Opportunities with Photon Science for Renewable Energy

When: Friday, October 07, 2011 at 3:00 pm
Where: EG 440
Speaker: Zahid Hussain
Organization: Division Deputy for Scientific Support, Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA
Sponsor: Special Physics Colloquium

Our current fossil-fuel-based system is causing potentially catastrophic changes to our planet. The quest for renewable, nonpolluting sources of energy requires us to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels.

Energy-related materials research faces urgent challenges today that has been described in DOE grand challenge report, “Directing Matter and Energy: Five Challenges for Science and the Imagination” and various other workshops sponsored by US Department of Energy.  In my talk I will identify areas of fundamental research where light sources such as synchrotron and free electron lasers facilities providing high brightness of soft to hard x-rays are in a unique position to address the problems. After describing motivations, I will demonstrate through several examples scientific opportunities that exist for both experimental and theoretical science in the following areas:

  • Photovoltaics for Converting Sunlight to Electricity
  • Fuel Cells
  • Energy Efficiency with Designed Catalysts
  • Energy Storage and Battery
  • Artificial Photosynthesis for Converting Sunlight to Fuel