Seminar: Liquid-Nanoporous Smart Composite Materials for Multifuncational Energy Conversion

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Department Seminar Series

03/03 (Monday)    11:00 am – Noon     LC 433

Liquid-Nanoporous Smart Composite Materials for
Multifuncational Energy Conversion

Dr. Baoxing Xu
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

When a nanoporous material is seamlessly combined with a functional liquid, the ultra-large specific interface area provides an ideal platform for conversion among mechanical, thermal, and electrical energies. Thus, a properly designed liquid-nanoporous composite materials may simultaneously accomplish multiple functions, including energy absorption, capture, actuation, and energy harvesting, all with high efficiency and energy densities that may be several orders of magnitude higher than that of conventional materials/systems. These attractive functionalities are underpinned by the science of liquid-solid interactions, where solid mechanics and fluid mechanics meet at the nanoscale. In a confined nanoenvironment, the configurations of liquid molecules and ions are often different from the bulk phase, and their unique interaction behaviors with the solid wall can lead to novel energy conversion mechanisms. The novel developed liquid-nanoporous smart composite materials and the unique characteristics of liquid-solid interaction behaviors at the nanoscale may offer unprecedented opportunities for developing next-generation multifunctional smart systems with self-regulating, self-protective, self-powered, and self-actuated capabilities.


Dr. Baoxing Xu is a Beckman Fellow working with Professor John A. Rogers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his PhD. in Mechanics and Materials under the supervision of Professor Xi Chen from Columbia University in 2012, and B.S. and M.S. in Solid Mechanics from Northwestern Polytechnical University, China in 2004 and 2007, respectively. He has worked on the development of multifunctional energy conversion smart system, mechanical testing technique and mechanical behavior of advanced materials and structures. Now his research interests are mechanics, design and fabrication of multifunctional flexible and stretchable devices, bioinspired design and mechanics of smart nanoporous materials and (in-situ) mechanical characterization technique for applications in energy, environmental sustainability and healthcare.