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Highlight Seminar Series: Yang Shao-Horn, MIT

Date: April 15, 2021

Time: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Location: Virtual seminar

Towards Decarbonizing Chemicals and Fuels

Speaker: Yang Shao-Horn

W. M. Keck Professor of Energy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

We will discuss challenges and opportunities in making sustainable fuels and chemicals with energy from the sun and wind. This talk will focus on recent work towards establishing design rules of the reaction kinetics for water splitting and carbon dioxide reduction, by tuning surface electronic structures and solvation environments at the electrified interface.

Yang Shao-Horn studies materials for electrochemical and photoelectrochemical energy storage and conversion, which is centered on examining the influence of surface chemistry and electronic structures of thin films and nanomaterials on lithium storage and catalytic activity of small molecules of energy consequence, and applying fundamental understanding in reaction mechanisms to design new materials for lithium storage and electrocatalysis of oxygen reduction, water splitting, methanol oxidation and CO2 reduction. Shao-Horn has focused her research on the chemical physics of surfaces with emphasis on metal oxides, including oxide-solve interface in Li-batteries, descriptors of catalytic activity, wetting properties and ion transport, and design materials and devices for solar fuel including water splitting, carbon dioxide reduction, and metal-oxygen redox chemistry. Shao-Horn’s research includes experimental components including synthesis of well-defined surfaces and nanostructured materials, and investigation of processes at the surfaces/interfaces using (electro)chemical methods coupled with ex situ and in situ X-ray-based and electron-based spectroscopy. Among her many honors, Shao-Horn has been awarded the ECS Charles Tobias Young Investigator Award, ISE’s Tajima Prize, Gail E. Kendall Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and AAAS Fellow. She has been ranked as a highly cited researcher by Thomson Reuters, with just over 200 journal papers published. Shao-Horn has advised over 70 masters and Ph.D. students.

2020/2021 Highlight Seminar Series line-up