Category: Seminars

Mechanics of Micro- and Nano-Textured Systems: Nanofibers, Nanochannels, Nanoparticles and Slurries

Thursday, October 11, 2012
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Mechanics of Micro- and Nano-Textured Systems:
Nanofibers, Nanochannels, Nanoparticles and Slurries
Dr. Suman Sinha Ray
Dean’s Fellow and Post Doctoral Research Associate
Multiscale Mechanics and Nanotechnology Laboratory
University of Illinois at Chicago

Suman Sinha Ray Abstract October 11, 2012

Aqueous Rechargeable Lithium Batteries (ARLBs) of Super-fast Charging like Filling Gasoline

MSE Seminar
Friday, August 17, 2012
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Prof. Yuping Wu
New Energy and Materials Laboratory (NEML), Department of Chemistry
Fudan University, Shanghai, China


A lot of efforts including funding and investment have been paid to try to solve two crucial issues for lithium ion batteries: safety and fast charging. However, due to the inner nature of lithium ion batteries, which use combustible organic electrolytes of low ionic conductivity, these efforts are evidently in vain. As a result, new energy storage systems for electric vehicles and smart grid are urgently needed to improve energy efficiency and reduce emission of CO2. Since 1996 we have been pioneering on aqueous rechargeable lithium batteries (ARLBs). In this talk, our latest progress on this aspect will be expounded especially on the improving super-fast charging performance, which can be comparable with filling gasoline for traditional engine cars, increasing energy density and achieving excellent cycling life of over
10000 cycles.

Bio: Prof. Wu got Ph. D. degree from Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China in 1997. Then he moved to Tsinghua University, Beijing, for postdoctor research. From 1999 to 2001, he stayed in Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan as a visiting researcher. From 2001 to 2003, he stayed in Chemnitz University of Technology, Chemnitz, Germany as a Humboldt Fellow. In 2003, he came back to China as a full professor in Department of Chemistry, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Since 1994, he has published over 170 papers on peer-reviewed journals such as Angew. Chem. Int. Edi., Prog. Mater. Sci., Energ. Environ. Sci., Chem. Mater., J. Mater. Chem., Chem. Commun., Electrochem. Commun., Carbon, and J. Power Sources. As a main author, he has contributed 5 monographs on lithium batteries in Chinese whose sale is above 23,000 copies, and 3 chapters. His citation is above 2400, and H-index is 27.
In December, 2003 he won “Star of the Century” from Fudan University. In July, 2004 he achieved “Rising Star” from Shanghai Committee of Science and Technology. In 2004, he was invited to act as an associate editor of Research Journal of Chemistry & Environment.
In April 2007 he joined the editorial advisory board of Electrochem. Commun. (IF>4) In November, 2008 he got JSPS Invitation Fellowship from Japan. In 2009, he was invited to act as an associate editor of The e-Polymers Journal. In June, 2009 he was awarded “Excellent Rising Star” by Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality. In March, 2010 he won the Visiting lecturer by Chemistry Research Promotion Center of Taiwan, China In April, 2010 he was granted a Visiting professor by Malaysia University, Malaysia for 3 months.
His main research work is on anode materials, cathode materials and polymer electrolytes for lithium ion batteries, supercapacitors, novel energy storage systems such as aqueous rechargeable lithium batteries (ARLBs), and production of hydrogen by utilizing solar energy.
So far he has been invited to deliver over 50 plenary and invited lectures in international symposiums and 26 lectures at oversea institutes.
Cochairman of serial conference of IUPAC International Conference on Novel Materials and their Synthesis (NMS: since 2006.

In-situ Structural Study of Energy Materials Using Synchrotron High-Energy X-rays

MSE Seminar
Friday, August 3, 2012
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Room 610, M&M Building

Yang Ren
X-ray Science Division
Advanced Photon Source
Argonne National Laboratory


The Advanced Photons Source (APS) is a national synchrotron x-ray user facility for the cutting-edge research in the fields of both fundamental and applied science and technology. The availability of high-brilliance high-energy x-rays generated at the APS has significantly advanced the field of materials research, especially for in-situ studies in real-conditions. In this talk, we will give a general introduction of the APS and then focus on applications of synchrotron high-energy x-rays for in-situ structural characterization of energy materials in bulk forms or nanoscale phases under complex sample environments (e.g., low/high temperature, pressure/stress and magnetic/electric fields). Technical details and scientific research opportunities with synchrotron high-energy x-rays will be presented, together with some recent results in different research areas, ranging from correlated electron systems to advanced battery materials to functional alloys. (Use of the Advanced Photon Source was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.)

Bio: Dr. Yang Ren is a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory. He received his M.S. in condensed matter physics from the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Science in 1988, and his Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands in 1996. He is currently a beamline scientist for a high-energy x-rays beamline at the Advanced Photon Source.

