The RSC Solid State Group Easter Meeting was organised by Professor Aron Walsh (University of Bath) and Dr David Scanlon (UCL) and was held at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre in Chicheley between 14-16 April 2014. This post was contributed by 2nd-year research student Jessica Bristow.
The meeting was attended by both staff and students researching solid-state materials for energy generation, storage and conversion. Over three days multiple topics were addressed including: catalysis, battery technology, photovoltaics, fuel cells and photocatalysis.
One particular personal highlight was the talk by Professor Richard Catlow of UCL who gave a general overview of progress made in the area of solid-state modelling and catalysis. He highlighted the importance of not just trusting published data and that all available computational techniques should be used in cooperatively finding a solution, rather than trusting an individual method.
The meeting also included three excellent talks from Steven Wood, Adam Jackson and Mako Ng, studying in the DTC for Sustainable Chemical Technologies.
Steven spoke about potential materials for sodium ion batteries as an alternative to the current lithium ion batteries. Steven employs molecular mechanics as a means to theoretically predict material properties for a given application.
Adam and Mako both spoke about CZTS, a material composed of copper, zinc, tin and sulphur. CZTS is a popular future photovoltaic material with the potential to be a more sustainable choice for devices to capture the suns energy and convert this to electricity. Adam gave an overview of calculations he has conducted on CZTS, while Mako presented his experimental work synthesising large crystals of the material.
- Steven Wood is supervised by Professor Saiful Islam (Chemistry) and co-supervised by Dr Tim Mays (Chemical Engineering);
- Adam Jackson is supervised by Professor Aron Walsh (Chemistry) and co-supervised by Professor Laurie Peter (Chemistry) and Dr Darrell Patterson (Chemical Engineering);
- Mako Ng is supervised by Professor Mark Weller and co-supervised by Professor Aron Walsh and Dr Philip Shields (Electrical & Electronic Engineering);
- Jessica Bristow is supervised by Professor Aron Walsh and co-supervised by Dr Valeska Ting (Chemical Engineering).