We are an interdisciplinary lab working on projects across analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, electrochemistry and materials science. Novel materials, measurement techniques, and electrochemical devices will be the main advances of this research. Students working in our group will develop unique expertise in optical methods, materials science and electrochemistry.

Currently we are working on the following projects:

Electrochemical water splitting: We work on developing heterogeneous catalysts for water splitting, i.e. hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER). We also use in-situ probes to elucidate mechanistic details of these reactions on transition metal based catalysts. Transition metal alloys as well as their sulfides and phosphides are our target materials for HER. For OER catalysis, we are focused on transition metal complex oxides.  

Chemomechanical effects: In this project we investigate the interdependence of surface reactivity and force, at the surface of low-dimensional layered materials and oxides in electrolyte solutions. We employ chemomechanical (stress, strain, and stiffness) and structural (spectroscopy) probes to study low dimensional materials during heterogeneous catalysis. Materials of interest include, MoS2 and WS2 for HER and oxides for OER.

Li+ dynamics and transport in solid state Li-ion batteries: In this work we study interfacial processes in solid state Li ion batteries. We employ spectroscopic and chemomechanical probes sensitive to the structure, Li+ transport, reactivity, and diffusion rate. One of our main focuses in this project is on investigating electrolyte interfaces with metallic Li. We are specially interested in using stabe solid electrolytes such as LiPON and garnet-type electrolytes (e.g. Li7La3Zr2O12).

Charge transport and coupling across designed soft interfaces: This project uses electrified soft interfaces formed between two liquid electrolytes as a controllable platform for molecular catalysis in proton coupled electron transfer reactions. PCET reactions are central to some of the most essential processes in life, such as respiration, photosynthesis, N2 fixation, and CO2 reduction. The interface between two immiscible hydrophobic and hydrophilic electrolyte solutions serves as a biphasic biomimetic platform for PCET reactions of small molecules (CO2, N2, O2 and H2O). We use spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques sensitive to interfacial molecular ordering, and catalytic intermediates. Our Initial focus on this project is on CO2 reduction reactions performed by Mn and Re bipyridine complexes.

Redox enzymes at soft interfaces interfaces: This work utilizes a polarized interface between two immiscible electrolyte solutions (hydrophobic and hydrophilic) as a biphasic biomimetic platform for PCET reactions in enzymes. In such a platform both ion (simple and facilitated) and electron transfer across the soft interface can be studied/controlled. This work will shed light on the dynamics of O2 reduction catalyzed by bacterial Cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) at a polarized 1,2-dichloroethane/water interface under controlled proton and electron flux.