Materials Program Overview

Material research has a significant component of CEET research portfolio in nanomaterials for energy conversion and devices for energy harvesting. Materials encompass hierarchically structured and composite materials that incorporate carbonaceous nanomaterials with metallic nanoparticles, oxides or other ceramic nanomaterials. Currently DOD funded projects within CEET involve studies of interactions between components of 3-D enzymatic nanomaterial architectures for energy harvesting, such as DNA, peptides and CNTs, and distribution of components inside bacterial cells for examining electron transfer mechanisms between microbial cell and electrodes in microbial fuel cell. DOE funded projects focus on non-PGM electrocatalysts of alkaline fuel cells as well as development of electrocatalysts for ethanol oxidation. Durability of components in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is another focal area of CEET research portfolio. CEET is currently extending their research interest in studying fullerenes, carbon nanotubes (CNT) and graphene in their use in polymer-based photovoltaic devices, lithium battery components and advanced catalysts for hydrogen energy systems (electrolyzers and fuel cells). The energy materials thrust has grown to support applications in fuel cells technology that range from catalyst for automotive fuel cells, materials solutions for stationary distributed power sources and enabling technologies for the design of novel portable a miniature energy harvesting systems.