Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Series: A. Alec Talin
Friday, February 4, 2011
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
In Situ Nanoscale Characterization of Electrochemical Systems for Energy Applications
Presented by A. Alec Talin
Center for Nanoscience and Technology
Li-ion batteries, fuel cells, and other electrochemical energy conversion and storage (EECS) devices are prime candidates to address the need for efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective energy utilization. In my laboratory at NIST, we are developing novel in situ characterization techniques to provide detailed insights into the transport and charge transfer mechanisms that underlie modern EECS systems. In the first part of my talk, I will describe an optical technique based on surface plasmon polaritons (SSPs) used to characterize chemical reactions at the electrode/electrolyte interface. I will show that subwavelength slits and slit/groove pairs etched in a Au film using a focused ion beam and measuring just 0.05 μm in width and 5 μm in length can easily sense the reversible oxidation and reduction of the Au surface. Furthermore, I will show that this optical technique is far more sensitive than cyclic voltammetry when the chemical specie formed at the interface is optically absorbing. In the second part of my talk, I will focus on all-nanowire Li-ion batteries. These batteries are fabricated using semiconductor processing techniques and consist of a metallic core with shells of LiCoO2/LiPON/Si. Measuring less than a micrometer in diameter, these are the smallest complete batteries ever produced (to our knowledge). We rely on electrical nanoprobes retrofitted inside of a scanning electron microscope to test these nanobatteries right on the substrate. I will review the use of this technique to characterize transport in nanowires, and share our recent results with the all-nanowire batteries.
About the Speaker
Alec Talin received a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California at San Diego in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1995. After completing postdoctoral work at Sandia National Laboratories, Alec spent six years with Motorola Physical Sciences Research Labs, first as a staff scientist and subsequently as the manager of the Materials Characterization Laboratory. In 2002, Alec returned to Sandia Labs in Livermore, CA, where he initiated and led programs in nanofabrication, nanoelectronics, photonics, and sensing. In 2009 Alec joined the Center for Nanoscience and Technology at NIST to establish a laboratory focused on the role of nanomaterials in electrochemical energy storage and conversion. He has authored or coauthored over 80 refereed publications and holds 23 issued US patents.