Novel Materials for Energy

Thermoelectic Materials

Thermoelectric materials capable of converting heat into power and vise versa can be used for a wide range of applications in freon-free refrigerators, waste heat converters, and direct solar thermal energy converters.

A unique class of host-guest compounds, Zintl clathrates exhibit Phonon Glass - Electron Crystal behavior and are considered promising TE materials.

This project is funded by the Department of Energy. Read more...

Ion conductors&Catalysts

Batteries store energy in the form of chemical reactants capable of generating electricity through discharge. They provide the portability of stored chemical energy with the ability to deliver it as electrical energy with high conversion efficiency and without carbon dioxide emission.

The cost, safety, stored energy density, charge-discharge rates, and service life are issues which limit supplanting of the fossil fuels by rechargable batteries in various potential applications.

Hydrogen has been proposed to be a clean and carbon-neutral next-generation energy carrier. Compared with curretnyl used steam reforming, water electrolysis represents a cleaner and more sustainable approach to hydrogen generation, but is underdeveloped. To deploy electrolyzers on a large scale and to make the electrolyzed hydrogen fuel economically competitive, it is important to develop nexpensive, earth-abundant electrocatalysts to promote the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER).

Superconductors

Superconductors are an important type of materials capable of conducting electricity without energy loss and repelling magnetic fields.

Recently discovered Fe-based superconductors are a suitable platform to develop the structure-properties relationship in superconductors. The main structural blocks of Fe-based superconductors are FeX square layers (X = pnicogen or chalcogen). To understand the electronic and magnetic interactions in superconductors, it is preferable to study a single building block. We have developed a low-temperature synthetic route to highly crystalline materials containing Fe-X fragments separated by classical coordination chemistry complexes.