Joint Meeting

Meet MRS Award Recipients—Lightning Talks and Panel Discussion

Tuesday, December 1
5:15 pm – 7:15 pm

Join us for an exciting special talk session and live panel discussion, moderated by Suveen Mathaudhu, MRS Awards Committee Co-Chair, with the following 2020 award recipients: 

MRS Medalists

“for outstanding contributions to advanced materials design, synthesis and characterization for energy storage, particularly Li battery technologies”

MRS acknowledges the generosity of Dr. Gwo-Ching Wang and Dr. Toh-Ming Lu in endowing the MRS Medal.

Yi Cui
Yi Cui
Stanford University

Reinventing Batteries by Nanoscience

The fast growth of portable power sources for transportation and grid-scale stationary storage presents great opportunities for battery development. The invention of lithium ion batteries was recognized with the Nobel Prize in 2019. Looking forward, how to increase energy density, reduce cost, speed up charging, extend life, enhance safety and reuse/recycle are critical challenges. This talk will summarize 15 years of research to address many of these challenges by understanding the materials and interfaces through new tools and providing nanoscale guiding principles for design. The topics to be discussed include: 1) A breakthrough tool of cryogenic electron microscopy, leading to atomic scale resolution of fragile battery materials and interfaces 2) Nanomaterials design to enable high capacity materials: Si and Li metal anodes and S cathodes 3) Interfacial design with polymer and inorganic coating to enhance cycling efficiency of battery electrodes 4) Materials design for safety enhancement 5) Lithium extraction from sea water and for battery recycling and 6) New battery chemistry for grid scale storage.


Linda Nazar
Linda Nazar
University of Waterloo

Electrochemical Energy Storage for a Sustainable Energy Future

The widespread integration of renewable, intermittent energy sources depends on establishing large-scale energy storage systems for load-levelling the electric grid, while the acceptance of electric vehicles hinges on developing intermediate-scale, safe, low-cost batteries that can provide long driving ranges. In both areas, innovation in materials for electrochemical energy storage is paramount to advance the technology. This talk will present a short perspective on the challenges, and opportunities for strategies that encompass tailor-designed materials for both the electrodes and electrolytes. The topics will encompass promising new developments in solid state batteries, and holistic approaches towards electrolytes for Li-sulfur cells, including solid state sulfur.


Materials Theory Award

“for seminal theoretical contributions to the design and understanding of novel molecules and materials in thefields of organic electronics and photonics”

MRS acknowledges the generosity of Dr. Gwo-Ching Wang and Dr. Toh-Ming Lu in endowing the Materials Theory Award.

Jean-Luc Bredas
Jean-Luc Bredas
The University of Arizona

The Power of π: A Computational Journey into π-Conjugated Organic Materials

After a very brief review of the fields of organic electronics and photonics, which rely on electrically and optically active π-conjugated (molecular, oligomeric, or polymeric) materials, Brédas will succinctly describe some recent achievements in the areas of organic light-emitting diodes and solar cells. Taking specific examples, this talk will highlight how an integrated computational approach can help in the design of new, more efficient materials.  Bredas dedicates his presentation to his co-workers and the reason for being awarded the 2020 MRS Materials Theory Award. 


The Kavli Foundation Early Career Lectureship in Materials

Igor Aharonovich
Igor Aharonovich
University of Technology Sydney

Quantum Technologies with Hexagonal Boron Nitride

Engineering robust solid-state quantum systems is among the most pressing challenges to realize scalable quantum photonic circuitry. This presentation will highlight the potential of a particular 2D material – hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) as a promising platform for quantum photonic applications. Aharonovich will focus on ways to engineer these defects deterministically and show results on their integration with on-chip resonators. Aharonovich will summarize by outlining challenges and promising directions in the field of quantum technologies with 2D materials.


MRS Nelson "Buck" Robinson Science and Technology Award for Renewable Energy

MRS acknowledges the generosity of Sophie Robinson for endowing this award in memory of her father, Nelson "Buck" Robinson.

Aditya Sadhanala
Aditya Sadhanala
Centre for Nano Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science

New Age Thin-film-Optoelectronics: Translating Knowledge and Technologies to Society

Sadhanala will discuss the new age solution processable thin-film semiconductor-based optoelectronics along with their spectroscopy and how can we realize next generation of thin-film optoelectronics. This discussion will also touch on how we can, as privileged researchers, contribute our portion to the society in various forms in addition to our research based outcomes that directly impact our society.


MRS Postdoctoral Awards

MRS acknowledges the Jiang Family Foundation and MTI Corporation for their generous contribution to support this award.

Edoardo Baldini
Edoardo Baldini, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“for implementing novel laser techniques to identify and control collective excitations in quantum materials leading to major advances in the field of excitonics and phononics."

Nonequilibrium Dynamics of Collective Excitations in Quantum Materials

Revealing the dynamics of collective excitations in quantum materials is a subject of pivotal importance, as collectivity lies at the origin of several cooperative phenomena that cause profound transformations, instabilities, and phase transitions. In this talk, Baldini will discuss the dynamics of collective excitations (e.g., excitons, magnons, phonons) from the perspective of ultrafast science. In particular, he will focus on the role that specific collective excitations play in the formation of hidden phases of matter, i.e. phases that do not have counterparts in the equilibrium phase diagrams of quantum materials. As an example, he will describe our recent discovery of a transient antiferromagnetic metallic phase in a prototypical van der Waals insulator. His team observed this phase upon photoexciting a spin-orbit-coupled exciton, an exotic state of bound electron-hole pairs dressed by the spin degree of freedom. Driving this peculiar exciton also allowed the team to realize the coherent manipulation of the underlying antiferromagnetic order for tens of picoseconds, a feature that can lead to the development of novel all-optical spintronic devices.


Chengwei Wang
Chengwei Wang, University of Maryland

“for developing a novel high temperature sintering technique for rapid screening and discovery of high performance ceramics for energy and other applications."

High Temperature Materials Synthesis and Processing in Seconds

Wang will discuss his most recent work about high temperature materials synthesis and processing (Science 2020, 368, 6490, Cover), including the ultrafast high-temperature sintering (UHS) technique and the potential utility and applications in advancements in solid-state electrolytes, multicomponent structures, and high-throughput materials screening. The UHS method can directly sinter oxide precursors into solid, dense ceramics in seconds. Compared with previous fabrication techniques, the UHS process is >100–1000-times faster (e.g., reducing the sintering time from hours to ~10 s).

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