Thin Film Solutions for a Sustainable Future
Simplistically speaking, sustainability is a highly complex concept that occupies an ever-growing portion of the global “consciousness”. “Sustainability” as a discrete concept is almost fifty years old and was first detailed in 1971 in The Ecologist’s A Blueprint for Survival. The quest to make modern civilization ‘sustainable’ inspired the UN’s Stockholm Conference in 1972 and formed the basis of “global trusteeship” that has served as the foundation of almost all subsequent international environmental treaties. The most quoted definition of sustainability comes from the UN World Commission on Environment and Development: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
It is difficult to imagine a sustainable future that does not rely on and in reality, is driven by, thin film technologies and surface engineering. Novel functional thin film structures, deposition modalities of new materials, structure property relationships at the atomic level, and large-scale manufacturing technologies will be the enablers for a sustainable future.
This Symposium seeks to bring together experts in the thin film and surface engineering communities to discuss applications, challenges and technology development that will be critical drivers for a sustainable future. Presentations that address the intersection of sustainability and thin film technology/surface engineering with developments in:
- Battery technology (e.g. post-lithium),
- Energy storage (hydrogen – from the cradle to the grave: generation, storage, fuel cells),
- Energy generation (Photovoltaics, Solar to hydrogen, wind power),
- Life cycle management,
- Replacing/substituting limited raw materials as well as materials whose refinement poses environmental challenges,
- Solutions for recycling costly materials,
- CO2 footprint reduction in mobility and transportation,
are particularly welcome in the interest of encouraging discussions and development that will have global impact.