[Nov.10]No.24 Environmental Forum

Release time:2015-11-16Click rate:Article source :

Title:The Key Role of Materials in Energy Applications: From Gas-Turbine Engines to Perovskite Solar Cells

Lecturer:Prof. Nitin P. Padture

Time:Nov. 10, 2015(Tuesday) 10:00 a.m.

Venue:Lecture Hall of SESE

Liaison:ZHAO Yixin        



      It is truism that materials enable technology advancement -- from the ancient to the modern -- and energy technology is no exception. In this seminar I will discuss the key role of materials in two important electricity-generation technologies: current gas-turbine engines (GTEs) that use fossil fuels and future perovskite solar cells (PSCs) that will use renewable energy from the sun.      

      Ceramic thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are used to insulate and protect hot-section metallic components in modern GTEs, used not only for electricity generation but also for aircraft propulsion.  However, the higher temperatures and extreme conditions in high-efficiency GTEs are making TBCs prone to deposition of undesirable silicates ingested by the engines, which is becoming a critical issue. The undesirable silicates (calcium-magnesium-alumino-silicate glass or CMAS) can be in the form of dust, sand, volcanic ash, and fly ash. The understanding of mechanisms by which molten CMAS deposits damage conventional TBCs will be presented. Demonstration and understanding of approaches to mitigate this type of CMAS-induced damage in new TBCs will also be presented, together with a discussion of new environmental barrier coatings (EBCs) needed for ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) in future GTEs with even higher efficiencies.

       To the other extreme are solution-processed thin-film PSCs, where the efficiency has rocketed from 3.8% to 20.1% in just 6 years, offering unprecedented promise of low-cost, high-efficiency renewable electricity generation. Hybrid perovskite materials are at the heart of PSCs, and the reliable deposition of high-quality thin films over large areas is critically important. Fundamental phenomena pertaining to nucleation/growth, coarsening, and microstructural evolution involved in the solution-processing of perovskite thin films for PSCs will be discussed with specific examples of our research. I will also discuss challenges and opportunities in the characterization of perovskite thin films for not only gaining a deep understanding of defects and microstructures but also elucidating classical and non-classical phenomena involved in the evolution of these films. The overall goal our research is to have deterministic control over the solution-processing of tailored perovskite thin films with desired morphologies and microstructures for large-area, high-efficiency PSCs.


Introduction of the Lecturer:

      Padture is Professor in the School of Engineering and Director of Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation at Brown University, since 2012.  Prior to 2012 he was College of Engineering Distinguished Professor at the Ohio State University (OSU) for seven years, and also the founding Director of the Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC) at OSU.  He received his Ph.D. from Lehigh University (1991), and he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the National Institute for Standards and Technology for three years, before serving on the University of Connecticut faculty for ten years. His research interests are in advanced structural ceramics and functional nanomaterials, with applications ranging from jet engines to nanoelectronic devices to solar cells.  He has published 150 papers in reputed journals (including Science and Nature family of journals) and invented 5 patents, which have been cited about 10,000 times (h-index 51). A Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, he has received that society's Roland B. Snow, Robert L. Coble, and Richard M. Fulrath awards. He is also a recipient of the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator award, and he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, he has received the Distinguished Service Award from his alma mater. Padture is Editor of the international journal Scripta Materialia.

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