Computational Studies of Interfacial Phenomena

Perla B. Balbuena
Speaker: Perla B. Balbuena
Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University
Location: John R. Blocker Building - Room 104
Time: February 13, 2017 - 2:00-3:00pm


Interfacial phenomena govern many of the interesting chemical and electrochemical processes that constantly touch and affect our lives. In this talk I will discuss the main issues associated with solid-liquid, solid-solid, and solid-gas interfaces playing a role in the use and degradation of battery materials, as well as in catalytic or electrocatalytic processes used to generate products for the chemical, electronic, and biomedical industries among others. I will emphasize how our research addresses some of these issues via first-principles computations that help us to develop a better understanding and formulating guidelines for a rational materials design.

Speaker's Bio

Dr. Perla Balbuena received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from UT Austin in 1996. She was Assistant and then Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina from 1997 to 2004, when she was appointed full professor at Texas A&M University, in the Department of Chemical Engineering. She holds the Gas Processors Suppliers Association Professorship and also has joint appointments with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and with the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Balbuena’s expertise is on the application of first principles computational methods to the analysis of physical and chemical properties of materials. Specifically her research focuses on reaction and interfacial phenomena taking place in materials and interfaces of batteries and fuel cells, as well as in catalytic processes. She has published 234 peer-reviewed articles that were cited more than 9,000 times and an h-index of 49 according to Google Scholar. In 2013 she was elected AAAS Fellow “for distinguished contributions to the theory of interfacial processes, through molecular simulation of electrochemical reactions and materials properties at the nanoscale.”