Seminar Series – Megan Butala, Ph.D.

Megan Butala, Ph.D.

Date(s) - 11/22/2022
9:15 am - 10:15 am

New Engineering Building - Room 100


Megan Butala, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Materials and Science Engineering
University of Florida

Title: Identifying design principles for energy storage and electronic materials

Abstract: As batteries are employed in larger numbers and for increasingly diverse applications, there is a need for electrode materials with improved safety, availability, and cost relative to those in commercial devices. Early transition metal oxides are one promising alternative materials family, especially for high rate applications. In addition, they provide a platform for identifying design principles for energy storage materials, such as for fast ion transport, fast electron transport, and structural stability during battery cycling. In this seminar, I will discuss the synthesis, energy storage behavior, and atomic structure evolution during cycling for several related materials. Central to this work emphasizes are synchrotron X-ray and neutron characterization methods, through which we can determine atomic structures and how they change during battery cycling in response to lithiation and delithiation.

The measurements we use to study battery materials are well-established for powder materials, but cannot be readily applied to other sample forms, such as thin films. Time permitting, I will introduce on-going work to enable synchrotron methods to access atomic structure details for technologically relevant sample geometries, specifically, thin films (≤ 300 nm) on single crystal substrates.

Bio: Dr. Megan M. Butala (she/her) joined the University of Florida as an Assistant Professor in Materials Science and Engineering in November 2019. She and the rest of the Butala Research Group focus on understanding the relationships between composition, processing, atomic structure, and functional properties, as well as evolutions of these during dynamic processes. Megan has a BS in Materials Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (2012) and completed her PhD in Materials at University of California, Santa Barbara (2017) where her advisor was Dr. Ram Seshadri. Following, she was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology from 2017 to 2019 working in the Material Measurement Laboratory.