“This is primarily fundamental research that helps us to understand the world better. But if we can understand how these reactions occur in nature, we have a better chance to replicate them in the lab and in an industrial setting. Understanding these chemical reactions is central for creating industrial processes and energy systems that are friendlier to the environment,” explains Martin Högbom.

With the help of an x-ray laser, the researchers hope to capture the fleeting stages of the chemical reaction in order to see how it unfolds, step by step.

“The grant gives us the opportunity to build an ambitious project from the ground up and to recruit experts from the various fields required to really grapple with this question. Most of all, it’s wonderful to get financing for a project that’s so difficult that the evaluators commented that it is not certain that it will work but that’s also so exciting that it ought to be tried anyway. It’s amazing to do research like this!”

The ERC Consolidator Grant covers 5 years. Learn more about the grant.