Common energy conversion or storage systems typicall convert or transduce one form of energy to another. Examples include a nuclear reactor, which produces a massive amount of heat that is converted to steam, and eventually produces work on a turbine to yield electrical power. For solar cells incident radiation produces excitons which may be separated and collected to form power, leaving unadsorbed light to become heat. Fuel cells directly convert chemical energy into electricity, with heat as a byproduct.
In nearly every case, these conversion or transduction processes occur at or within critical interfacial regions, junctions or boundaries. Examples include anomalous transport that occurs at discrete interfaces of two dissimilar materials, the p-n junction enabling solar and semiconducting technologies, and the triple phase boundary, where gaseous, electronic, and electrolytic phases enable the incorporation of ions into the electrolyte.
The NITE Laboratory is driven by two primary pursuits: I) We aim to disrupt empiricism and inform the design of materials used in energy and electronic applications through studies that combine in situ characterization, advanced synthesis, and theory of model interfaces. II) We train, educated, and mentor students and researchers of all levels to confer the knowledge and expertise requisite of the future workforce in the technology sector.