Docent lecture: "300 years of Prussian blue: The journey from unscrupulous alchemists to sustainable batteries"

  • Date: –11:15
  • Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1 Siegbahnsalen, Lägerhyddsvägen 2 (And through Zoom.)
  • Lecturer: Dr. William Brant
  • Website
  • Organiser: Department of Chemistry - Ångström Laboratory
  • Contact person: William Brant
  • Docentföreläsning

The Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory hereby invite all interested to a docentship lecture in the subject Chemistry with specialization in Materials Chemistry.

Chairperson: Prof. Daniel Brandell 
Representative of the Docentship Committee: Prof. Adolf Gogoll 

The lecture is an obligatory teaching test for those applying for admittance as docent and it should be possible for students and others with basic academic education in the relevant field to follow it. The lecture will last for 45 minutes and afterwards the audience may ask questions. The lecture will be given in English.

NOTE! It will be possible to follow the lecture through Zoom. Please contact the lecturer well in advance of the lecture to get access to the Zoom link.


Prussian blue, the first synthetic coordination compound was produced entirely by accident in 1704. After 200 years “Prussian blue” was determined to be Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3 and the secrets of its production finally uncovered. Despite the challenges, the serendipitous discovery set the stage for the growth of a new class of materials known as Prussian blue analogues (PBAs). Thanks to the diverse physical and electronic properties, PBAs have found use in many applications such as toxic cation capture, thermal power generation and energy storage.

In this lecture, the story of Prussian blue and its analogues will be told in three parts. We will start with the humble beginnings where a colour maker and notorious alchemist living in Castle Frankenstein created the famous blue pigment. By reflecting on the chemical structure of Prussian blue, the wider family of Prussian blue analogues will be introduced. The second part will explore the growth of research in PBAs and the creative uses that have been found for the unassuming family of pigments. By considering the physical and electronic structure we will undertake a deep dive into two applications with opposing demands on the material: gas sorption and energy storage. Through this comparison the true versatility of PBAs will become clear. The lecture will finish with a look to the future and why you should expect PBAs to play a large role in an electrified future.