Speaker: Professor Serena Corr, Departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield.
Title: Nanomaterials for energy and the environment: though they be but little, they are fierce.
Abstract: Materials on the nanoscale can often display properties that are different from their bulk counterparts. To evaluate these properties and to assess the structural features that give rise to these, we can employ a range of tools to fully assess these materials across multiple length and time scales. In this talk, we will explore some small materials making big impacts in the fields of energy storage and artefact conservation. I will share some of our latest investigations using synchrotron X-ray facilities to uncover the hidden depths of the Mary Rose wooden hull and the nanostructured materials embedded within her timbers. These structural investigations are now informing conservators of new methods for treating priceless artefacts such as the Mary Rose to conserve her for generations to come. I will also show how elementary particles like muons can be passed through materials to act as beacons, revealing information about how lithium ions move through battery components. Understanding how ions move through materials gives us opportunities for designing next generation batteries and I will show you our latest efforts in developing all-solid state batteries for safer energy storage.