Marina Leite, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland, will give a plenary talk at the 4th International Conference on Scanning Probe Microscopy on Soft and Polymeric Materials in Leuven, Belgium, next week. Dr. Leite's talk, entitled, "Nanoscale Imaging of Materials for Energy Applications," will take place at 8:45 am on August 22 in the Maria Theresia College of the University of Leuven (MTC 00.15, Kleine Aula, Auditorium 1).
According to the conference website, "The objective of the conference is to offer an international forum to share research with worldwide leading scientists active in the field of scanning probe microscopy on soft and polymeric (bio)materials, as well as with industrial colleagues."
This presentation will provide an overview of the latest advancements in scanning probe microscopy applied to energy harvesting and storage systems. The performance of most photovoltaic devices is still limited by their mesoscale behavior. To resolve how the electrical and optical responses vary at relevant length scales, we acquire “nano-photographs” and “nano-movies” of the performance of inhomogeneous materials for photovoltaics, by means of novel nanospectroscopic methods. Our measurements provide a tomography of charge carrier generation, recombination and collection within materials ranging from perovskites to inorganic thin-films. In perovskites, we quantify ion motion in real-time by means of a novel, fast (16 sec/scan) Kelvin-probe force microscopy method. In the realm of energy storage, the further development of rechargeable, safe batteries requires the understanding of why and how the material is changing upon charging/discharging. I will discuss how the dynamics of lithiation/delithiation in all-solid-state batteries can be elucidated through in situ microscopy methods.
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