Join the ChemE department for a seminar with Professor Jeffrey Richards. The title of his seminar is Engineering the Electrical Response of Suspensions of Conducting Particles.


Suspensions that incorporate microscopic, electrically conductive particles are an emerging class of soft matter with the potential to exhibit new behaviors. Their electrical properties have attracted recent interest because these suspensions find use in flow-assisted electrochemical systems (FAES), which promise low-cost, salable renewable energy storage. In these systems, suspensions of conducting particles form a “suspension electrode” that maintains an electrically percolated state during flow. Engineering the suspension electrode’s properties requires an understanding of the fundamental nature of electrical transport in such suspensions. The focus of this talk will be on our recent work that probes the origin of electrical conductivity in fluid suspensions of metallic microparticles. Our recent work has shown that these suspensions exhibit a dramatic electrical response to flow—whose origin we probe using simultaneous rheological and electrical measurements. We find that electrical conductivity in such suspensions is heavily influenced by the underappreciate role that particle dynamics play in the transport process. This new fundamental insight forms the basis of design rules for suspensions electrodes with improved performance and brings new insight to the macroscopic behavior of this class of soft matter.