MSE Seminar Series: Cary Pint, Vanderbilt University
Friday, October 20, 2017
2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building
Speaker name: Cary Pint, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
Title: Engineered Materials and Devices for Efficient Energy Technologies
Next generation energy technologies make up the foundation for innovation across broad technology areas including advanced electronics, next-generation defense systems, and sustainable power system infrastructure. In this talk, I will discuss advances from my group centered on new materials, and in some cases the mechanics of those materials, to develop efficient energy storage and conversion systems. First, I will discuss progress by my team in forging a new interface between electrochemistry and mechanics, or mechanochemistry, of battery materials. Our work presents the first observation that the electrochemical potential of a chemical reaction in a battery can be modulated and engineered by mechanical stresses. Building from this observation, I will introduce a new class of highly efficient strain energy harvesting devices ideally suited for operation at low frequencies where human motions occur, and where traditional piezoelectric harvesters exhibit poor performance. I will discuss routes employing 2D material building blocks of graphene and black phosphorus for efficient strain energy harvesting or human motion sensing with an ongoing effort to bridge together device design, human biomechanics, and textile integration for multifunctional fabrics. Secondly, I will discuss our efforts in pioneering routes and device technologies for both high energy density batteries as well as extremely low-cost batteries. In the first case, we have developed scalable and deterministic bottom-up manufacturing techniques to produce thick sulfur-carbon host cathodes exhibiting both high gravimetric and areal sulfur capacity that enables energy density scaled to full-cell battery configurations to exceed 500 Wh/kg. In the second case, we have developed an “anode-free” sodium battery device architecture that simultaneously addresses cost, performance, and scalability challenges limiting current energy storage systems. This route maintains active material energy density that can exceed 400 Wh/kg based on cathode material selection, engineered cycling lifetime, and promise of cell-level cost approaching $75/kWh, with a foreseeable vision of long duration energy storage units with operation cost under 1 cent/kWh. To conclude my talk, I will briefly discuss other ongoing and emerging areas of my current research program including (1) structural carbon nanotube reinforced composite materials with dually integrated energy storage, and (2) the carbon-negative manufacturing of nanoscale building blocks and materials using CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere.
Cary Pint is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University where he has been on the faculty since July 2012. After defending his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Rice in 2010, he carried out a brief postdoctoral appointment at UC Berkeley and subsequently worked as a Research Scientist at Intel Labs focused on energy storage technology until joining Vanderbilt as a faculty member. Cary has published over 100 peer reviewed journal articles in top journals such as Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Nano Letters, and ACS Nano, with ~60 of these papers from his independent research team at Vanderbilt. Cary also has 9 granted patents, 8 pending patent applications, 12 peer reviewed conference publications, and is the CTO of SkyNano Technologies, a company spun off from his laboratory and currently funded through then DOE Innovation Crossroads program. Cary has been recognized as one of Forbes Magazine “top 30 under 30” disrupters in Science and Innovation (2012), is a recipient of the ORAU Ralph E. Powe Award (2012), was named as a Kavli Frontiers Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (2013), and was recognized by the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) as one of the “top 20 under 40” talent in academia (2014).