Dr. Na Lu
Dr. Na Lu
Purdue University, USA
Title: Nano-Materials Engineering for Smart Infrastructure
The energy crisis is one of the most significant challenges that we face in today’s society. More than 80% of the economy relies on fossil fuels coupled with an accelerating growth of global population and greenhouse gas emissions puts our environmental sustainability under threat. To address this issue new materials and technologies for clean energy production and environmental sustainability must be developed. In response to this critical need, Dr. Lu has formed a Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technology (SMART) lab with the mission to advance renewable energy technology through materials related research. This presentation will cover some of SMART lab’s efforts on nanostructured materials/ device engineering for a wide range of applications, including thermoelectric energy harvesting, piezoelectric energy production, as well as developing high performance Non-destructive Testing (NDT) sensor for in-situ monitoring of concrete early age properties. Various processing methods will be discussed in this talk including solid state synthesis, liquid phase electrospinning processing, and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) for high crystal nanostructures. Advanced materials characterization techniques will also be presented including high resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and photoluminescence (PL) etc. The fundamental understanding of process-structure-property relationship of nanomaterials system will be explicitly discussed with regards to their specific applications.
Dr. Lu’s research focuses on the discovery and synthesis of functional nanomaterials with tunable (mechanical, electrical, thermal, and optical) properties. By exploring novel materials’ properties, Dr. Lu’s group is advancing a wide range of technologies including thermoelectric power generation, piezoelectric energy conversation, sensing, non-destructive testing and multi-functional materials in civil infrastructure. Dr. Lu is one of the early investigators in discovery of wide bandgap materials (oxides and nitrides) for high temperature thermoelectric energy conversion. This opens up an exciting new research direction in thermoelectric, since it has been primarily focusing on narrow bandgap materials which suffer from low operational temperatures and use toxic elements (eg. Te in BiTe and PbTe). Fundamentally, her research group has advanced the understanding of multi-length (atomic-, nano- and micro-) scale structure effects on materials’ electron and phonon transport (in Ref. JEM, 40(5), 2011; AIP Advances, 6, 2016). This knowledge has led to the development of effective strategies in achieving high electrical conductivity with low thermal conductivity in a same material. Dr. Lu and her collaborators have recently developed computational models to enable a broad search of novel oxides as cost-effective and high performance thermoelectric materials using first-principle based calculations (in Ref. PRB, 93, 2016). Her work has resulted in many publications on high impact journals including Applied Physics Letters, Physical Review B, and Scientific Reports etc.