Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar


Design of Nanostructured Electrodes and Nanoscale Electrocatalysts for Effective Energy Storage and Conversion


Dr. Seung Woo Lee


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Monday, April 2, 2012 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Dr. Tequila Harris


The cost-effective supply of clean and sustainable energy is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. Most of the clean and sustainable renewable energy options, including solar and wind energy, produce electricity intermittently. Therefore, effective electrical energy storage and conversion technology is a key factor, which can link renewable energy sources with various end-user applications. To respond to these challenges, the following strategy has been applied in my research: understanding the bulk and surface atomic and electronic structures of materials, correlating these materialsí structures with electrochemical reaction mechanisms, and designing novel energy materials using various nano- and micro-processing techniques. In this seminar, we will discuss 1) how nanostructured materials can enhance the energy and power densities for lithium-ion batteries and electrochemical capacitors, 2) how surface atomic structures of electrocatalysts affect the catalytic activity for small organic molecules in fuel cells and electrolytic cells, and 3) how we can design next generation energy storage and conversion materials having multi-functionality as well as high-performance. The development of these technologies can be a critical factor in supporting new transportation technologies, load-leveling for solar and stationary power applications, and fast-evolving portable electronic devices.


Dr. Seung Woo Lee received his B.S. degree with highest honors in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University and was awarded a Samsung Scholarship for his graduate studies. He received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering under the direction of Prof. Paula T. Hammond and Yang Shao-Horn at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His Ph.D. research focused on designing high-energy and high-power density nanostructured electrodes for electrochemical energy storage, and catalysts for electrochemical energy conversion of small molecules such as methanol oxidation and O2 reduction. Currently he is conducting his postdoctoral research in designing electrodes for rechargeable batteries and catalysis for solar energy storage with Prof. Daniel G. Nocera and Yang Shao-Horn in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, respectively, at MIT.