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Dawn Bonnell | The Critical Role of Atoms

MSE Distinguished Alumni Lecture || The Critical Role of Atoms at Surfaces and Interfaces: Do we really have control? Can we?


It is a traditional truism that the behavior of surfaces and interfaces is dictated by the interactions of atoms. Further, the efficacy of chemical reactions and the function of devices are dictated by the behavior of surfaces and interfaces, respectively. Consequently, understanding atomic interactions at surfaces and interfaces is the foundational basis for predicting, controlling, and designing devices and processes.With the ubiquity of catalyzed chemical reactions in manufacturing, the emergence of the device laden internet of things, and the global challenges with respect to water and energy, it has never been more important to understand atomic interactions in the functional materials that can provide solutions in these spaces. This talk will consider the issue from two perspectives. The first will examine the atomic and electronic structures of ferroelectric surfaces with a view towards determining thermodynamic stability and ultimately the control of surface reactions. This case will be based on the prototypical ferroelectric, BaTiO3, as a demonstration model system. The second will explore the size dependence of nano scale heterogeneous interfaces with the goal of inducing new properties. In this case metal-semiconductor and metal-organic interfaces will be used to demonstrate size dependent and plasmon induced hot electron generation.

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Speaker Bio

Dawn Bonnell is the Vice Provost for Research at the University of Pennsylvania. In this capacity Dr. Bonnell shapes policy and advances administrative initiatives for the University’s $900+ million per year research enterprise. Dr. Bonnell is the Henry Robinson Towne Professor of Engineering and Applied Science. She was the founding director of the Nano/Bio Interface Center that directed $30M to research at the intersections of technology and biology at the nanoscale or molecular level. An editor of seven books and an author of more than 200 papers, Dr. Bonnell was elected in 2013 to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest honors in the engineering profession, is one of only seven awardees of the Staudinger-Durrer Medal from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and has served as President of the American Vacuum Society and Vice President of the American Ceramics Society. As Vice Provost for Research she is leading Penn’s initiative on innovation and commercialization, which includes the establishment of the Penn Center for Innovation.

Article topics: MconneX , Materials Science

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