Archives—April 2010

Mixed Conducting Ceramic Membrane Reactors

Friday, April 23, 2010 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Susan M. Stagg-Williams
University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas


Mixed oxygen ionic-electronic conductive (O-MIEC) perovskites have gainedsignificant attention as desirable materials for catalytic reactors because of theirability to separate oxygen from air without the use of an external circuit.  Themembranes have an infinite theoretical oxygen separation factor and can be usedfor staged addition of oxygen to reactors.  One specific application of interest isthe production of synthesis gas (H2 and CO) via simultaneous oxygen separationand hydrocarbon conversion.  However, many of the perovskite or perovskite-likemembranes being investigated suffer from low oxygen flux or mechanicalinstability.  Work at the University of Kansas is focused on the production of highflux oxygen permeable membranes with the mechanical integrity to be used ashigh temperature reactors and in highly reducing environments.  This seminar willoutline strategies for increasing oxygen flux through ceramic membranes andshow examples of reactor applications using these high flux membranes.

Nanogenerators for Self-Powered Nanosystems

Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Room G06, Rekhi Hal

Rusen Yang
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA


A self-powered nanosystem that harvests its operating energy from the environment isan attractive proposition for sensing, medical science, defense technology, and evenpersonal electronics. Therefore, it is essential to explore innovative nanotechnologies forconverting mechanical energy (such as body movement), vibration energy (such asacoustic/ultrasonic wave), and hydraulic energy (such as blood flow) into electric energythat will be used to power nanodevices without using battery. Piezoelectric zinc oxidenanowire (NW) arrays have been successfully demonstrated to convert nano-scalemechanical energy into electric energy. The operation mechanism of the electricgenerator relies on the unique coupling of piezoelectric and semiconducting dualproperties of ZnO as well as the elegant rectifying function of the Schottky barrier formedbetween the metal electrode and the NW. This mechanism resulted in the DCnanogenerator driven by ultrasonic wave. Recently we achieved a new breakthroughwith laterally-packaged single wire generator, which solved the transient contact issue inDC nanogenerator and produced power output from low frequency and irregularmechanical disturbance, such as finger tapping and running hamster. This presentationwill introduce the fundamental principle of nanogenerator and its potential applications.

PCA Inducts New Members and Honors Students

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MSE major Britta Lundberg was honored as a Woman of Promise by the Presidential Council of Alumnae. This award recognizes current female students from each academic department who go above and beyond what is expected of them in terms of being a well-rounded student. The award goes to students who have demonstrated academic achievement, campus and community leadership, good citizenship, creativity and other characteristics of high-achieving individuals.

2010 Undergraduate Expo Winners

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See Also: Senior Design Projects 2009-10

Senior Design Honorable Mentions
HM – Team 114 Biodegradable Stent Simulation Team Members: Jake Edick and Nikki Long, Materials Science and Engineering; Donisha Das, Justine Farina, Dan Pierson, and Jonathon Zuidema, Biomedical Engineering Advisors: Dr. Jarek Drelich, Materials Science and Engineering, and Dr. Jeremy Goldman, Biomedical Engineering

HM – Team 148 Carbon Dioxide Sequestration from Steelmaking Exhaust Team Members: Ken Brooks, Brett Anderson, Ben Hutton, Jason Sallgren, Reuben Robie, Steve Klimowicz, and Nate Wilkie, Materials Science and Engineering Advisor: Dr. Stephen Hackney

HM – Team 149 Quenching of Strip Steel Team Members: Donald Wagle and Nick Johnson, Materials Science and Engineering Advisors: Dr. Paul Sanders and Dr. Mark Plichta

Undergraduate Research Second Place
2nd place Team 211, Testing and Refining Rehydroxylation Ceramic Dating Student Researchers: Patrick Bowen and Helen Ranck, Materials Science and Engineering; Jessica Beck, Biological Sciences Advisors: Timothy Scarlett, Social Sciences, and Jaroslaw Drelich, Materials Science and Engineering

