarios into the deep future (beyond the current century and status quo), quantifying and attributing deep uncertainties. We consolidate model ensembles through machine learning and human ingenuity to eliminate statistical biases, pin down near-term correlates of long-term targets, and identify early signals of scenario plausibility through prediction polls. Finally, we use decision-theoretic methods to convert model-generated maps of the future into resilient recommendations and experimentally test how to communicate them effectively. By advancing the state of the art in mathematical modelling, statistics, and behavioural decision-making, we strengthen the scientific basis of climate assessments, such as those of the IPCC. The approach and insights of EUNICE can be applied to other high-stakes environmental, social and technological evaluations.
The main goal of the PANTANI project is to complete the design of an innovative laser-driven radiation source suitable for applications in materials science, inspection and treatment, as well as the development of some of its key components. Accelerators are exploited to produce particles and radiation needed for applications of high industrial and social relevance, like analysis of objects of historical, artistic and environmental interest, sterilisation of medical instrumentation, inspection of cargos and goods. Large-scale diffusion of these applications is prevented by the intrinsic limits of the available particle sources in terms of costs, dimensions and flexibility. In this frame, laser-driven particle sources represent an appealing solution to overcome these limitations. They are potentially cheaper and more compact compared to conventional accelerators. Moreover, they can provide several kinds of particles to perform multiple applications with the same source. These novel sources are subject to active research, but no industrial applications are currently available. Starting from the results obtained with the ERC CoG ENSURE and ERC PoC INTER projects, PANTANI aims to address key aspects, never considered before, to develop a laser-driven particle source dedicated for the applications: 1) the development of an application-oriented design of the entire acceleration system; 2) the identification of commercial laser solutions compatible with the source requirements; 3) the production and test of a prototype radiation detector; 4) radiation protection assessment of the designed system, also from the legislative point of view. All these results achieved by exploiting the expertise from both academy (Politecnico di Milano, Host Institution) and industry (the RayLAB and SourceLAB partners) will allow bridging the gap between fundamental research and the development of a realistic, multi-purpose laser-driven particle source suitable for applications.
Earth is inhabited by an energy hungry human society. The Sun, with a global radiation at the ground level of more than 1 kW/m^2, is our largest source of energy. However, 45% of the total radiation is in the near infrared (NIR) and is not absorbed by most photovoltaic materials. PAIDEIA focuses on two main advantages aiming to enhance the capacity of solar energy conversion: i) plasmon assisted hot carriers extraction from NIR plasmonic materials; ii) linewidth narrowing in plasmonic nanoparticle films that enhances the lifetime of hot carriers and, thus, boosts the efficiency of light driven carrier extraction. Instead of metals, which operate mostly in the visible region, we will make use of doped semiconductor nanocrystals (DSNCs) as hot electron extraction materials possessing a plasmonic response tunable in the range 800 nm – 4000 nm. Three different innovative architectures will be used for improved device performance: i) improved Schottky junctions (DSNC/wide band gap semiconductor nanocomposites); ii) ultrathin devices (DSNCs/2D quantum materials); iii) maximized interface DSNC/semiconductor bulk hetero-Schottky junctions. By combining both concepts in advanced architectures we aim to produce a solar cell device that functions in the NIR with efficiencies of up to 10%. A tandem solar cell that combines the conventional power conversion efficiency, up to ~1100 nm, of a commercial Si solar cell (~20%) with the new PAIDEIA based device is expected to reach a total power conversion efficiency of 30% by extending the width of wavelengths that are converted to the full spectral range delivered by the Sun. PAIDEIA has a deeply fundamental character impacting several areas in the field of nanophysics, nanochemistry and materials processing and, at the same time, having a high impact on the study of solar energy conversion. Finally, PAIDEIA will provide answers to the fundamental questions regarding the physical behaviour of plasmonic/semiconductor interfaces.
The project addresses the inherent presence of value judgments in current integrated assessment models (IAMs) of climate change impacts. Though widely used to inform public policy, many aspects of IAM design and use require making assumptions of an implicitly normative nature: assumptions that are ultimately about the values that individuals and communities ought to pursue. This raises a host of philosophical and methodological questions for which an interdisciplinary approach is needed: which actors and in which contexts – scientists at the model design stage, policy makers at the decision stage, etc.– should be in charge of making the normative choices that IAMs require? What practices and protocols are best suited to facilitate the recognition of normative assumptions in IAMs, the oversight by experts and stakeholders, and (if possible) the resolution of the uncertainty that surrounds them? To answer these questions, the project will first propose a taxonomy of implicitly normative assumptions in IAMs. Then, for each type identified, it will aim to determine which of several approaches is best suited to deal with that type of normativity. The resulting account will be a new model of IAM research that indicates how one ought to proceed in concrete contexts of IAM design, assessment and use. To achieve these objectives, Dr. Nappo will receive crucial training at Politecnico di Milano. Under the co-supervision of a philosopher of science and of a climate economist, he will integrate his demonstrated competences in the epistemology of scientific modelling and climate change ethics with new skills, which include first-hand experience with IAM modelling practices and grasp of their mathematical underpinnings. This training will allow Dr. Nappo to not only advance the literature on IAM normativity significantly beyond its current limits, but to also contribute to making IAM research more reliable and objective through an effective dissemination and exploitation plan.
In a global world, identity frauds are an important issue to ensure security throughout the EU and its member states. Improved protection systems have made more difficult counterfeiting ID documents, but all currently adopted solutions are potentially subject to fraud. This is the reason why radically novel security strategies are required to ensure security for the next decades. The PROTECHT project (Providing RObust high TECHnology Tags based on linear carbon structures) aims at developing advanced knowledge-based anticounterfeiting tags based on polymer nanocomposites containing novel carbon nanostructures. The unique optical response of such systems allows to design security tags, layers and fibers embedding barcodes to be implemented in ID documents as well as banknotes. These barcodes can be produced through low cost manufacturing techniques and thus bear strong commercial potential even for the implementation in low income countries. This proof of concept is devoted to the exploration of the development path to be pursued to take the unique PROTECHT technology to the market.