At the heart of every sustainability, energy, or environmental issue lies a materials challenge. Materials are the building blocks of all devices providing energy conversion and storage, energy harvesting, and environmental remediation. Advances in new materials, materials design and discovery, and materials synthesis and processing will play a key role in bringing about a sustainable future for the world in clean electricity, clean transportation fuels, and clean access to water and food.
Areas of Research Focus
At the University of Illinois, researchers are engaged in a broad spectrum of cutting-edge research in materials, from design and optimization, to synthesis and processing, to characterization, and beyond. From materials for inexpensive and abundant solar photovoltaics, clean hydrogen fuel production, environmental remediation, to materials for next generation nuclear reactors and high efficiency turbines, research at the Illinois is finding materials solutions to address key global challenges in energy, environment, and sustainability.
Some specific projects:
- New materials synthesis and processing.
- High-temperature materials.
- Solar energy harvesting materials: photovoltaics, photocatalysis.
- Waste heat harvesting materials: thermoelectrics.
- Energy storage materials: clean production of hydrogen.
- Catalysis materials for reduction of carbon dioxide.
- Materials for energy conversion: fuel cells, etc.
- Energy materials at the nanoscale.
- Radiation resistant materials, materials for next generation nuclear reactors.
- Computational materials discovery and modeling.
- Nanowire tandem solar cells and solar water splitting.
- Electromagnetic shielding, electrical cables, material properties.
- Thin-film inorganic solar cells and thin-film flexible LEDs.
- X-ray tomography of Si- and Sn- based high capacity battery electrodes.
- Digital volume correlation for internal strain measurements in battery electrodes.
- Self-reporting and autonomous stabilization strategies at electrochemical interfaces.
ILLINOIS RESEARCH CENTERS
- Argonne Center for Electrochemical Energy Science
- Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS)
- Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (MRL)
- Illinois Applied Research Institute (ARI)’s Accelerate Materials Research group
- International Center for Advanced Materials (ICAM)
- International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I²CNER)
- Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR)
- Light Material Interactions in Energy Conversion (LMI-EFRC)
- Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures (HV/TMS)
- Nuclear Plasma and Radiological Engineering (NPRE) Department
ONGOING GRANTS & GRANT OPPORTUNITIES