ChBE Seminar: Atomic and molecular layer deposition of redox-active thin films
Speaker: Matthias Young, Assistant Professor, Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering, University of Missouri
To improve the performance of electrodes for energy storage and desalination, it is desirable to deposit ultrathin films of redox active material onto conductive and high-surface-area 3D supports. This approach minimizes the length-scale for slow solid-state diffusion to enhance rate capability for these applications—allowing for faster-charging and higher power electronic devices, and smaller desalination systems to process volumes of salt water for salt removal. To achieve this vision, we need approaches which deliver uniform and conformal coatings of redox active materials onto conductive supports. In this talk, we describe work from our group developing new chemistries for atomic layer deposition (ALD) to form redox-active inorganic materials, and molecular layer deposition (MLD) to form redox-active organic polymers. Both of these approaches rely on sequential, self-limiting redox reactions to form conformal thin films with molecular scale control of thickness and composition. Using select examples, we reveal new insights into ALD and MLD growth chemistries of these redox-active films, characterize the atomic and molecular structures of the films we grow, and connect structural differences under varying deposition conditions with electrical and electrochemical properties of the films. The insights we report enable the deposition of redox-active films conformally onto high-surface area samples, opening new avenues to enable advanced electrochemical technologies based on these ultrathin and conformal redox-active films.
Matthias J. Young received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado-Boulder, co-advised by Charles Musgrave and Steven George. He is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recipient, and a former National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado. Matthias also worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Argonne National Laboratory under Jeffrey Elam prior to joining the faculty at the University of Missouri in 2018. Matthias runs the Mizzou Thin Film Coatings and Materials Electrochemistry Lab. Matthias’s research group focuses on understanding and improving electrode materials for energy storage and water treatment applications.