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April 2012

It's Friday!

It's the final day of the 2012 MRS Spring Meeting but the talks are as interesting as ever. The topic in symposium o this morning (polymers for energy technologies) is of particular interest to me as I am currently working with polymer electrolytes for lithium ion batteries at the Balsara Lab.

Nevertheless, the initial fervor of the meeting has died down considerably, but the few of us still here at going strong.


Going Beyond Lithium

After attending Professor Obravac's talk on the magnesium-ion battery system, I feel like my eyes have been opened to a whole new world. Never in my life would I have considered lithium to NOT be the highest energy density anode material. Of course, it was only shown that Mg has a higher theoretical volumetric energy density for the magnesium sulfide and magnesium oxide systems, but it shows a lot of promise given that pure Mg metal is air stable and shows very low volume increase when alloyed with other metals to improve reversibility.

Whew! Just reading that sentence made me run out of breath. Gotta cut down on those run on sentences!


I am so excited to see our group (UCR)'s T shirt desgin in Alket Mertiri 's post. Actually, i had to leave ealier to present so i was not able to show the design. I belive all university chapter members had a good time there.

A lot of good works were shown in the poster session today. I talked with a couple of authors there.

Adrianus I. Aria from California Institue of Tech showed a promising appoach to bring oxidized functional groups to carbon nanostructures by UV/Ozone treatment. The method can enhance the surface wettability a lot which will benefit the electrode-electrolyte interation.

Quan Ma, Dezheng Sun from Dr. Ludwig Bartels' s group (UC Riverside) discovered a unique ''square'' structure MoSx by Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy which is very promising for catalytic applications. Some addtional detailed further study will be showed in U9.23.

MRS student chapter lunch was held today at Marriott hotel. There were two new US chapters, UC Irvine and UC Davis, and the newest international chapter from Saudia Arabia, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Chapter officers and their advisers talked about their new activities and gave great event ideas to the new chapters. Also, the t-shirt contest was a hit with six university chapters showing off their creative designs. Boston University won the first place.

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After hearing his talk about SLIPS (Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surfaces), I had a quick chat with Dr. Philseok Kim from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Materials about his work and the MRS Spring Meeting.

Me: Why are you interested in bioinspired materials?

Kim: We live in nature, which is full of biological systems. Although most of these systems are very complex, some biological systems are governed by simple principles that can be used to create synthetic materials for the same purpose.

Me: How do you go about looking for biological systems to emulate?

Kim: The work for the SLIPS was based on an observation by another researcher about the pitcher plant that was originally published in Nature. However, I am fortunate enough to work in an environment (Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering) that facilitates a lot of discussion and collaboration. For instance, I know a zoologist that lets me in on interesting facts and every now and then we will stumble upon some random ideas.

Me: Where are you spending most of you time at MRS?

Kim: Mostly Symposium T. I am also interested in bioinspired building materials, such as windows that can redirect light, but a two of the talks I planned on going to have been cancelled or withdrawn, so that was disappointing.

Me: Favorite Presentation?

Kim: Like I said, a few of the talks I wanted to attend have been cancelled, but of the talks I have been to I really enjoyed Tao Deng's talk on thermal energy conversion and conduction.

Me: Yeah I really enjoyed that one too. Thanks for you time!

Wednesday Morning In Symposium O

I am excited to say that I will be spending most of my morning in Symposium O: Li-Air and Li-S this morning. New intercalation cathodes and new anodes pale in comparison to the potential of Li-air and Li-S batteries in terms of theoretical capacity. There are still many problems that need to be solved, however. As I will be working with Li-S batters this summer with Professor Nitash Balsara, it seems as if I'll be adding dissoluting polysulfides to my list of nemeses and joining Professor Nazar in the fight!


Hi all,

My name is Wei Wang. I am a graudate student from UC Riverside. Though i have served as a blogger/twitter for two days, this is actually my first time sit in front of computer to write a blog.

A little bit rainy today, but i believe this won't affect us that much. I really enjoy today's poster session and the science as art show in the first floor of moscone west. The instrument and techinical exhibit also attacted a lot of people.

I will keep you guys blogged/twitted in the following days. Moreover, tomorrow noon MRS student chapters will have a Tshirt design contest. I belive all student chapters are well prepared about this. Are you ready?

I just checked out the exhibit and there are a lot of vendors that can help you with questions. Also, make sure that you swing by the Science as Art gallery. There is a lot of creative images that make you appreciate SEM images in a different way.

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