Upcoming seminars

Seminars at DIFFER cover a wide range of topics and are held on Thursdays at 11.15 AM in the seminar room of the institute (unless otherwise stated). Seminars are open to everybody. If you are interested in visiting a DIFFER seminar or want to subscribe to our mailing list, please follow the instructions for external visitors.

List all past seminars organized at DIFFER

Matthew McDowell
June 4th 2019
14:00 to 15:00
It is critical to understand how electrochemical materials change, transform, and degrade within devices to enable the development of next-generation energy storage and conversion systems. In my research group, multi-scale in situ techniques are used to reveal reaction mechanisms and interfacial transformations in materials for batteries and catalysis. In this talk, I will present our recent work on understanding and controlling transformations at interfaces between solid-state electrolytes and electrode materials within solid-state batteries, and how these interfacial transformations influence chemo-mechanical degradation. Next, I will discuss our work on investigating phase transformation pathways in high-capacity battery electrode materials using in situ transmission electron microscopy. In particular, unexpected chemo-mechanical stability is found during reaction of sulfide electrodes with larger alkali ions than Li+. Finally, results will be discussed related to growth mechanisms of layered chalcogenide materials in the presence of various transition metals; this work is important for designing catalysts with tailored structure and morphology. Overall, this research demonstrates how fundamental understanding of dynamic processes can be used to guide the design and engineering of new energy materials with improved lifetime.
Kitty Nijmeijer
June 6th 2019
11:15 to 12:15
abstract will follow
Esther Alarcon Llado
June 13th 2019
11:15 to 12:15
Nanostructured metals and semiconductors are promising building blocks for next generation solar energy conversion devices at low cost. From the optical perspective, nanostructure (NS) ensembles constitute a new class of metamaterial, where the optical properties of the ensemble are tuned by the individual NS type, geometry and collective arrangement. In the case of solar energy conversion into fuels, nanostructured or layered metal and metal oxide co-catalysts display performances that are morphology and size dependent. Nano semiconductors and conducting materials with tailored optical and electrical properties require new characterization methods to unravel the origin of their nano-enabled features. 
This work will describe a set of tools based on scanning probe and 3D microscopy to analyze nanostructures, from the optical, electrical to electrochemical perspective. We will show how fluorescence confocal microscopy can visualize the 3D extinction cross-section of GaAs NWs and to obtain the absorption coefficient and cross-section without the need of a transparent substrate. We demonstrate that by probing ordered arrays with this method, the effective absorption coefficient and cross-section can be obtained without the need of a transparent substrate. Moreover, we show how fluorescence microscopy is an insightful method to probe in real time the chemical environment of electrocatalysts. On the other hand, we will show that conducting atomic force microscopy is an emerging tool for the characterization of nano-wire based solar cells, where poor uniformity has hampered the large area device performance. As a final remark, we will demonstrate that SPM can become the ultimate nano-fabrication technology to create 3D nanostructures on demand.
Bert Meijer
June 20th 2019
11:15 to 12:15
The intriguing prospects of molecular electronics, nanotechnology, biomaterials, and the aim to close the gap between synthetic and biological molecular systems are important ingredients to study the cooperative action of molecules in the self-assembly towards functional supramolecular materials and systems. The design and synthesis of well-defined supramolecular architectures require a balanced choice between covalent synthesis and the self-assembly of the fragments prepared. For synthetic chemists, the non-covalent synthesis of these supramolecular architectures is regarded as one of the most challenging objectives in science: How far can we push chemical self-assembly and can we get control over the kinetic instabilities of the non-covalent architectures made? How can we go from self-assembly to self-organization? Where the number of different components is increasing, the complexity of the system is increasing as well. Mastering this complexity is a prerequisite to achieve the challenges in creating functional systems and materials. In the lecture we illustrate our approach towards novel supramolecular materials with possible applications in electronics and energy.
Jilt Sietsma
June 27th 2019
11:15 to 12:15
Abstract will follow.