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Chemical bonds are essential to life, but not many of us can explain in detail exactly what they are, how they function, and how they contribute to a compound’s properties. On today’s podcast, this is just one of the many interesting topics discussed by Professor Christopher Hendon. As a theoretical chemist working in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oregon, Dr. Hendon’s work revolves around backing out the quantities associated with different materials, such as electrical transport and color, which are important when it comes to determining a material’s capacity for energy storage.

He discusses his latest work in the field of emerging technology, super capacitors, explaining that the ability to capture energy from light is readily available, but the ability to store large amounts of that energy isn’t. In search of a material with a high surface area of conductivity, Dr. Hendon and his team are looking at a new class of materials called metal-organic frameworks.

He provides an in-depth conversation of all this and more, including electron tunneling, light-emitting diodes, the use of platinum in anti-cancer drugs, electron energies, and some insight into the story and science behind his nickname, “Dr. Coffee.

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