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Special Seminar

Magneto-Optics of Dirac Fermions in Graphite

by: Dr. Milan Orlita

Date: Tuesday August 02, 2011

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: Houston Science Center – Building 593 — Room 102

Overview

Results of magneto-spectroscopic investigations of Dirac-like electronic states in various graphene-based materials, such as multilayer epitaxial graphene, bulk graphite or decoupled graphene flakes on graphite substrates, will be reported. Landau level spectroscopy will be shown to be a suitable method to study the electronic band structure of these systems as well as to evaluate their electronic quality in terms of the carrier mobility or scattering time.

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Special Seminar

How Superconductors Became Practical: A Walk Through the History and Science of Flux Pinning

Prof. Herbert C. Freyhardt

by: Prof. Herbert C. Freyhardt

Date: Monday June 20, 2011

Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Location: Houston Science Center – Building 593 — Room 102

Overview

Since the investigation of flux pinning in superconductors in the early sixties, a considerable amount of work has been accumulated in this field to understand the underlying principles of fundamental interaction mechanisms of flux lines with pinning defects as well as the summation problem for a well characterized arrangement of flux lines. Pinning is and remains one of the essential problems to tailor and optimize the current carrying capability of practical low-Tc or MgB2 superconductors and to make them viable for application. For high-temperature superconductors it is even more challenging because now one has to deal with highly anisotropic superconductors with complex flux and flux line structures which strongly govern the essential irreversibility fields and with a pinning landscape which can be tailored to a large extent to improve engineering critical currents. The challenge is to understand the mechanisms which govern current limitation and to further increase flux pinning and critical current densities in the presently known HTS materials at the operating fields and temperatures, e.g. for devices in electrical and power engineering, to pave the way for a widespread application.

Special Seminar

Meeting the Needs of the Future Through the Use of Nanotechnology and Renewable Energy

by: Dr. Seamus A. Curran

Date: Friday May 20, 2011

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Location: Houston Science Center – Building 593 — Room 102

Overview

In the last decade there has been a huge investment in the field of 'nanotechnology', which has meant that we have derived more control, better processes in we are making and how systems function. Alongside this nano revolution has come the evolution of new nano-based materials, from nanotubes (based on carbon and inorganic hybrid materials), fullerenes and thin film technologies. However, what we have learned from the science and technology of 'nano' is that it has enabled us to look at different fields of use, addressing more complex problems and developing new solutions to some of the grand challenges facing us including energy. Photovoltaic or solar cells provide some clear advantages to other renewable sources of energy and is an option to energy generation. I will address and compare thin film solar cells as used in inorganic systems and discuss why this is not the suitable orientation for OPV's but that other orientations are better suited.

Special Seminar

Rationally Designed Peptide Conjugates for Directing the Simultaneous Synthesis and Assembly of Complex Nanoparticle Superstructures

 Nathaniel  Rosi

by: Nathaniel Rosi

Date: Thursday May 05, 2011

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Location: Houston Science Center – Building 593 — Room 102

Overview

Nanoparticle assemblies exhibit interesting physical properties that will be useful for a variety of potential applications. The properties of these assemblies depend on the size, shape, and composition of the component nanoparticle building blocks and also on the spatial arrangement of these building blocks within the assembled structure. Therefore, it is critically important to have methods for controlling the precise placement and organization of nanoparticles within nanoparticle assemblies. In this presentation, we will detail a new peptide-based method for simultaneously controlling both the synthesis and growth of nanoparticles. This method merges concepts from peptide-mediated 'biomineralization' and peptide-based self-assembly. We will detail the basic strategy and discuss how this strategy can be used to carefully design and prepare complex nanoparticle superstructures, including nanoparticle double helices, hollow nanoparticle-based capsules, and 1-D nanoparticle chains. We will also discuss how this method can be used to carefully control the composition and metrics of the target nanoparticle superstructures.

Special Seminar

Interface Engineered Metamaterials for Energy Harvest and Storage

Prof. Chonglin  Chen

by: Prof. Chonglin Chen

Date: Thursday April 28, 2011

Time: 4:00 pm – 12:00 am

Location: Science & Research Building 1 – Building 550 — Room 634

Overview

The last few decades have seen an explosion in the development of new materials with unique physical properties for sustainable energy harvest and storage applications, driven in parallel by the demands of technology and the inquisitiveness of basic sciences and engineering. Solid Oxide Fuel Cell devices (SOFCs) have promised a high-energy efficiency for sustainable energy producing technology. We have developed a unique interface engineered nano-technique for new materials fabrication and novel concept device development, and successfully achieved various excellent results. We have demonstrated that the interface engineered YSZ/GCO heterostructures have excellent oxygen exchange properties for the development of an intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell (IT-SOFC); the double perovskite PrBaCo2O5.5 highly epitaxial films have ultra fast oxygen exchange kinetics; and the ordering/disordering nanostructural double perovskite LaBaCo2O5.5 structures have ultra sensitive oxygen exchange properties and stable chemical nature for the development of high temperature chemical sensors and membranes in the high temperature reduction environment. We also have successfully achieved the direct integration of interface engineered ferroelectric heterostructures on polycrystalline metallic tapes with excellent dielectric property for the next generation of supercapacitance devices for energy storage applications. Details will be discussed in the talk.

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