Current Seminars
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
  • 4pm
  • Dow Science Complex 107
  • Dr. Katharine Page, Oak Ridge National Laboratory​
Exploiting S​mall Signatures: Quantifying Nanoscale Structure and Behavior

Abstract: Dr. Katharine Page’s research projects revolve around applying neutron scattering methods to uncover the links in nanostructure between surface chemistry, particle morphology and internal crystal structure in several functional materials families. Structural details at the atomic and nanoscale govern material properties, and the advancement of analytical techniques in this domain will set the stage for a broader, more quantitative approach to nanostructure and interface characterizationIn catalysis, biomineralization and drug delivery, fuel cell and battery chemistry, geological processes, and a host of functional phenomena at the nanoscale, unique properties and material characteristics are governed by intricate structural details eluding current characterization methods. This effort encompasses side‐by‐side development and application of neutron total scattering methods aimed at uncovering the links in nanostructure between surface chemistry, particle morphology, and "internal" crystal structure. The influence of surface absorbed species on the atomic distortions, structural stability, and growth pathways of metal oxide nanocrystals have been explored, experimentally isolating and characterizing the fluid and atomic interface structures that impact polymorph formation in solvothermal and hydrothermal environments. The distinct effects of particle shape and surface termination on the properties and structural phase transitions of ferroelectric oxide nanocrystals are also pursued, investigating factors that stabilize polarization at smaller nanocrystal dimensions, across phase transitions, or under applied field. Concurrently, instrumentation, data collection, data reduction, and structure refinement have been advanced for in situ and stroboscopic neutron total scattering measurements. These investigations will set the stage for a broader approach to nanostructure and interface characterization that validates theory and simulation, evaluates synthesis and fabrication, and demonstrates enhanced performance in atomic‐ and nano‐scale material processes.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
  • 4pm
  • Dow Science Complex 135
  • Dr. Mary Anne White, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
​​Sustainable Approaches to Materials Reserach

Abstract:  Materials research is the investigation of the relationships between and among the structure, properties, processing and performance of materials. Since the Stone Age, humanity has relied on the properties of materials for advancement. The present modern age of materials is underpinned on the development of semiconductors and polymers, to name just two material families. We have the whole periodic table at our disposal, and with more than 100 elements, we should be able to make billions of combinations, enough to satisfy our every need as a species. Or are their limitations that we have not yet considered? In this presentation, limits of elemental resources will be presented, and comments will be provided on life cycle analyses for material applications. Examples will be drawn from many areas, including two active areas of research in my lab: phase change materials for energy storage, and thermoelectric materials.