Materials for Energy and the Environment

Energy is a key driver for our society. At the same time, many energy generation technologies can be detrimental to the environment. Research in MatSE at Illinois focuses on fundamental understanding of materials used for energy generation and storage technologies from heat engines to solar cells as well as on materials for water purification.

The studies include developing novel materials with advanced heat transport or heat resistance, understanding how these materials work at the atomic scale, and improving them. Novel devices are being designed and demonstrated including flexible solar cells and advanced battery designs that will lead the way to practical energy generation and storage for future generations, as well as improved methods for killing bacteria in water supplies. Research on advanced characterization techniques is providing new ways to study energy materials with unprecedented resolution and precision. These include world-leading measurement techniques for heat transport and methods for measuring electronic properties of semiconductors with nanometer resolution.

Faculty in this area