Seminar by Dr. Debra Rolison from the Naval Research Laboratory, Tuesday, October 22

Dr. Debra Rolison from the Advanced Electrochemical Materials Section of the Naval Research Laboratory, will be offering a technical seminar next Tuesday, October 22, at 11:30 am in 100 Stillman Hall (1947 College Road). Entitled "Scalable Multifunctional Nanoarchitectures for Energy Storage", the talk is based on her work on rechargable zinc-based batteries. Her talk is hosted by Anne Co, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and a member of CERTAIN's Faculty Advisory Committee.

A brief bio and additional background is included below.

Debra Rolison received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980 and then joined the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory as a staff scientist.  She currently heads the Advanced Electrochemical Materials Section at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC.  Her team designs, synthesizes, characterizes, and applies three-dimensionally structured, ultraporous, multifunctional nanoarchitectures for catalytic chemistries, energy storage and conversion, biomolecular composites, porous magnets, and sensors. Dr. Rolison has published over 200 papers and holds 30 patents.


Scalable Multifunctional Nanoarchitectures for Energy Storage

Our team at the Naval Research Laboratory looks at rate-critical chemical processes where events per second are required for high performance in such technologies as energy storage, energy conversion, (electro)catalysis, and sensing. We then design next-generation systems built around pore–solid nanoarchitectures that seamlessly embody all of the requisite rate functions for high-performance electrochemistry: molecular mass transport, ionic/electronic/thermal conductivity, and electron-transfer kinetics. We have taken the lessons from 20 years of probing the operational and design characteristics of catalytic and energy-relevant nanoarchitectures to create a zinc sponge—a stand-alone, 3D-wired anode that improves current distribution within the electrode structure during charge–discharge cycling, thwarts dendrite-formation, and can challenge the energy density of Li-ion battery packs, all while using safer aqueous-based chemistry. With this breakthrough, we are now addressing the family of zinc-based rechargeable alkaline batteries: nickel–3D zinc, silver–3D zinc, MnO2–3D zinc, and even rechargeable 3D zinc–air. The route we have taken to move from a creative concept to a fabricated reality to the necessary fundamental characterization to prototype development (and ultimately commercialization by outside companies) will be described.