Mechanism of Humins Formation during Catalytic Conversion of Cellulose-Derived Carbohydrates

Friday, April 20, 2012
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building
Carl R. F. Lund
Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering
University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

John & Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecture Series


Cellulosic biomass represents a potential resource for sustainable production of fuels and chemicals. When cellulose is hydrolyzed using mineral acids as catalysts, dark-colored, tarry solids known as humins form as undesirable by-products. The formation and growth of humins have been investigated using small batch reactors, and the resulting humins have been characterized, primarily using scanning electron microscopy and infrared spectroscopy. The aqueous phase free energies of proposed reaction intermediates have been computed using quantum chemistry. The experimental and computational results are consistent with a sequential pathway for the formation of humins. The primary reaction proceeds through the sequential conversions of cellulose to glucose (perhaps) to fructose to HMF to levulinic acid. The predominant pathway for the formation of humins involves the conversion to HMF to 2,5-dioxo- 6-hydroxyhexanal (DHH). DHH rapidly undergoes aldol addition/condensation with available aldehydes or ketones. The resulting adduct then polymerizes to form humins. The experimental studies have shown that humin morphology, size and size distribution are affected by solvent choice. It has also been established that chemical functional groups can be added to the humins during or after their formation. These finding might lead to ways to convert humins from a waste byproduct to a more valuable commodity.

Bio: Dr. Lund is a SUNY Distinguished Professor. He was a department chair from 1997 to 2006. He obtained his B. S. from Purdue University in 1976 and Ph. D. from University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1981. His research interests include heterogeneous catalysis for energy and environmental applications, reaction engineering of membrane reactors, and biomass conversion. He received many awards, including NSF Presidential Young Investigator, SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Lilly Teaching Fellow. He published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers.

Characterization of Trap States in HfO2 with Atomic Scale Spatial Resolution Using Single Electron Tunneling Force Spectroscopy

Friday, April 13, 2012
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building
Dustin Winslow
University of Utah
The rapid advancement of technology has led to increasingly faster and smaller solid state devices. One reason for this rapid development is the dedicated effort to characterize the defects in the dielectric materials used in solid state electronics. While many techniques have been developed over the years to characterize trap states in dielectric materials no technique has allowed for characterization of localized electron and hole trap states, in completely nonconducting films, with atomic scale spatial resolution. This talk will focus on the force detected tunneling techniques developed in the Williams lab at the University of Utah over the last decade, with an emphasis on the recently developed single electron tunneling force spectroscopy (SETFS) technique. The apparent density of localized trap states in HfO2 measured using SETFS will be compared to experimental results and theoretically predicted values found in the literature. The convoluted nature of the apparent energy and physical depth information of the trap states will be discussed, and the methodology to separate this information will be explained. Finally, evidence of mobile charge in HfO2 will be presented and a possible mechanism proposed to explain the irreversible nature of the surface charging.

Product Upgrading From Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis: You Have To Understand The Old Dog Before You Can Teach It New Tricks

Friday, April 6, 2012
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Dady B. Dadyburjor
Department of Chemical Engineering
West Virginia University


The Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process converts synthesis gas (syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen) to long-chain hydrocarbons in the gasoline, kerosene and/or diesel range at moderate-to-high pressures and temperatures in the presence of a catalyst. The catalysts used consist of multiple metals on a support. Most work in our laboratory has been carried out using iron as the main metal and activated carbon as the support. Chemical promoters such as Mo, K and Cu are often added. FT liquids generally require upgrading before use as fuels, to remove waxes, and to improve the iso-to-normal paraffin ratio. In the first part of this work, we systematically vary the amounts of the metals and the type of support to show the effects of each of these on individual products (e.g., benzene) as well as classes of products (e.g., aromatics). In the second part of this work, we show the effect on the product distribution of adding ZSM-5 zeolite as an upgrading catalyst, either intimately mixed with the FT catalyst, or downstream of it.

Bio: Dr. Dadyburjor is currently Professor of Chemical Engineering at WVU. He served as Department Chair during 1999-2009. His research has been in the areas of sintering and redispersion of supported metal catalysts, coking of cracking catalysts, catalytic direct coal liquefaction, and catalysts for water-gas shift and for the production of high-molecular-weight alcohols and synthesis gas. Prior to arriving at WVU in 1983, he was an Associate Professor and Assistant Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a post-doctoral fellow with Eli Ruckenstein at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He received his undergraduate degree at IIT, Bombay and his graduate degrees at the University of Delaware. He has participated as a Visiting Professor or Guest Professor at various institutions in this country and overseas: EPFL (Switzerland), Technion (Israel), UC Berkeley, Fritz-Haber-Institut (Berlin), Institute of Coal Chemistry (Taiyuan), and Kitami Institute of Technology (Japan). He has served on the Board of Directors of the North American Catalysis Society and of the Council for Chemical Research, President of the Pittsburgh-Cleveland Catalysis Society, Chair of Area 1b (Kinetics, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering) of AIChE, and Chair of the Division of Petroleum Chemistry of ACS. He is currently on the Visiting Committee of Ohio University and the Editorial Board of Fuel Chemistry and Technology, and is an editor of the ACS journal Energy and Fuels. He was elected a Fellow of AIChE in 1999. In 2007, he was appointed a Resident Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Energy Studies at the National Energy Technology Laboratory of USDOE.