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24 November 2023 Back to seminar-series

Atomically thin interfaces of liquid metals for nanogenerators and catalysis applications

You are invited to a SafeREnergy Seminar


Date: Tuesday 5th December
Time: 12noon – 1pm (AEDST)

Register here


Atomically thin interfaces of liquid metals for nanogenerators and catalysis applications

Dr Ali Zavabeti, Department of Chemical Engineering 

Liquid metals drive emerging technologies in chemical and electrical engineering, impacting nanogenerators, sensors, and catalysis. Atomically thin interfaces exhibit unique properties, enabling applications like self-powered nanoelectronics. Liquid metals and alloys offer an alternative to material synthesis with scalable, low-temperature, and vacuum-free processes, producing naturally stratified layers. These layers, integrated into electronic devices, pave the way for advanced nanoelectronics, including self-powered nanogenerators.

Liquid metals, acting as heat-transfer media and catalysts, are gaining research attention. Liquid-phase catalysis utilizes their liquid state to eliminate coking and coarsening limitations associated with solid catalysts. The seminar discusses a facile approach for CO2 reduction to solid carbon, addressing challenges and prospects of liquid metals in catalysis.

In response to the demand for sustainable fuel and chemical production, liquid metals emerged as liquid solvent catalysts, offering unique features. The seminar explores leveraging liquid metal chemistry for catalysis, emphasizing efficient liquid metal-driven systems and applications in oxidation, reduction, and chemical looping reactions. It outlines how next-generation liquid metal catalysts align with current reactor designs, drawing analogies with homogeneous catalysts for effective deployment.


Ali Zavabeti, a Lecturer in Process Control and Simulation in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Melbourne, holds a BEng (Hons) and MengSc (Res) from Monash University, along with a Ph.D. from RMIT University. His research focuses on leveraging the unique chemistry of low melting point liquid metals to create atomically thin interfaces for catalysis, low-dimensional sensor development, and nanoelectronics technologies. As a former McKenzie Research Fellow, Dr. Zavabeti contributed to carbon dioxide reduction using low-temperature liquid metal catalysts to convert low-dimensional carbon into valuable substances. Dr. Zavabeti’s research explores the new chemistry of liquid metals as a pathway for catalysis and low-dimensional material synthesis. Furthermore, he earned ARC DECRA award for 2024, focusing on harvesting atomically thin oxide layers obtained from liquid metals for energy utilization applications. According to Google Scholar, Dr. Zavabeti has an h-index of 40 and has garnered ~5400 citations. Prior to his academic career, he gained industry experience as a process automation engineer working for ABB Australia, adding a practical perspective to his research. For inquiries and collaboration opportunities, Dr. Zavabeti can be reached at ali.zavabeti@unimelb.edu.au.

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