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Bath University Public I-SEE Lecture: From atoms to devices: Materials design for new energy technologies’

Tue 7 Mar 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm


I-SEE Seminar

From atoms to devices: Materials design for new energy technologies

Professor Aron Walsh, Department of Materials, Imperial College London


Abstract: The discovery of functional materials, tailored for applications in energy conversion and storage, is now possible by combining theoretical chemistry with high-performance computation. The toolkit for materials modelling is becoming increasingly predictive and powerful, with a recent emphasis being placed on data mining and informatics [1,2].

I will critically discuss the past and future contributions of materials theory and simulation to the development of new energy technologies, including light-to-electricity conversion in photovoltaic cells and heat-to-electricity conversion in thermoelectric cells. Particular attention will be paid to hybrid halide perovskites[3,4], which in addition to becoming champion thin-film solar energy materials, demonstrate how new materials have the potential to displace existing technologies in a short timeframe. I will discuss the challenges for materials design including the development of robust application-specific performance descriptors that can be accurately measured and calculated, and combine to give a quantitative figure of merit.

This research has been supported by the European Research Council, the Royal Society, and employs the UK national supercomputer ARCHER. It has benefited from membership of the EPSRC Supersolar, Energy Materials: Computational Solutions, and PVTEAM consortia.

1. “Computational materials design of crystalline solids” Chem. Soc. Rev (2016); DOI: 10.1039/C5CS00841G

2. “Computational screening of all stoichiometric inorganic materials” Chem (2016); DOI: 10.1016/j.chempr.2016.09.010

3. “What is moving in hybrid halide perovskite solar cells?” Acc. Chem. Res. (2016); DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.5b00431

4. “Indirect to direct bandgap transition in methylammonium lead halide perovskite” Energy Environ. Sci. (2017); DOI: 10.1039/c6ee03474h

Biography: Aron Walsh is Professor of Materials Design in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. He was awarded his Ph.D in chemistry from Trinity College Dublin, completed a postdoctoral position at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (USA), and held a Marie Curie fellowship at University College London. He began his independent research career at the University of Bath and held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in the Department of Chemistry. His research combines technique development and applications at the interface between solid-state chemistry and physics. He has published over 200 papers with an h-index of 59. In 2015 he was awarded the EU-40 prize from the Materials Research Society for his work on the theory of solar energy materials.

I-SEE seminars are free and open for all to attend

You are welcome to join us for prior discussions and afternoon tea in the ‘Wessex Restaurant’ from 16:00 to 16:25


More information here


Tue 7 Mar 2017
4:30 pm - 5:45 pm
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8 West 3.22 lecture theatre, University of Bath
Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY United Kingdom
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