University of New South Wales, Australia et National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), USA.
Developing Functional Nanoscale Materials through the Gained Fundamental Insights from In-situ Synchrotron Characterization Methods
Nanoscale materials have become ubiquitous with advances in various fields of societal importance. Yet to capitalize on their predicted potential, rational synthetic strategies are needed to maximize materials development and discovery. As atomic-scale structure directly effects materials properties, a fundamental understanding of relationships tying atomic-scale structure, processing/synthesis, and the resulting function together is paramount. In this regard, nanoscale materials can be particularly difficult to fully characterize at this length scale, especially under conditions reflecting their intended application.
In this seminar, efforts from my group in strategy development for synthesis-structure-function relationships will be summarized. A suite of synchrotron radiation characterization methods and advanced structural modeling methods techniques are the foundation of our efforts, including combined analysis of scattering and spectroscopy datasets. Reverse Monte Carlo (RMC) approaches of modeling synchrotron datasets provide nanoparticle structure models, which can then be used to accurately assess structure-function relationships. In addition, the development of in-situ methodologies will be discussed, showcasing the need to understand structural changes that occur while under realistic conditions. Research will be presented into efforts covering catalysis and advanced ceramic materials. Broadly, the presented examples and underlying methodology highlight routes to enable rational nanomaterials design through understanding using synchrotron radiation characterization methodologies.