LDRD seminar: May 22
Three Argonne researchers will discuss their Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) sponsored work at the LDRD Seminar Series presentation Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at 12:30 p.m. in the Building 203 Auditorium. All are welcome to attend.
Visit the LDRD website to view upcoming seminars.
“Integrating First-Principles Theory and Experimental Characterization at the Solid/Liquid Interface”
By Argonne Scholar Kendra Letchworth-Weaver (NST)
Nanoscale engineering of electrochemical energy storage and conversion devices requires seamless integration between experimental characterization and predictive, multiscale theories of the solid/liquid interface. The highly scalable yet atomically detailed Joint Density-Functional Theory (JDFT) approach, employed alongside classical and first-principles molecular dynamics, broadens basic understanding of fundamental processes at the electrochemical interface, including ion solvation/desolvation and electrode stability to dissolution, and offers crucial insights into design strategies for a wide range of energy materials.
A native of Williamsburg, Virginia, Kendra Letchworth-Weaver graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2007 with a degree in physics and mathematics. At William and Mary, she was the recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship and the Thomas Jefferson Prize in Natural Philosophy. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2015, under the supervision of Prof. Tomás Arias and with the support of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is currently an Aneesur Rahman Fellow in Computational Physics at Argonne National Laboratory, working with Maria K. Chan at the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Paul Fenter in the Chemical Sciences Division and is a visiting postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Giulia Galli at the Institute of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. Beginning in fall 2018, she will be an assistant professor of physics at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
“Tracking Changes in Microbial Interactions Through Time”
By Postdoctoral Appointee Pamela Weisenhorn (BIO)
Most microbiome research to date has focused on changes in species composition. However, a critical knowledge gap remains in our understanding of the interactions among community members, the stability and resilience of these interactions with respect to external conditions and how changes in the frequency and strength of interactions influence the rate at which microbiomes affect their environment. Current work has failed to consider the often transient nature of interspecific interactions, as organisms cooperate or compete opportunistically. Here, I present an approach to explicitly consider the stability of individual interspecific interactions within the soil microbiome through time.
Pamela Weisenhorn is a computational microbial ecologist and joint postdoctoral appointee in the Biosciences and Mathematics and Computer Science divisions. She earned her Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology from the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on identifying interactions within complex microbial communities and modeling their effects on ecosystem processes. She received an honorable mention for last year’s Postdoctoral Performance Award in the Basic Sciences category.
“Gallium Oxide: A Potentially Revolutionary Material for Advanced Power Electronics”
By Principal Materials Scientist Angel Yanguas-Gil (AMD)
Gallium oxide is an emerging semiconductor material that has the potential to transform the way we manipulate electricity at the consumer, industrial and utility scales, overcoming some of the limitations of materials such as gallium nitride, silicon carbide or diamond. However, in order to fulfill its potential, we need to demonstrate that gallium oxide can lead to highly efficient, stable power semiconductor devices. Our research focuses on understanding the interfaces within such devices: nucleation, stability, band alignment and defects are key aspects addressed by this LDRD. A deeper knowledge of these concepts will help us understand how to engineer high quality interfaces and the potential limitations of gallium oxide.
Angel Yanguas-Gil is a principal materials scientist in the Applied Materials Division. His research focuses on the area of semiconductor and electronic materials processing (atomic layer deposition, plasma processing and additive manufacturing) as well as the design, simulation and characterization of electronic materials and architectures for neuromorphic sensors. With a background in theoretical physics, he obtained his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Sevilla, Spain in 2006. After a year of postdoctoral research at Ruhr University in Germany and two years at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, he joined Argonne National Laboratory as a staff scientist in 2009. He currently leads projects funded by DARPA, DOE and Argonne’s LDRD programs, and collaborates in projects and initiatives both from the Applied Materials Division and across the lab. He has authored more than 50 papers, one book, two book chapters, four software disclosures and eight patent and patent applications, and serves as member of the Scientific and Executive Committee of the Thin Film Division at the American Vacuum Society, MRS Electronic Materials Conference and the International Conference on Neuromorphic Systems.