Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Series: Stefano Curtarolo

Friday, March 18, 2011
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
JoAnne Kagle

Thermodynamic and Kinetic Effects in Nano-Catalysts

Stefano Curtarolo
Associate Professor
Materials Science and Physics
Duke University

Through practical examples, this presentation will describe the interplay between phases competing for stability at the nano-scale focusing on their effects on catalytic reactions. By leveraging the complex balance of power between surface-tension and surface-energy contributions, we will address: 1) reduced solubility in iron nano-catalysts for carbon nanotubes production and thermodynamic limit of the growth [PRL 100, 195502] 2) size-induced viscosity -the kinetic counterpart of dynamic coexistence- with “super-1/R” effects on reaction speeds (dynamic renormalization of the time frame) [ACS-NANO 4, 6950] 3) self-consistent variational approaches to the hierarchy of shape of nano-catalysts [ACS-NANO 5, 247 (2011)], and, if time allows, 4) size-dependent Wulff plots.

About the Speaker
After studying Electrical Engineering and Physics in Padova, Italy, SC received his PhD in Materials Science from MIT in 2003. Since then, he was faculty of Materials Science and Physics at Duke University. During his time at Duke, SC received the ONR-Young-Investigator, the NSF-Career and the Presidential PECASE Awards. He has more than 60 refereed publications and more than 70 invited departmental seminars and talks in national and international conferences. At Duke University, the SC’s group released the "on-line ab-initio binary phase diagram database" containing free energy information for more than 600 binary intermetallic alloys ( and the soon to be released "high-throughput electronic structure database" containing more than 10,000 fully ab-initio electronic characterization for inorganic compounds ( In his spare time (if any) SC enjoys restoring old and Fe2O3-rich VW cars.

Audience: Graduate  Faculty  Post-Docs 

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