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As a result of applying scientific principles to the creation of the “perfect” cup of coffee, he’s earned the name “Dr. Coffee.” But in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oregon, he’s also known as Dr. Christopher Hendon, who was one of three professors hired to work in an emerging field of technology: energy storage and the development of supercapacitors.

As a theoretical chemist, Dr. Hendon explains that while we are good at capturing light and turning it into electricity, we aren’t so good at storing that energy. In order to do this, we need a material that has an extremely high surface area of electrical conductivity, and in order to find that type of material, Dr. Hendon and his team are looking at a new class of materials called metal-organic frameworks.

Dr. Hendon dives deep into the science behind his work, explaining how and why similar compounds have vastly different properties, the principle of electron tunneling, how to determine the melting point, color, vibrational modes, and other properties of different substances, non-bonding versus bonding electrons, the relationship between electron relays and enzyme function in the body, anti-cancer drugs based on platinum, and so much more.

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