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Seminar 2/20/2013 - Yongfeng Lu, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Processing and Characterization of Structural and Functional Materials Using Lasers

Abstract: Ever-increasing demands on energy supply impose grand challenges but at the same time provide many opportunities for material science and engineering. One of the oldest and most proliferated energy materials is carbon. For centuries, carbon has been used for energy generation and energy storage. Over the last decade, fundamental scientific studies and engineering ingenuity at atomic scales have rapidly transferred functions of carbon from fire woods into highly functional materials supporting many aspects of modern energy technologies. In this presentation, the speaker will introduce his research activities in processing structured carbons in various forms for energy applications, including diamond, carbon nanotubes, carbon nanoonions, graphene, and carbyne. Laser-matter interactions can be spatially and spectrally controlled and optimized to produce carbon with desired atomic structures. This talk will discuss a number of approaches to producing nanocarbon materials with desired properties for various applications. Nanocarbon materials have been used for energy storage (supercapacitors) and friction reduction (super lubricants). Macro, micro, and nano-scaled hierarchal structures are being developed to realize supercapacitors with high energy density and power density simultaneously. Direct formation of graphene layers on dielectric surfaces opens up a new arena for providing carbon-based transparent electrodes for solar cells and flat-panel displays. Nanostructured carbon materials also hold promise to reduce skin effects in high-frequency applications, which is a significant barrier in realizing wireless charging of electric vehicles. In pursuing the fundamental energy science, the speaker will also introduce his recent discovery that vibrational modes of precursor molecules play important roles in combustion and material synthesis, leading to an assumption that temperature may not be the unique parameter governing thermally driven chemical processes.

Bio: Dr. Lu is currently the Lott Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). He received his bachelor degree from Tsinghua University (China) in 1984 and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Osaka University (Japan) in 1988 and 1991, all in electrical engineering. From 1991 to 2002, he was a faculty in the ECE Dept. at National University of Singapore. He joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at UNL in 2002. He has more than 20 years of experience in processing and characterization of micro/nanostructured materials, mainly related to energy applications. His group has research projects funded by NSF, AFOSR, ONR, DTRA, DOE, NCESR, NRI, private companies, and other foundations in Japan, with research expenditures of over $15 million in the past few years. Dr. Lu has authored or co-authored over 250 journal papers and 300 conference papers. He has been elected SPIE fellow, LIA fellow, and OSA fellow. He is the treasurer and president elect of the Laser Institute of America. He has served as chair and general chair for numerous international conferences including the general congress chair for the International Congress of Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics in 2007 and 2008. His recent work has been featured by Science 360 and 2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge jointly organized by Science magazine and NSF.

All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.

Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium

Date/Time: 02/20/13 at 12:00 pm - 02/20/13 at 1:00 pm

Category: PRISM/PCCM Seminar Series

Department: PRISM