Departmental Seminar

“Little Wires – Big Challenges. Can Si nanowires help solve our energy problems”

Professor S. Tom Picraux
Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies

Why would one turn to nanoscale materials to address the massively large scale needs of renewable energy harvesting and storage? In this talk, I will discuss the inherent advantages of novel Si nanowire structures for photovoltaic solar energy collection and for Li ion battery electrical energy storage. In both cases, the potential benefits driven by large surface areas are clear, but materials challenges of controlling surface and interface interactions emerge. Addressing these materials issues in a new context is both challenging and fun. At the same time a surprise emerges in the growth of what we thought was the best understood crystal on our planet. 

S. Tom Picraux, Ph.D., Chief Scientist (retired) – Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies

Tom Picraux most recently served as Chief Scientist of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT - one of the 5 national DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers in the USA) at Los Alamos National Laboratory which is jointly managed by LANL and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Tom also led the research effort on nanoscale electronic materials based on semiconducting nanowires in which he continues as LANL Fellow Emeritus. Previously he was at SNL as a research scientist, a manager, and a director of Sandia’s Physical and Chemical Sciences Research, and at Arizona State University as Executive Director for Materials Research and Professor of Materials Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Physics from California Institute of Technology, was a Fulbright Fellow in physics at Cambridge University, and is a Fellow of MRS, APS, AAAS and LANL, past President of the Materials Research Society, past chair of the APS Division of Materials Physics and of the AAAS Industrial Science and Technology Section. His publications include 350 articles on ion beam, thin film, and nanoscale electronic materials research, including the book, Materials Analysis by Ion Channeling, 15 book chapters and 6 edited books and over 10,000 citations. He has received the prestigious Department of Energy’s national E.O. Lawrence Award for his research on materials, 3 DOE Materials Science Awards for Sustained Outstanding Research, NASA’s Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Award, DOE’s Energy 100 Award and LANL’s Postdoc Distinguish Mentor Award. 

More information

Date & time

Mon 23 Mar 2015, 11am–12pm


RSPE Seminar Room


Staff, students and public welcome