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Physics Colloquium - Dr. Tianshu Li

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Thursday, October 22, 2020 4 pm to 5 pm

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This is a past event.

of George Washington University will give a talk on "Complex roles of surfaces in heterogeneous ice nucleation: chemistry, topography and confinement" on Thursday, October 22nd at 4:00pm via Zoom.

Abstract:  Probing crystal nucleation at the molecular level poses a major experimental challenge due to the ultrafine scale and stochastic nature of nucleation events. Molecular modeling can be a precious tool to help gain valuable insight into this complex process and to test different hypotheses. In this talk I will show how a water/surface model helps unveil the surprisingly rich and complex behaviors of ice nucleation. In particular, heterogeneous ice nucleation is found to exhibit a complex dependence on surface chemistry, surface topography, and confinement, thus explaining why empirical criteria often fail to predict the nucleation efficiency of an ice nucleator. The complex behaviors, however, are also found able to be rationalized through the role of local ordering of water at interface. This gained insight can also help understand the nucleation behaviors in many other materials.

Bio:  Dr. Tianshu Li is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at George Washington University. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Tsinghua University in 1999 and 2001, respectively. He completed his Ph.D. in Materials Science from University of California, Berkeley in 2005. From 2006 to 2010, Dr. Li continued his research as a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Chemistry at University of California, Davis. He then joined in the George Washington University as a faculty in 2010. Dr. Li’s research is focused on modeling materials’ behaviors using classical and quantum approaches. His current research interests include understanding the thermodynamics and kinetics of crystal nucleation, and prediction and synthesis of novel materials for energy, optical, environmental applications.

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