Functional Advanced Materials for Energy Technologies
The goal of our effort is the design, development and characterization of novel solids - such as hybrid nanocomposites, glasses and ceramics - for a broad range of renewable energy technologies using state of the art microstructural techniques.
The successful exploitation of new and existing energy systems is mainly limited by material selection or the properties of the materials themselves. This effort addresses the properties of the existing materials and the development of novel materials for renewable energy and other high-tech applications. Details are provided in the research section. However, the work covered falls into five broad areas:
- Nanocrystalline Ceramic Composites: focus on the structure-property relationship and on tuning of optical and structural properties for particular applications
- Hydrogen Storage Materials: emphasis on design, synthesis and fundamental research on glasses and glass-based nano-crystalline composites
- Fuel Cells and Biofuels: focus on ion-conductive ceramic materials for electrochemical processes for low-cost Biodiesel production
- Matter at Extreme Conditions: examines phase transitions, structural stability and the synthesis of new complex materials using high-temperatures and high-pressures.
- Optically Active Materials: centers on fundamental research on glass materials and glass-ceramic hybrids for optical applications such as light amplifiers, lasers, non-linear optics and solar cells.
FAME-Tech analytical capabilities are relevant to a variety of fields: Physics, Chemistry, Biomedical, Catalysis, Forensics Materials, Art, Geology, Pharmaceuticals, Polymers, Semiconductors.
Specifically, FAME-Tech analytical capabilities include:
- Optical Spectroscopy: Raman and Luminescence spectroscopy with a variety of laser excitation lines, for studies of: material chemical composition, microstructural changes, surface mapping, stress and strain state analysis, phase composition, crystal symmetry and orientation, analysis of vibrational modes, study in real time, of the progress of chemical reactions such as polymer synthesis or nanocrystallization
- DSC-Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Thermo-Gravimetry: for determination of caloric effects such as transformation temperatures, enthalpies, specific heats, mass changes, thermo-kinetics, oxidative stability, material purity, melting & crystallization, phase transitions, polymorphism, crystallinity, glass transitions, purity, decomposition, corrosion.
- High-Temperature Synthesis and Processing: controlled-atmosphere, very high temperature (up to 3,100F) melting or sintering of diverse materials and high-temperature materials synthesis such as melt-quench regimes.
- High-Pressure Processing: study of materials under static pressures of up to 1,000,000 atmospheres; possibilities include in-situ high-pressure optical spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction and optical microscopy in the study of phase-transitions, creation of new phases, structural stability and materials decomposition.
Dr. Kris Lipinska
Head of FAME-Tech Labs
Associate Research Professor
Office: (702) 895-4450
Laser Lab: (702) 895-1460
High-Pressure Lab: (702) 895-2509