Symposium ET12—Harvesting Functional Defects in Energy Materials
Defects are ubiquitous in materials, and can alter its functionality – mechanical, chemical, electrical, optical, thermal etc. and their coupling with each other, in a profound manner. Not only are the ground-state properties modified, but also excited state properties as well as the material responses to external fields are significantly altered. Many compelling cases exist in energy materials where such profound role of defects manifest in a controlled manner. For example, recent active efforts have led to converting otherwise inert transition metal oxide materials and two-dimensional layered materials to create new (photo-)electrochemical active materials by dynamically varying the oxygen defect concentration and distribution (ordered or disordered) to couple existing physical properties. However, harnessing functional defects in energy materials present outstanding scientific and technical challenges to researchers since effective and efficient theoretical and experimental tools permitting us to rationalize, predict, observe, visualize and control defect formation, migration and interactions are largely limited or even unavailable. To address the pressing opportunities and difficulties, we envision this symposium to highlight most recent trends, applications, forefront challenges and breakthroughs in developing and harnessing functional defects in a wide range of energy materials via bridging expertise on theoretical modeling/simulation, materials synthesis, functional measurement/control, and advanced characterization. Particular attention will be paid to predictive design of functional defects for energy applications via a combination of theory, high-throughput computations and data-analytics; synthesis of defect structures in functional nanostructures and epitaxial heterostructures; control of functional defects formation/migration/ordering; the interplay between defect responses in ionic lattices and their manipulation by external fields; and use of transformative imaging capabilities to probe defect-driven phenomena in-situ along with their dynamics, etc. We hope this symposium would provide an interactive forum for materials scientists from various backgrounds to understand and take advantage of predictive design, smart synthesis/control and advanced characterization approaches of novel defects in energy materials.