Text Box: MATERIALS 188

Materials in Energy Technologies
Fall 2015


Monday 3:00 4:50 PM Phelps 1417.


All materials are on GauchoSpace







        Mandi Buffon

        Michael Ford

        Chandra Macauley

         Wennie Wang



Course Description


This 2-unit credit course is designed to provide an overview of relevant energy technologies from a materials science and engineering perspective.

Planned topics include solar, lighting, nuclear, battery, and energy efficiency technologies. While each topic will be covered in some depth, we are looking to provide a comprehensive view of the field. To give research context, there will be guest speakers and brief descriptions of the historical context of some of these technologies. Discussion will be a component of the class. Student input on the direction of the class will be encouraged.


Course Goals and Expectations


Throughout this course, we expect you attend and participate lectures and discussions. Our goal is for you to leave this course with an appreciation for materials science and a mindset for how a materials scientist thinks. The key takeaway from this course is an awareness and ability to communicate scientifically about materials science in energy technologies.


Target Audience


Open to all majors. Advanced undergraduates with an interest in materials for energy technologies. Recommended background in physics, engineering, and chemistry.


Required Materials


None, reading material will be provided in class and through links on the website.




See syllabus for details.


Lecture Outline


09/28 Introductory Lecture. Introduce instructors. Syllabus. Course motivation and expectations.

What is materials science? What are materials? Crystallography/structures, demonstrations.


10/05 Thermodynamics: Heat Engines (I)

Lecturer: Chandra Macauley

Guest Lecturer: Luke Rettburg (Materials Department)

Fossil fuels, Carnot cycle, Internal Combustion, Turbine technology.


10/12 Thermodynamics: Heat Engines (II)

Lecturer: Chandra Macauley

Guest Lecturer: Prof. Bob Odette (Materials Department)

Nuclear fission and fusion, current and next generation reactors.


10/19  Thermodynamics: Heat Engines (III)

Lecturer: Mandi Buffon

Guest Lecturer: Anne Glaudell (Materials Department)

Geothermal, Thermoelectrics.


10/26  Electronic Structure (I)

Lecturer: Wennie Wang

Guest Lecturer: Prof. Chris Van de Walle (Materials Department)

Atomic structure, Bands, Band gap, PN-junctions.


11/02  Electronic Structure (II)

Lecturer: Michael Ford

Guest Lecturer: Demis John (Praevium Research)

PN-junctions, solar cells, solid-state lighting, lasers.


11/09  Electrochemistry (I)

Lecturer: Mandi Buffon

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Maxwell Raidin (Materials Department)

           The grid, Basics and fundamentals, Batteries, Modern batteries.


11/16  Electrochemistry (II)

Lecturer: Wennie Wang

Guest Lecturer: Prof. R. Daniel Little (Dept. of Chemistry and Biochem.)

Fuel cells basics, fuel cells technologies, Ionic liquids, supercapacitors, hydrogen storage.


11/23  Biomaterials (I)

Lecturer: Michael Ford

Guest Lecturer: Chelsea Catania (Materials Department)

Biofuels, biomimicry.


11/30  TDB

12/11  Final 12-3pm