MSE/ME Special Seminar on Computational Materials Sci and Materials Modeling - Jose Mendoza-Cortes

Monday, March 25, 2013
11:00 a.m.
Rm. 2164, Martin Hall (DeWalt Seminar Room)
Annette Mateus
301 405 4799

Production and Storage of Renewable Clean Energy from First Principles

Dr. Jose L. Mendoza- Cortes
Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP)
Division of Chemistry & Division of Engineering and Applied Science
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA 91125

The current search for alternative, clean and renewable energy is of critical importance for the energy security and environmental protection of the USA and the world. One of the most promising alternatives is to convert the sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to fuels such as hydrogen gas or methanol using earth abundant elements. In this talk I will cover this route through three topics: storage (in porous materials), combustion (fuel cells) and regeneration (dissociation of water) of the solar fuels.

First, I will present our findings for fuel storage in crystalline porous materials known as Metal-Organic Frameworks and Covalent Frameworks. We have identified many novel frameworks capable of achieving the DOE energy density target for hydrogen gas and methane.

Secondly, I will present our recent finding in the development earth abundant based catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells based mainly on earth abundant catalysts. We have combined theory/simulation with material synthesis and characterization, which allowed us to rapidly scan the most promising classes of materials and understand the mechanism.

Finally, I will discuss earth abundant material of potential use as a light absorber for solar energy conversion processes as well as the catalysts for water dissociation. We present our approach to understand the optical properties of the light absorber and the design of new catalyst for water dissociation inspired in nature.

To tackled these problems we have used diverse multiparadigm-multiscale first principles calculations validated with experiments including quantum mechanics and molecular dynamics.

For more information, contact Annette Mateus at (301) 405-4799 or

Audience: Clark School  Graduate  Faculty 

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