NSF Workshop: Emerging Opportunities of Nanoscience to Energy Conversion and Storage
The Key Bridge Marriott. 1401 Lee Hwy, Arlington VI
November 21-22, 2005
Chair: John Reif
coChair: John Monahan
Workshop Report: http://www.cs.duke.edu/~reif/NSF.NanoEnergy/Report
NSF Workshop Description
The main sessions of the workshop ran two days, Monday Nov. 21 - Tuesday Nov. 22, 2005.
Location of Workshop
Phone: 1-703-524-6400 Fax: 1-703-524-8964
SCHEDULE: Dates: November 21-22, 2005
For a detailed schedule, see: Schedule at http://www.cs.duke.edu/~reif/NSF.NanoEnergy/Schedule.html
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
NSF Workshop Overview
This multi-disciplinary workshop facilitated the advance of scientific research and commercial development in this area and provide the scientific basis for new funding programs in Energy Applications of Nanoscience..
Brief Overview of Workshop:
This workshop is to explore the most promising emerging applications of Nanoscience to energy conversion and storage. This workshop considered possible methods for improved efficiency in the following tasks: (i) conversion to electricity of solar energy and/or heat (photo-voltaics and thermocouplers), and (ii) storage and release of energy (e.g., fuel cell and battery technology). Invited speakers and other conference participants discussed research challenges, applications, and opportunities to NSF. To this end, this was a limited scope NSF workshop on this topic, in the style of other NSF workshops in targeted areas of emerging interdisciplinary research. The Workshop was be jointly co-Chaired by John Reif (Duke University) and John Monahan(previous CEO of Avigen, Inc.).
The workshop brought together for the first time leading scientists with expertise in the relevant sub areas (e.g., self-assembly, quantum dots, nano-optics, DNA-metallic hybrids, etc.) to consider this topic. These experts \ranged over multiple disciplines including computer science, electrical engineering, chemistry, and physics. The workshop also invited a number of leading relevant energy technology experts (in photo-voltaics, thermocouplers, fuel cell and battery technology) who provided expertise on current the energy technologies and limitations.
The workshop also invited leading relevant energy technology experts in the topics:
(iii) fuel cell and
(iv) battery technology
These speakers provided expertise on current the energy technologies and limitations.
For a detailed list, see: list of invited speakers
In addition, there were attendees from US government research agencies and government labs including DOE, NSF, DARPA, AFSOR, ONR, etc.
Nanoscience is a highly dynamic area of basic research. In involves the study (including computational theory, computational modeling, and experimental construction) of nanostructures of size under 100 nanometers. Recent research breakthroughs in nanoscience is providing capabilities to organize materials at the molecular scale into complex patterns using various methodologies including self-assembly of viral, peptide and DNA nanostructures. Furthermore, attachment chemistries allow for the attachment of a wide variety of distinct materials to these nanostructures at chosen sites. These attached materials include metallic particles, proteins, and other inorganic and organic particles and compounds. To further drive the field of Nanoscience, there is an acute need to provide high impact applications beyond a limited number of known applications to nanoelectronics and medical science.
Emerging Applications of Nanoscience to Energy Conversion and Storage
This workshop explored the most promising emerging applications of Nanoscience to energy conversion and storage. This Workshop considered possible methods for improved efficiency in the following tasks:
(i) conversion to electricity of solar energy and/or heat; this includes photo-voltaics and thermo-couplers.
(ii) storage and release of energy; this includes fuel cell and battery technology.
This workshop explored feasible methods for exploiting recent self-assembly results in nanoscience to improving the efficiency of these energy conversion and storage devices.
For example, the ability to position quantum dots and other metallic nanoparticles at regular positions at molecular scales seems likely to have applications to photo-voltaic and thermo-couple devices of improved efficiency. As another example, the ability to position reactive and/or catalytic nanoparticles in close proximity at molecular scales seems likely to have applications to improving the efficiency of various chemical energy storage devices, for example for improving the catalytic efficiency of fuel cells and chemical batteries.
There were discussions of methods for study and engineering of nanostructures for these applications, including computational theory, modeling, simulation, experimental demonstration of basic capabilities, and construction of entire full-scale architectures.
This NSF workshop was highly interdisciplinary, with participants from various areas including Computer Scienc(who have expertise in the combinatorial design and computer simulation of the nano-devices to be considered), various Engineering disciplines (Electrical, Mechanical and Material) related to energy and nano-technologies, as well as Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics. It impacted both the research community in Nanoscience as well as other disciplines engaged in the study of energy technologies. To insure involvement by graduate students, a number of their travel and local expenses were supported. . The workshop also benefited the NSF to allow for the identification of targeted research opportunities and challenges in applications of key importance to US economy and industry.
Benefits to Funding Organizations.
It also benefited the NSF and other funding organizations to allow for the identification of targeted research opportunities and challenges in applications of key importance to US economy and industry.