Sara Doyle

Sara Doyle 230

My Journey

I am pursuing a career in research. Currently, I study and conduct undergraduate research at Northern Arizona University.

I appreciate learning about the amazing universe we live in, and I want to help discover it.  Energy resources in particular interest me.  I find the intricate chemistry fascinating and the demand issues motivating. Even if I am not the one to make the huge break-through, I still feel as though I am part of the solution because my work contributes to the knowledge of the scientific community. I do not see college as a means to an end. I attend school to fill my days with knowledge, for mental development is a virtue.

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My Work

Current energy storage methods are insufficient for today's world energy demand. Batteries lack power, the ability to rapidly charge and discharge, and have adverse environmental consequences.  Traditional capacitors remedy this issue; however, they have a limited ability to store an electrical charge known as capacitance. This low energy density makes traditional capacitors too large for practical use.  My research group has been optimizing the electrical formulation of a structural supercapacitor characterized by high energy density. The structural supercapacitor (SSC) developed by our group is an electrical double layer capacitor utilizing a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) and a high tensile strength composite material electrode. This allows for the SSC to have structural integrity within an infrastructure. Our capacitors are more energy dense than traditional capacitors, but less so than batteries. However, there is a net volume savings when structural components also store power

Doyle Research 470

Above: diagram of when voltage is applied across electrodes of a SSC. The Separator prevents an electrical flow, but allows ions to pass. SPE ions gravitate toward the electrode of opposite charge, storing energy on the two electrode-electrolyte interfaces. 

Sara Doyle Hobbies 230

My Hobbies

I enjoy flexing my cranial muscle outside of formal education as well. By this I mean I love puzzles from jigsaw to sudoku, Rubik’s cubes to puzzle games. Algorithms soothe my busy mind.   Additionally, I create glass art. I mostly make fused glass pendants, but I also dabble in mosaics.

My favorite aspects of Flagstaff are the beautiful scenery and weather. I hike the many mountains and canyons in the area. I enjoy sipping fresh air through my noise and delighting in the day with the rest of the mammals.  It is a relaxing get away from the buzz of civilization.