The ICAM Lecture Series

The ICAM Lecture Series presents lectures from leaders in various fields of materials science.

2017 Series

Smart Materials and Surfaces

An overview from Prof. Ivan Parkin

Prof. Ivan Parkin
Professor Ivan Parkin from University College London delivered the first ICAM webinar of 2017 on smart materials and surfaces.
Professor Parkin described the role of surface chemistry and microstructure in determining a material’s functional properties. He looked at water repellent superhydrophobic coatings and showed how these coatings require surface roughness and an intrinsic low-surface energy interaction with water.  

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2016 Series

Membranes for Separating Molecules

An overview from Prof. Andrew Livingston

Prof. Andrew Livingston
Professor Andrew Livingston from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London delivered the final ICAM webinar of 2016 on membranes for separating molecules.
Professor Livingston described why membranes have been so successful in Reverse Osmosis (RO), how polymer membranes are made, and what the current challenges for aqueous RO membranes are. He then outlined some of the research being undertaken at Imperial College London to develop new membranes, for RO and for molecular separations in organic systems.


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Polymers with Biologically-Inspired Autonomous Functions

An overview from Prof. Nancy Sottos

Prof. Nancy Sottos
Professor Nancy Sottos, the Donald B. Willet Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, delivered the fourth ICAM webinar of 2016 on polymers with biologically-inspired autonomous functions.
Professor Sottos described recent developments in self-protection to guard against environmental factors such as mechanical stress, chemical corrosion, or extreme temperatures; self-reporting capabilities to ensure that loss in performance caused by a specific event is registered and communicated; and self-healing to recover structural performance once the system has been damaged.


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The Energy Challenge

An overview from Cameron Rennie

Cameron Rennie
Cameron Rennie, Senior Strategy Advisor at BP Group Technology, delivered the third ICAM webinar of 2016 on the global energy challenge.
Cameron discussed how the production and use of energy is linked to availability of many natural resources. He described examples of dependencies on availability of water, land and specific minerals.


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Nanoscale Engineering

An overview from Dr Colm Durkan

Dr Colm Durkan
Dr Colm Durkan, Reader in Nanoscale Engineering and head of Nanoscience at the University of Cambridge, delivered the second ICAM webinar of 2016 on the topic of nanoscale engineering.
Dr Durkan discussed how recent advances in the nanoscale probing of materials have opened up a whole host of opportunities previously only dreamed of. Coupled together with the ability to fabricate or engineer surfaces, materials and devices, we have a highly fertile space to play with.


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Molecular Simulation of Fluids

An overview from Prof. Erich Muller

Prof. Erich Muller
Professor Erich Muller, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, delivered the first ICAM webinar of 2016 on the topic of the molecular simulation of fluids
Professor Muller discussed the simulation ladder, from quantum mechanics and density functional theory to continuum models such as lattice Boltzmann and computational fluid dynamics emphasizing the opportunities and present limits of the different approaches.


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2015 Series

New Directions in Optical Sensing and Manipulation

An overview from Prof. Kishan Dholakia

Prof. Kishan Dholakia

“This talk will cover new approaches to sensing and analysis using optical approaches namely Raman analyse, optical coherence tomography and light sheet imaging. Examples will include whisky analysis, label free drug detection, blood analysis and applications for biomedical science.”

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Electric Field assisted Chemical Vapour Deposition of Nanostructured Metal Oxide Thin Films

An overview from Dr. Russell Binions

Dr Russell Binions

“Nanostructured thin films of titanium dioxide, tungsten trioxide and vanadium dioxide have been deposited using a novel electric field assisted chemical vapor deposition methodology onto glass and gas sensor substrates. Electric fields were generated during the deposition reaction by applying a potential difference across the inter-digitated electrodes of the gas sensor substrate or by applying an electric field between two transparent conducting oxide coated glass substrates. The deposited films were analyzed and characterized using scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. It was found that applying an electric field led to large changes in film microstructure, preferential orientation and an increase in the film growth rate.

This led to improved materials properties such as increased photo-catalytic activity, enhanced wetting behavior, reduction in thermochromic transition temperature and improved supercapacitor electrode behaviour. The gas sensor properties of the films were also tested and it was found that by tuning the microstructure of the films a two to three fold enhancement in sensor response could be obtained compared to sensors deposited in the absence of an electric field. Electric field assisted chemical vapor deposition shows great promise as a method for nano-structuring and tailoring the properties of metal oxide thin films.”

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2014 Series

Hydrogen in Complex Microstructure in Steel

An overview from Prof. Harry Bhadeshia

Prof. Harry Bhadeshia

“There are aspects of hydrogen in steels that are crystal clear. For example, that hydrogen in solid solution embrittles, does not require further work. The mechanism by which it embrittles is far from clear, and there is no generic theory capable of rationalising the vast quantities of data available in the published literature. When combined with the fact that practical alloys have complex mixtures of phases and defects, the confusion can be said to be complete.

However, all is not lost because measures can in principle be taken to limit the potency of hydrogen. I will begin with an introductory review of the subject, mention specific examples where significant performance enhancements have been observed, and deal with the theory and new experimental data on the passage of hydrogen through complicated mixtures of phases.”

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