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Physics Colloquium Series: Professor Paul Braun
(Physics Lecture Series) University of Illinois, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
“Three Dimensionally Mesostructured Materials for Energy Storage and Light Harvesting”
Over the past decade, the sophistication of approaches for mesostructuring of materials has increased dramatically, however, application of such structures in real- world systems has remained largely elusive, in part because such structures almost always contain finite defect densities, and in part because of the limited subset of materials which can be appropriately structured. The storing, generating and harvesting of photons and electrons present important opportunities for mesostructured materials. These applications are not only generally much more defect tolerant than for example computational electronics, but also for these areas to make a substantive impact on the world energy situation, they must be produced in exceptionally large volume. In my talk, I will attempt to capture the state-of-the- art in highly functional self-assembled three-dimensional composites for energy harvesting and storage illustrated with examples from both my research and other groups with a particular focus on high charge and discharge rate nanostructured electrochemical energy storage systems (batteries and supercapacitors), and photonic crystals which exhibit unprecedented control over the absorption and emission of light (lasers, LEDs, and solar cells).