The University of Utah
Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah

This Week's Colloquium: Tatjana Jevremovic, Nov. 29, 2012

Tatjana Jevremovic
University of Utah Nuclear Engineering
EnergySolutions Presidential Endowed Chair Professor
Director of the Utah Nuclear Engineering Program

Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012
102 JFB

Refreshments: 3:30 pm in 219 JFB
Lecture 4:00pm (102 JFB)

Title: Utah Nuclear Engineering Program: New Development in Curricula, Research, Training & Outreach


The University of Utah Nuclear Engineering Program (UNEP) is restructured, modernized and revitalized starting fall of 2009, with the goal to meet the expectations of the 21st century nuclear engineering education, research and development. Our focus areas are on nuclear power, nuclear forensics, advanced computational simulations, visualizations and modeling, nuclear medicine, and nuclear materials detection. UNEP houses a number of facilities providing unique opportunities to students and faculty. Our facilities include one of 13 left TRIGA research reactors, radiochemistry lab, radiation measurement lab, nuclear forensics lab, radiation detection lab, computer lab, microscopy lab, and BNCT lab. Our new curriculum is structured to assure our graduates will be highly-­‐ skilled, uniquely-­‐trained with hands-­‐on experience using our facilities, and prepared for jobs in nuclear power sector, nuclear nonproliferation, forensics and safeguards, nuclear medicine and radiation detection fields. An overview of educational, training, research and outreach programs will be provided.


Dr Tatjana Jevremovic, native of Serbia, received her BS and MS degrees in nuclear engineering at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and her PhD degree in nuclear engineering at the University of Tokyo, Japan. She was a project manager in Energoproject Co. in Belgrade for 8 years, Chief Engineer in Nuclear Fuel Industries, Ltd. in Japan for 5 years; she was a professor at the University of Tokyo for 2 years, at Purdue University for 8 years. While in Nuclear Fuel Industries, Ltd. in Japan, she has developed a nuclear reactor lattice physics code for advanced simulations of nuclear power reactor performances. The code was selected to be included as a part of the BWR power plants licensing procedure in Japan. In 2001 she received a prestigious company annual award for that development. From 2009 she is Endowed Chair Professor and Head of Nuclear Engineering Program and The University of Utah, Salt Lake City. She authored a textbook, Nuclear Principles in Engineering published by Springer, that is used at a number of universities worldwide. She published over 150 conference and journal papers mainly in the fields of nuclear reactor physics modeling, radiation transport, nuclear medicine, nuclear forensics and nuclear engineering education.


Special USTAR Seminar: Jianbo Gao

Jianbo Gao
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Wednesday November 28, 2012
102 JFB

Title: PbS Quantum Dot Solar Cells--An emerging thin film photovoltaic technology


Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) play an important role in solar energy conversion, due to their unique new physics that arise from quantum confinement effects such as tunable bandgap as a function of QD size and multiple exciton generation (MEG). The power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of solar cells using thin, densely packed layers of PbS QDs have increased from 2% just a few years ago to approaching 8% today. Furthermore, when multi-junctions cells stack together, more than 68% PCE can be achieved theoretically. Therefore, the perfect marriage of high efficiency and low cost fabrication makes PbS QDs revolutionary materials for next generation multi-junction solar cells. In this talk, I will focus on the strategies to approach 6% PbS QD solar cells through the fundamental study of device architecture, interface, and PbS QD passivation. Also I will present a recent breakthrough in photovoltaic science that demonstrates MEG in a PbSe QD-based solar cell via the observation of external quantum efficiency (EQE) greater than 100%.


Special USTAR Seminar

Vic Liu
General Motors Global R&D

Monday November 19, 2012
1230 WEB

Title: Probing the Local Chemical Physics of Fuel Cell & Battery Materials to Understand Some of the Technical Challenges Facing Fuel Cell- & Battery-Powered Electric Vehicles


To address environmental and resource-limitation constraints, mainstream automobile companies are striving to put more and more electric vehicles (powered by either hydrogen fuel cells or lithium-ion batteries ) on roads in the coming years. Meanwhile, academia and industry research labs are working hard to find alternative high-performing durable materials to make fuel cell and battery technologies costcompetitive with their fossil fuel-based internal combustion analogs. In this presentation, I will briefly outline a part of my research at General Motors related to the hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries by reviewing a few representative examples. They are: carbon corrosion, Pt-alloy catalyst development, manganese dissolution, and solid-electrolyte interphase characterization. In these examples, my efforts were to probe the local chemical physics by using state-of-the-art techniques including microscopy, spectroscopy, and three-dimensional tomography. The obtained local information was then connected with the history of the materials in an analyzed system and the system’s overall electrochemical properties. Through these examples, I will show the importance in understanding the local structure and chemistry of materials and their practical relevance to the performance and durability of the fuel cell and battery operating systems. This is because the understanding developed this way will allow us to solve the performance and durability issues at the materials level or develop mitigation strategies at the system and operation levels.


This Week's Colloquium: Maria Loi, Nov. 15, 2012

Maria Loi
Photophysics & Optoelectronics
Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012
102 JFB

Refreshments: 3:30 pm in 219 JFB
Lecture 4:00pm (102 JFB)

Title: Organic-Inorganic Hybrids: From Fundamental Properties To Optoelectronic Devices


Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) are solution processable semiconductors that are potentially highly appropriate for optoelectronic device fabrication, owing to their narrow bandwidth, their remarkably broad absorption, their large tunability, their high dielectric constant, and their high stability under ambient conditions. In spite of the interest drawn by these systems their successful application in optoelectronic devices have been limited. Most of the problems reside in the dichotomy between quantum confinement and the necessity of electronic wave function overlap to allow electrical transport. This problem is enhanced by the insulating nature of the organic ligands used to passivate and solubilize the NCs. Recently several authors have reported that the use of small conjugated ligands is a way to overcome these problems. I will report how PbS NCs with benzene dithiols ligands can be use as active layer for efficient solar cells, [1] with power conversion efficiencies approaching 4% and fill factors of 60% under AM1.5 illumination. The effect of different NCs` size on the performance and key parameters of the devices will be discussed together with peculiar features of the device functioning [2]. Finally I will discuss as PbS NCs together with conjugated polymers can give new possibility towards broad absorption of the solar spectrum.[3]

[1] K. Szendrei, W. Gomulya, M. Yarema, W. Heiss and M. A. Loi, Appl. Phys. Lett. 97, 203501 (2010).
[2] K. Szendrei, M. Speirs, W. Gomulya, D. Jarzab, M. Manca, O. V. Mikhnenko, M. Yarema, B. J. Kooi, W. Heiss, and M. A. Loi, Adv. Funct. Mater. 22, 1598 (2012).
[3] C. Piliego, M. Manca, R. Kroon, M. Yarema, K. Szendrei, M. Andersson, W. Heiss and M. A. Loi, J. Mater. Chem., J. Mater. Chem., 22, 24411 (2012).


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