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Jones Seminar: Energy Materials—Advances made watching atoms move

Michael Manley Th'96, Senior Researcher, Oak Ridge National Lab

Friday, October 23, 2020, 3:30–4:30pm



Meeting ID: 960 4405 0376
Passcode: 107155

Developing the energy technologies of the future will rely heavily on advances in materials—whether it be safe reliable nuclear reactors, next-gen solar cells, or thermoelectric devices for waste heat recovery. Understanding how to control the flow of energy carried by the motion of atoms in materials (phonons, molecular modes, etc.) is often crucial. In this talk, I will present two examples, one on a photovoltaic (solar) material, and the other on a thermoelectric material.

We use neutron scattering and other techniques to show that thermal transport can be reduced by swapping out a lighter isotope for a heavier one in the organic molecule of the high-performance photovoltaic material methylammonium lead iodide. For thermoelectric efficiency an ideal is the phonon glass-electron crystal. This drives research on strategies to scatter or localize phonons while minimally disrupting electrons. These examples highlight how observing the motions of atoms can bare new strategies for enhancing the performance of energy materials.

About the Speaker

Michael Manley

Michael Manley Th'96 is a senior researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Materials Science and Technology Division. He is a science lead for the seven-institution Center for Thermal Energy Transport under Irradiation, co-PI on the BES-funded program, Neutron Scattering Studies of Hybrid Excitations, and co-scientific director of the National School on Neutron & X-ray Scattering. Dr. Manley received his MS in engineering sciences from Dartmouth and his PhD in materials science from Caltech. He was awarded the 18th Louis Rosen Prize for his PhD thesis and was a director’s postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory before being promoted to staff scientist. He moved from Los Alamos to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2006 where he received a Science, Technology, and Engineering Award for his research, and then to his current position at Oak Ridge in 2012. He was selected recipient of the 2021 TMS FMD Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award.

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