On the Genesis of Nuclei and Phase Separation on an Atomic Scale

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Professor David N. Seidman
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois


Phase separation in the condensed state of matter is of general scientific interestas well as being technologically important.  It commences with the formation ofsubnanometer diameter nuclei, which subsequently evolve temporally by growingand coarsening.  Hence, it is the kinetics of phase separation that ultimately leadsa system to its equilibrium thermodynamic state.  In this colloquium I will showhow atom-probe tomography is utilized to follow, on an atomic scale, the kineticsof phase separation in ternary alloys, Ni-Al-Cr, beginning with the clustering ofatoms to form nuclei that evolve into a precipitates that have an ordered crystalstructure.  In parallel with the experiments lattice kinetic Monte Carlo simulationsare performed, whose results help in obtaining a detailed atomistic understandingof the underlying mechanisms by which phase separation occurs.  The atomprobe tomographic results taken in concert with the lattice kinetic Monte Carlosimulations yield a physical portrait that provide a deeper physical understandingof phase separation in a concentrated multicomponent alloy than has heretoforebeen possible.

SURF and MSGC Fellowships for Patrick Bowen

Undergraduate MSE major Patrick Bowen has received two funding awards for his project entitled “Developing a Predictive Model for Rehydroxylation Rate Constants of Archaeological Ceramics”. The two awards beginning summer 2010 are the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Undergraduate Fellowship and the MTU Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). The work is also supported by a McArthur Research Internship. Bowen’s advisors are Dr. Jaroslaw Drelich (EMSE) and Dr. Timothy Scarlett (SS).

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Enhancing Hydrogen Storage Properties through Nanoscale LiBH4

Friday, April 9, 2010 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Professor Leon L. Shaw
Department of Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT


LiBH4 is one of the materials that have the highest gravimetric hydrogen density at roomtemperature known today. However, LiBH4 has been dehydrogenated and re-hydrogenated athigh temperatures (e.g., > 400ºC) because of its high chemical stability. In this study we reportthat nanoscale LiBH4 can release H2 at temperatures as low as 35ºC with the completion ofreleasing all the hydrogen below 400ºC. These H2 release temperatures are the lowest everreported in the open literature. Furthermore, nanoscale LiBH4 can also alter the reactionpathway of the LiBH4+MgH2 mixture and reduce the hydrogen release temperature of MgH2 tobelow 150ºC – the lowest temperature ever observed for MgH2. We believe that theunprecedented enhancement in the dehydriding behavior of LiBH4 and its mixture with MgH2 isdue to the substantially increased thermodynamic driving force and reaction kinetics derivedfrom the nanoscale of LiBH4. The reaction product from the nanoscale LiBH4, in turn, triggers thehydrogen release from MgH2. The alteration of the reaction pathway of the LiBH4+ MgH2 mixtureopens up the opportunity to make this material system a strong contender for on-boardhydrogen storage applications.


Dr. Leon L. Shaw is a professor of Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering, University ofConnecticut. Dr. Shaw received a B.S. in Materials Engineering and a Master of Engineering in MechanicalEngineering from Fuzhou University (China), as well as a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Materials Science andEngineering with a Minor in Mechanics and Engineering Science from the University of Florida. Dr. Shaw’s researchinterests are in processing and mechanical properties of nanostructured materials, solid freeform fabrication, andenergy materials for hydrogen storage and fuel cell applications. He was the interim head of the Department ofMaterials Science and Engineering from 2004 to 2005. He is a Fellow of ASM International, a Fellow of theAcademy of Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, Poland, and a Member of the Connecticut Academy ofScience and Engineering. Dr. Shaw has over 200 archival technical publications including 3 editorial volumes, 6book chapters, and 132 refereed journal articles. His awards include ASM/TMS Chapters of Excellence forTechnical Programming in 1999 and 2001 and the First Place Winner of the ASM, ISS, TMS World MaterialsOutreach Award in 2003 and 2004.