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Our research program centers around physical and chemical issues related to the development of new applications of micro- and nanotechnology. Leveraging our interest and expertise in materials, interfacial phenomena, electrochemistry, and nanostructures & self-assembly, we aim for fundamental and practical advances in a variety of applications.

Click the icons below for more information on each application.

Recent trends toward intermittent energy sources (e.g. wind and solar), advanced mobile devices and electric vehicles are placing increased demands on energy storage platforms. Electrochemical storage devices, in particular batteries and supercapacitors are two such devices with the potential to meet the energy storage demands of the future. Batteries are high energy capacity devices which store energy through redox reactions in the bulk material of the device. Supercapacitors are high power devices which store energy in the electrochemical double layer. We are currently developing and characterizing the performance of new materials for high-density energy storage and economically  viable photovoltaics.

High Surface Area Nanomaterials for Supercapacitors
We are investigating high surface area (i.e. high storage capacity) electrode materials including 
porous silicon nanowires grown from bulk silicon, silicon carbide nanowires,  and graphene. Current interest lies in understanding the relationship between synthesis conditions and material properties (e.g. conductance, porosity, and stability). Through this fundamental knowledge these materials will be optimized for use in supercapacitor devices. Future work is to include device design and on-chip integration for autonomous self-powering devices.
Research contact: John, Ben

New Materials for High Temperature Energy Storage
Yttria-stabilized Zirconia (YSZ) has a high ionic conductivity at T > 400°C and is hence a promising solid electrolyte for high temperature energy storage. We are currently investigating the use of YSZ in conjunction with SiC nanowire or high surface area carbon electrodes for the development of high-temperature stable supercapacitors.
Research contact: Ben 

Anode Materials for Li Batteries
The Li-air batteries are projected to have much higher gravimetric energy storage density compared to all other battery chemistries. We are investigating the potential of a variety of materials platforms, including graphene.
Research contact: Lunet

Indium Phosphide based Solar Cells
Indium Phosphide, a direct bandgap III-V semiconductor, has been shown to be a promising material for highly efficient solar cells. In collaboration with Prof. Ali Javey (EECS), we are investigating the electrochemical deposition of InP thin films for photovoltaic applications.
Research contacts: Peter

Selected Publications

M. Vincent, M. Kim, Carlo Carraro, R. Maboudian, “Silicon Carbide Nanowires as Electrode Material for High-temperature Supercapacitor”, Proceedings of IEEE MEMS Conference, pp. 39-42, (2012).

F. Liu, A. Gutés,  I. Laboriante, C. Carraro, and R. Maboudian, "Graphitization of n-type polycrystalline silicon carbide for on-chip supercapacitor application", Appl. Phys. Lett. 99, 112104 (2011); also featured in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology, Vol. 24 (13), September 26, 2011.

G. Doerk, V. Radmilovic and R. Maboudian, "Branching induced faceting of Si nanotrees", Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 123117 (2010);
Selected for the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology, Vol. 21 (15), April 12, 2010.

B. Hsia, N. Ferralis, D. Sensky, A. P. Pisano, C. Carraro, and R. Maboudian, "Epitaxial Graphene Growth on 3C–SiC(111)/AlN(0001)/Si(100)", Electrochem. Solid-State Lett., 14, K13-K15 (2011).

N. Ferralis, R. Maboudian, C. Carraro, "Determination of substrate pinning in epitaxial and supported graphene layers via Raman spectroscopy", Phys. Rev. B, 83, 081410 (2011).