NE Seminar: “Thermodynamics of Nanoscale Materials for Energy Sustainability”

Date(s) - 09/15/2022
1:55 pm - 2:55 pm

Rhines Hall 125


Di Wu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Washington State University

Di Wu is an Assistant Professor in the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at Washington State University. He is also the Founding Director of the Alexandra Navrotsky Institute for Experimental Thermodynamics and an affiliate faculty member in WSU Chemistry and Materials Science& Engineering. He earned his B.S.from Zhejiang University, China, in 2006, his M.S. from the University of Akron in 2008, and his Ph.D. from UC Davis in 2012, all in Chemical Engineering. His research focuses on the experimental thermodynamics of solid-state materials employed in energy storage, heterogeneous catalysis, and separation. He has been recognized as one of the the2021 Class of Influential Researchers by I&ECR and highlighted in the“Futures” Issue of AIChE Journal. Recently, he was selected as one of the Early Career & Emerging Researchers in Physical Chemistry by ACS. Dr. Wu currently serves as Associate Editor of American Mineralogist and International Journal of Ceramic Engineering and Science.


A fundamental understanding of the intrinsic stability and interfacial chemistry of nanoscale materials is essential and crucial to elucidating their working mechanisms and enhancing the performance in radioactive iodine removal, energy storage, and conversion of fossil fuels. In this regard, experimental thermodynamic methodologies using calorimetry as the fundamental tool provide critical insights into the material stability and surface energetics from a unique angle. Here, I present our recent studies on the material thermodynamics of (i) 2D layered materials including layered double hydroxides (LDHs) and MXenes for separation of radioactive iodine, and electrochemical energy storage, and (ii) heterogeneous catalysts for C1 conversions, such as zeolites with encapsulated transition metal carbide and oxide particles. These studies, achieved through a multifaceted effort spanning thermodynamic (calorimetric), structural, and interfacial characterizations, also enable fundamental knowledge of energetics–structure/surface–performance relationships, critical to material prediction, design, and optimization. Moreover, experimentally determined thermodynamic parameters also provide benchmark data as the starting point for multi-scale simulation and machine learning.