Nanomaterials for Energy Storage Devices and Ultrasensitive Detections

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Monday, November 19th, Kemper Hall 1065, 4:10pm-5:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Bin Chen
Department of Electrical Engineering, UC Santa Cruz, and
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field

Host: Professor Saif Islam


Nanotechnology and nanomaterials have enabled unprecedented device performances with multiple functionalities. In this talk, I will highlight several student lead projects of developing multifunctional devices for energy conversion and storages, and ultrasensitive detection techniques. Among them, photoelectrochemical and capacitive devices, and optical fibers, piezoelectric and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrates are all fabricated using solution based nanostructures synthesis and thin film processes. For example, combining electrophoretic deposition of reduce graphene oxides with dip coating of capacitive metal oxide nanowires forms composite materials for high performance supercapacitor electrodes. In situ growth of electrocatalysts and PbS quantum dots with TiO2 nanowires arrays enables the direct thin film device fabrication for the broad solar energy absorptions and high catalytic activities. We have successfully shown the high efficiency CO2 conversion to methane using such composite catalysts and light source only. In order to precisely control the interfacial interactions of liquid nanostructures and solid substrates, we found that one of the most successful approaches is to use Langmuir Blodgett self-assembly monolayer depositions. The alignment of high aspect ratio nanostructures array and high film density devices present unique optoelectronic property for SERS imaging, and electromechanical property for piezoelectric electrodes. The scalable solution based materials synthesis and thin film fabrication schemes promise potentials for the nanostructure materials in many emerging device applications.


Prof. Bin Chen is an adjunct professor from electrical engineering department, UC Santa Cruz. She works at NASA Ames research Center at Moffett Field. She obtained her PhD from Penn State University. Prof. Chenís current research interests are centered on carbonaceous materials, metal and semiconductor metal oxide nanowires, as well as their polymer composites. The research in Chen group include (1) materials synthesis and characterizations of graphene, carbon nanotubes, carbon nanotube polymer composites, metal and compound semiconductor nanowires, (2) materials applications in energy harvesting and conversion and storage, and photocatalytic reductions of CO2, and (3) detection technology of ultrahigh sensitivity surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), and broad spectrum particle radiation. Chen pioneered several studies on physical properties of multifunctional nanoscale materials. The group research furthered the designs of devices based on these novel materials and improved composite processing and formulation. Through multidisciplinary research, we try to understand the structure and electronic properties of materials, and to use the findings to demonstrate the prototype sensors and energy conversion and storage devices. Prof. Chen is a recipient of NASA TGIR award and superior performance award.