Energy Research at the University of Washington

René M. Overney

Energy Research Area: Energy Research Area: Development of function materials based on cognitive molecular and nanoscale principles in the field of (i) organic electro-optics with focus on energy efficiency, (ii) hydrogen technology in regards of low cost fuel purification, (iii) polymer membrane technology as low cost alternative.

Professor
College of Engineering
Chemical Engineering

Molecular engineering, towards modern material systems for energy application, with specific structural and functional properties, involves high molecular architectural complexity (internal constraints), and interfaces and finite size restrictions (external constraints). Research in the Overney group is focused on molecular design strategies that build on knowledge of molecular/nano-constraints imposed on organic and inorganic/organic condensed systems. In particular, efforts entail (i) the development of novel nano-characterization tools towards local relaxation/transition (e.g., glass transition) and molecular energetic and cooperative/structural entropy analysis, and (ii) the design of specific constraints to impact transport properties. Innovative analysis and design concepts are applied towards:

- light, low heat generation, and inexpensive all-optical materials (i.e., non-linear optical systems),
- high selectivity in polymer membranes for fuel purification,
- reduction in energy dissipation within tribological systems by controlling molecular scale dissipation pathways and adhesion, and
- enhancement of mass transport properties in constrained polyelectrolyte systems (e.g. PEM fuel cells).

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Campus and Other Collaborators/Partners

Record last updated on November 28th 2011 PDT.