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Teaching Program

Caltech Courses 2011-2012

Topics: Crystalline and amorphous structure, defects in crystals, thermodynamics, phase diagrams, properties of materials: mechanical, electrical, optical and magnetic.

  • MS/EST 143 - Solid State Electrochemistry for Energy Storage and Conversion - Spring 2013

Topics: Thermodynamics and kinetics of ion and electron transport in solids, with emphasis on processes in electrolyte and electrode materials used in energy storage and conversion. Treatment of electroanalytical characterization techniques including a.c. impedance spectroscopy, voltametry, and d.c. polarization methods. Application areas include fuel cells, electrochemical gas separation membranes, batteries, supercapacitors, and hydrogen storage materials.

Although no prerequisites are listed in the course catalog for MS 143, students with no prior exposure to materials science and engineering will be at a disadvantage. MS 115a is suggested.

Recently Offered Courses

Topics: Crystalline and amorphous structure, defects in crystals, thermodynamics, phase diagrams, properties of materials: mechanical, electrical, optical and magnetic.

Topics: Experimental methods, quantitative phase analysis, crystallite size measurement, lattice parameter refinement, internal stress measurement, quantification of preferred orientation (texture) in materials, Rietveld refinement, and determination of structural features from small angle scattering

Topics: Thermodynamics and kinetics of ion and electron transport in solids, with emphasis on processes in electrolyte and electrode materials used in energy storage and conversion. Treatment of electroanalytical characterization techniques including a.c. impedance spectroscopy, voltametry, and d.c. polarization methods. Application areas include fuel cells, electrochemical gas separation membranes, batteries, supercapacitors, and hydrogen storage materials.

Although no prerequisites are listed in the course catalog for MS 143, students with no prior exposure to materials science and engineering will be at a disadvantage. MS 115a is suggested.

Lectures may be recorded and made available for on-line viewing. Lectures from 2011 and 2009 are available for worldwide access, through the links above.

Topics: State-of-the-art in the use of concentrated solar energy to drive electrical power plants and general fuel. Topics covered include: (1) Fundamentals of solar concentration: optics, trough/tower/dish systems, non-imaging systems (compound parabolic concentrator). (2) Solar thermal electricity generation: Rankine/Brayton/Stirling-based cycles, receiver technology, hybridization, thermal storage, energy economics. (3) Solar thermochemical fuel production: thermodynamics, processes (H2O/CO2-splitting, thermochemical cycles, decarbonization), reactor technology, life cycle analysis.
Instructor: A. Steinfeld.

  • MS 105c - Spring, 2007

Topics: Phase transformations in solids

Topics: Overview of quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules and solids, molecular orbitals, chemical bonding, band structures, point defects, line defects (dislocations).

Tutorial Information   

  • Fuel Cells - In recent years, many review articles, monographs and textbooks on fuel cell have appeared. The items below are just some samples.

Here's a tutorial put together by Los Alamos National Laboratory, emphasizing Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells for automotive applications (in pdf format). You may also be interested in a pamphlet put together by the National Energy Techology Lab, emphasizing market and technology aspects of higher temperature fuel cells.

Here's a "popular press" article on our solid acid fuel cells which appeared in the Caltech publication ENGenious.

  • A.C. Impedance Spectroscopy - Highly recommended is the 2008 textbook by Orazem and Tribollet, "Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy" published by Wiley as an ECS monograph.

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Last modified: January 28, 2014