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Hybrid Materials by ALD-Derived Methods: Opportunities for Novel Material Design, presented by Dr. Mato Knez as part of the Materials Science and Engineering Colloquium Series
Friday, Mar. 9, 2018
11 a.m. - noon Location: RL 3.204

ABSTRACT: Atomic layer deposition (ALD) has become the method-of-choice for solving many technical issues that occurred on the way towards designing current and future electronics. Serious effort has been invested in order to optimize the materials, processes and processing instrumentation, which eventually resulted in the success story of this processing technique.

The ALD process can be seen from various perspectives. On the one hand, it allows controlled deposition of thin films on a variety of substrates and in this way enables a modification of a given functionality of a surface or even introduction of a new functionality. On the other hand, it may be seen as a chemical reactor that allows precise dosing of a chemical, allowing for chemical interaction and modification of the substrate. Considering both points of view, the process opens large variation possibilities for a design of novel functional materials for emerging applications and devices. Among those functional materials hybrid materials play an increasingly important role. Hybrid materials are in most cases blends of inorganic and organic materials and are considered to be key for the next generation of materials research. The main goal while fabricating such materials is to bridge the worlds of polymers and ceramics, ideally uniting the most desirable properties within a singular material. Furthermore, in a well performing hybrid material the individual components will add value to their counterpart in a synergistic way.

In this talk, some approaches will be discussed that show great promise for establishing ALD as the method-of-choice for innovation in technological fields beyond the microelectronics industry. Rather than growing thin conformal films, the ALD process technology is applied to controllably grow nanoparticles on functional substrates adding value to their chemical or electrochemical properties. In an adapted processing mode, the ALD processing technology also allows infusing metals into polymeric substrates, which leads to novel material blends that cannot easily be obtained in other ways. In either of those cases the chemical or physical properties of the initial substrate are improved or new functionalities added. With some showcases, this talk will discuss approaches towards non-traditional application of ALD to fabricate novel materials with great promise in energy storage, catalysis, personal protection or flexible electronics. 

BIO: Mato Knez studied chemistry at the University of Ulm, Germany. From 2000-2003 he performed his PhD thesis at the Max-Planck Institute of Solid State research in Stuttgart and moved thereafter to the Max-Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Halle, where he launched a junior research group and started his activities in materials research and atomic layer deposition (ALD). In 2012 he moved to the research center CIC nanoGUNE in San Sebastian, Spain, for an Ikerbasque research professorship and a group head position. In parallel, he is teaching at the technical university of Navarra (TECNUN) and scientifically advising and consulting the startup company CTechnano. For his research involving ALD he received the Nanofutur award by the German ministry of education and research (BMBF) in 2006 and the Gaede Prize by the German Vacuum Society in 2012. Between 2012 and 2017 he was additionally a Marie-Curie fellow. His main research interests focus on development of functional hybrid materials applying atomic layer deposition or biochemical methodologies. 

Contact Info:
Jennifer Alsbury, 972-883-5754
Questions? Email me.

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