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Jeff Urban

Jeff Urban

Facility Director, Inorganic Nanostructures

Lead of LBL DOE Thermoelectrics Program

MSD Lead on Water-Energy Initiative

Lead of LBL HyMARC Hydrogen Storage Program


personal website



Postdoctoral Studies in Synthesis and Measurements of Nanocrystal Transistors, Thermoelectrics, and Photovoltaics with Professor Christopher B. Murray, University of Pennsylvania

Graduate Studies in Synthesis and Physical Characterization of Transition Metal Oxide Nanostructures with Professor Hongkun Park, Harvard University

Research Interests

I am interested in the development of new materials and measurement tools for solid-state energy storage and conversion applications. One central topical area of interest involves investigating transport at the organic-inorganic interface. This marriage of "hard" and "soft" materials presents an interesting contrast of transport modalities, bond strengths, mechanical properties, and the like.

The synthesis, assembly, characterization, measurement, and modeling of composite materials composed of both "hard" inorganic nanocrystalline elements and "soft" organic polymers and small molecules is one of my main research foci. If understanding and design could be applied to these materials, the ability to capture both the advantages of polymers and nanocrystals in one material presents many exciting opportunities for basic research and applications.

On the measurement side, I am interested in studying the processes of charge and heat transport in solid-state devices using electronic and optical probes. Most of the intuition developed for these materials is rooted in continuum transport models, however, many interesting questions emerge at the nanoscale: what happens to heat transport when the active layers are less than an average mean free path? How does the physics of charge transport change in a p-n junction when the system size is smaller than a typical depletion length? Can creating chemically defined channels modify traditional tradeoffs between permeability and selectivity in dense materials?

All Publications by Jeff Urban in Foundry database »