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  • Alex Martinson, Ph.D.
    02/21/19 - 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM

    Department Seminar: Alex Martinson, Ph.D.

    Department Seminar

Sequential Surface Synthesis: Teaching Atomic Layer Deposition New Tricks

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) processes now exist which enable the fabrication of thin films of oxides, nitrides, sulfide, and pure metals from across the periodic table. This stepwise chemical vapor deposition method has been a boon to those who value conformal thin films with sub-nanometer control of thickness (e.g. microelectronics industry). However, when viewed through the lens of a chemist, sequential surface synthesis (read: ALD) is a nascent science. I will describe several unconventional applications of ALD in our group including Sequential Infiltration Synthesis (SIS) in polymers, ALD in metal organic frameworks (MOFs), and precision few-atom cluster synthesis with applications in advanced materials for water remediation, single-site catalysis, and (photo)electrochemical fuels generation. This talk will also include several simple in situ methods to reveal new chemical insights into the growing surface chemical functionality including thin film calorimetry (with direct correlation to first principle computation), infrared spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry.


The aim of Alex Martinson's research is to elucidate and leverage a multitude of technologically relevant surface chemistries and optoelectronic processes that occur at the interface between materials. The research tests the limits of what is possible in digital materials synthesis and device fabrication at length scales approaching the atomic level. Present work is intended to advance the science of solar energy conversion and catalysis through the design, modeling, and fabrication of photovoltaics (PV), solar fuels platforms, and single site catalytic frameworks. Disruptive designs are enabled through the precise spatial and chemical control afforded by atomic layer deposition (ALD). These studies explore the intersection of earth-abundant materials, photoelectrochemistry, and targeted materials synthesis in order to study their synergies and reveal the shortcomings of our control over energy and matter.

About Alex Martinson

Alex Martinson earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from Luther College, and his doctorate in physical chemistry at Northwestern University. He was a Director's Post-Doctoral Fellow at ANL for a year and then an assistant chemist. He has been a chemist at ANL since 2014, and is also a senior fellow at the Northwestern Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering at Northwestern.

  • Event Details

    Location: 331 Smith Hall
    Host: Professor Aaron Massari
    • Alex Martinson, Ph.D.
    • Alex Martinson
    • Chemist & Principal Investigator
    • Argonne National Laboratory