M1. Soft Energy Materials
The need for new materials in energy capture, storage and conversion is one of the main drivers for research in the current century. Many advanced materials (such as ceramics) are formed from soft precursors while some (advanced plastics) are soft even in use. We are working to establish design principles governing: the creation of soft composites for use in lithium batteries; the mechanical deformation of such materials; the creation of hybrid organic-inorganic solar cells using interfacial particles; the possible creation of interfacial soft-matter composites with light harvesting functionality. Additionally, we are working on the creation and function of liquid-crystal /colloid composites applicable to low-energy display applications.