An image of a microscope

The Postdoc/PhD Seminar series started in December 2020 with the aim to showcase the research of our Postdoctoral Research Associates, Fellows and Research Postgraduates. The series will focus on a different topic each month, including Materials for Human Health, Sustainable Energy, Next Generation of Transport and New Techniques for Materials Characterisation. 

The seminars are currently internal and everyone in the Department can attend to watch and ask questions. The Departmental newsletter will provide the sign-up link on Eventbrite.

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Materials for Human Health

 

Materials for Human Health

Research Fellow Dr James Armstrong and Research Postgardaute Sarah Fothergill provide an insight into their current research. 
 
0:00 Introduction with Tabasom Haghighi
1:10 Dr James Armstrong - Using sound waves to build tissues and biomaterials
25:50 Sarah Fothergill - Ultrasensitive Biosensing using Metal Enhanced Fluorescence
 
 

Abstracts: 

Dr James Armstrong - Using sound waves to build tissues and biomaterials
 
Sound waves can be used to remotely interact with living and non-living matter, offering exciting opportunities in tissue engineering and biomaterials science. In the first part of this talk, I will discuss how we have used ultrasound waves to organise populations of cells to direct the growth of aligned tissues, such as cartilage and muscle [1]. In the second part of this talk, I will outline our recent method for using ultrasound to activate enzymes and trigger the formation of hydrogels [2]. I will then consider how these novel strategies can be used in advanced disease modelling and regenerative medicine.
 
[1] JPK Armstrong et al. Advanced Materials (2018).
[2] V Nele et al. Advanced Materials (2020).
 
Sarah Fothergill - Ultrasensitive Biosensing using Metal Enhanced Fluorescence
 
There are many criteria for the development of successful metal enhanced fluorescence-based biosensors. My research focuses on the generation and application of these nanomaterials, with a focus of being able to produce reliable, cheap, and rapid sensors that require only a minimal amount of patients’ blood. Here I hope here to outline the potential and recent progress that has been made and outline the substantial clinical potential for this technology.
 

 

Materials for Sustainable Energy

Materials for Sustainable Energy

Dr Rowena Brugge, Seán Kavanagh and Gabriel Krenzer discuss their research in more detail.

0:00 - Introduction by Dr Joseph Hadden
1:50 - Gabriel Krenzer: Phonon-Ion interactions to understand non-classical diffusion behaviours in solids
26:30 - Seán Kavanagh: Enhanced Optical Absorption via Mixed-Valent Doping of A3B2X9 Triple Perovskites
57:40 - Rowena Brugge - Building better batteries – a solid state approach

Abstracts:

Gabriel Krenzer: Phonon-Ion interactions to understand non-classical diffusion behaviours in solids 

Solid state batteries promise to be safer, to be potentially lighter, to have higher energy density, and to have longer lifetimes than current batteries [1]. The successful design of a solid-state battery has, therefore, the potential to solve most, if not all, of the challenges encountered by energy storage engineers. The research community, however, is faced with several challenges at the electrolyte level, ranging from large interface resistance to low ionic conductivity [1]. My research focuses on mitigating the latter. In this talk, I will show you how I use computational techniques to explain non-classical diffusion behaviours observed in fast ionic conductors to improve the material design of solid state electrolytes. [1] T. Famprikis et al. Nature materials (2019).

Talk 2: Seán Kavanagh: Enhanced Optical Absorption via Mixed-Valent Doping of A3B2X9 Triple Perovskites

Photovoltaic solar technology represents one of the most auspicious routes to globally-scalable renewable energy. The exceptional optoelectronic performance of lead-halide perovskites (LHPs) has motivated enormous research efforts toward the discovery of ‘perovskite-inspired materials’ – compounds which aim to replicate the astonishing performance of LHPs while avoiding the infamous stability and toxicity pitfalls of these materials.[1,2] Vacancy-ordered triple perovskites have recently come under the scientific spotlight as promising materials for high-performance next-generation optoelectronic technologies. Their A3B2X9 stoichiometry facilitates the replacement of the toxic Pb2+ cation with a benign isoelectronic B3+ cation (e.g. Bi3+ or Sb3+) while preserving the perovskite crystal structure. Unfortunately, these materials tend to exhibit large bandgaps, impeding their application in many photo-catalytic/voltaic devices.[3,4] In this work, we demonstrate a drastic enhancement of the optical absorption behaviour of Cs3Bi2Br9 in the visible range, using heterovalent tin doping. 1 Y.-T. Huang, S.R. Kavanagh, D.O. Scanlon, A. Walsh, and R.L.Z. Hoye, ArXiv:2008.08959 (2020). 2 Z. Li, S.R. Kavanagh, M. Napari, R.G. Palgrave, M. Abdi-Jalebi, Z. Andaji-Garmaroudi, D.W. Davies, M. Laitinen, J. Julin, R.H. Friend, D.O. Scanlon, A. Walsh, and R.L.Z. Hoye, ArXiv:2007.00388 (2020). 3 K.K. Bass, L. Estergreen, C.N. Savory, J. Buckeridge, D.O. Scanlon, P.I. Djurovich, S.E. Bradforth, M.E. Thompson, and B.C. Melot, Inorg. Chem. 56, 42 (2017). 4 R. Nie, R.R. Sumukam, S.H. Reddy, M. Banavoth, and S.I. Seok, Energy Environ. Sci. 13, 2363 (2020).

Talk 3: Rowena Brugge - Building better batteries – a solid state approach 

All-solid-state batteries are of great interest in the development of the next generation of batteries with high performance and durability. By replacing the liquid organic electrolyte used in commercial batteries with solid electrolytes, the door can be opened to safer batteries with new electro chemistries and higher energy densities, for example, lithium metal and lithium air. This talk will introduce the motivation for and challenges in developing all-solid-state batteries and highlight the work being carried out in the department which includes studying the relationship between defect structure, transport, and electrochemical properties of the materials.