From Atoms to Autos: Materials Engineering Across Dimension and Scale

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Date: November 2, 2021
Time: 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Virtual event
Category: Seminar

From Atoms to Autos: Materials Engineering Across Dimension and Scale

Jeffrey D. Cain, PhD

General Motors, Global R&D


Wayne State University

Department of Physics - Condensed Matter Seminar

November 2, 2021


Abstract: One of the primary objectives of nanoscience is the precise control over the processing structure-property relationship intrinsic to traditional materials science. Recently, the concept of dimensionality and length scale, and the engineering of materials’ structure and properties via changes in dimensionality, has emerged as an additional degree of freedom within this paradigm. To this end, the isolation of single atomic-planes (e.g. graphene and the transition metal dichalcogenides) and chains (e.g. transition metal trichalcogenides, TMTs) from quasi-lowdimensional materials has been extremely fruitful. There is an ever-growing list of materials being isolated down to their fundamental van der Waals building blocks, and existing low-dimensional materials (e.g. nanotubes, graphene) have been excellent templates for the synthesis and stabilization of new low-dimensional materials and structures. In this talk, we will walk from 3D to 0D, and I will show that the transition metal chalcogenides are the ideal platform for making this journey through various dimensionalities and the emergent phenomena that accompany them. Specifically, I will address recent studies of: 2D quasicrystals (PNAS, 2020), 2D alloys (PRL, 2020), 1D single atomic chains and nanoribbons (ACS Nano, 2021), and 0D few-atom clusters (PRL, 2020). I will also discuss my recent work at General Motors Research and Development on the development of new materials for Li storage and electric vehicle applications.


Bio: Jeff Cain is a scientist at General Motors Global R&D, where he studies emerging materials, chemistries, and structures for next-generation energy storage technologies. Prior to joining GM in 2019, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the Physics Department at the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where his research was centered around the synthesis, characterization, and hierarchical assembly of nanoscale, low-dimensional, and quantum materials. He completed his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, and bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Materials Science and Engineering at Michigan State University.




Zhixian Zhou


November 2021