Dr. Veronica Augustyn
Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering
North Carolina State University
“High Power Electrochemical Energy Storage with Hydrated & Layered Tungsten”The most common approach of improving the power capability of energy storage materials has been to decrease the diffusion distance by nanostructuring. Here, we explore a different method to improve the kinetics by investigating the effects of structural water in bulk crystalline, layered tungsten oxides. In theory, such materials can offer improved charge transfer at the interface and fast ion transport in the bulk during electrochemical energy storage. Hydrated tungsten oxides are model materials for the systematic investigation of the effect of structural water for high power energy storage because of their stability in aqueous electrolytes, reversible redox, and multiple hydrated phases. The results show that hydrated tungsten oxide exhibits surface-limited (pseudocapacitive) kinetics even with high mass loadings and large crystallite sizes, which leads to high power capability. On the other hand, the anhydrous tungsten oxide exhibits primarily semi-infinite diffusion-controlled kinetics, typical of battery materials. In situ Raman microscopy of the hydrated tungsten oxide points to the presence of reversible proton-induced semiconductor-to-metal transition during electrochemical energy storage. As a result, the hydrated oxides exhibit both fast proton and electron transport. This research identifies an approach for improving power capability in energy storage materials that does not require nanostructuring via the use of interlayer structural water.
Dr. Michael Johnson
Department of Chemistry
The University of Kansas
“Unraveling the neurochemistry of ‘chemobrain’”As the use of chemotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer has advanced, the survival rates for cancer patients have significantly increased; however, as a result of these increased life spans, the after effects of chemotherapy treatment have become more noticeable. Chemobrain is a neurological syndrome, reported by patients often long after chemotherapy treatment has concluded, that is characterized by decreased cognitive function, memory, and concentration. To study chemobrain, my group has employed two separate model organisms: rats and zebrafish. Dopamine release and uptake characteristics were measured with fast-scan cyclic voltammetry at carbon-fiber microelectrodes (FSCV) in acutely harvested brain tissues slices from rats treated with chemotherapeutic agents. In conjunction with these measurements, we applied behavioral paradigms designed to measure different aspects of cognitive behavior. We also measured dopamine release and uptake characteristics in whole brains harvested from zebrafish treated with chemotherapeutic agents. Collectively, this work suggests that impaired neurotransmitter release may play an important role in chemobrain
Dr. Scott T. Iacono
Professor, Dept. of Chemistry
Director, Chemistry Research Center
United States Air Force Academy
“ROMP-ing Around with Fulvenes: Designing Light Harvesting Materials from Cross-Conjugated Systems”
Executive Order 13514 (Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance) requires that all new federal buildings must be designed to achieve zero-net energy by 2030 and after 2030, every building we create is required to be net-zero. Motivated by this fundamental chemistry challenge, our team has been exploring conjugated polymers containing donor and acceptor groups as possible light-harvesting materials. Specifically, one area of research that remains largely unexplored is the incorporation of low band-gap fulvene-based donor/acceptor moieties within the polymer backbone. The unique structure-property relationships associated with fulvenes are promising in the field of organic electronics. In this work, we present the first reported example of a fulvene-containing polymer. Model reactions and DFT calculations were also performed on small molecule fulvene chromophores prior to polymerization reactions to support experimental observations of the chain-extended systems. Possible applications of these cross-conjugated polyfulvene in relation to the field of organic electronic materials will also be addressed.
1. Godman, N. P.; Balaich, G. J.; Iacono, S. T. Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 5242.
2. Shurdha, E.; Repasy, B. K.; Miller, H. A.; Dees, K.; Iacono, S. T.; Ball, D. W.; Balaich, G. J. RSC Adv. 2014, 4, 41989.