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Joshua R. Sangoro

Assistant Professor


Dr. Sangoro received his bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Physics from Kenyatta University in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He obtained his PhD in Experimental Physics from the University of Leipzig, Germany, in 2010. His dissertation research focused on understanding charge transport in ionic liquids. Dr. Sangoro then worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Leipzig till early 2012 when he joined the Chemical Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. In September 2012, he was awarded the Feodor-Lynen Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to focus on novel electrolyte materials for electrochemical energy applications. Dr. Sangoro joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee in the fall of 2013. Dr Sangoro has authored or co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles and has contributed to over 40 (11 invited) technical presentations at national and international conferences within the last four years.

The overarching goal of Dr. Sangoro’s research group is to understand the key structure-property relationships in different classes of soft materials and how to tune the different material properties for more efficient electrochemical energy applications. Our research mainly seeks answers to the following questions: (i) can we design electrochemically and thermally stable polymer electrolytes with dc conductivities above 10mS/cm at room temperature? (ii) Can we design batteries that cycle forever? (iii) Can we precisely control the morphology of ion-conducting copolymers using external electric fields to the extent that we can fabricate reliable electrochemical devices out of these materials? (iv) to what extent does nanoscale confinement impact on electrical properties of amorphous ion-conductors? (v) what are the main factors determining the unique properties of low transition temperature mixtures? Dr. Sangoro’s research interests include novel materials for electrochemical applications, manipulation of material properties by external electric fields, nanoscale confinement and interfacial effects in soft materials, diffusion in soft condensed matter, numerical modeling (finite element, finite volume and finite difference methods) of electrical transport in amorphous materials, as well as broadband dielectric spectroscopy and its applications.  We therefore employ several experimental techniques, especially, broadband dielectric spectroscopy, as well as numerical approaches to investigate different materials such as ion-conducting polymers, ionic liquids, copolymers, liquid crystals, ionic glasses, and eutectic mixtures in the context of the aforementioned scientific questions. 


  • Novel materials for efficient electrochemical energy applications
  • Eutectic and low transition mixtures
  • Manipulation of material properties by external electric fields
  • Mesoscale confinement and interfacial effects in soft materials
  • Diffusion in soft condensed matter
  • Numerical modeling of ion transport in amorphous materials
  • Broadband dielectric/impedance spectroscopy and its applications.


Ph.D., University of Leipzig, Germany: Materials for electrochemical energy applications; batteries and supercapacitors; dynamics under confinement; charge transport in amorphous materials; eutectics.

Professional Service

  • Member of the American Physical Society
  • Member of the American Chemical Society
  • Member of the German Physical Society
  • Member of the Materials Research Society
  • Member of the International Dielectric Society
  • Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2012 Feodor-Lynen Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • 2011 DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Postdoctoral Research Travel Grant
  • 2010 Co-author of the 2010 Whitehead Memorial Lecture (The IEEE Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena)


  • Holt, A., Sangoro, J. R., Wang, Y., Agapov, A. L., and Sokolov, A. P. (2013). Chain and segmental dynamics of poly(2-vinyl pyridine) nanocomposites. Macromolecules, 46 (10) 4168- 4173.
  • Sangoro, J. R. and Kremer, F. (2012). Charge transport and glassy dynamics in ionic liquids. Accounts of Chemical Research 45 (4) 525-532.
  • Sangoro, J. R., Mierzwa, M., Iacob, C., Paluch, M., and Kremer, F. (2012). Brownian dynamics determine universality of charge transport in ionic liquids. RSC Advances 2, 5047- 5050.
  • Iacob, C., Sangoro, J. R., Kipnusu, W.K., Kaerger, J., and Kremer, F. (2012). Enhancement of charge transport in nanoconfined ionic liquids. Soft Matter 8 (2), 289-293.
  • Sangoro, J. R., Iacob, C., Valliulin, R., Friedrich, C., Kaerger, J., and Kremer, F. (2011). Ro- tational and translational diffusion in glass-forming N,N, -diethyl-3-methyl-benzamide (DEET). Soft Matter, 7, 10565-10568.
  • Sangoro, J. R., Iacob, C., Naumov, S., Hunger, J., Rexhausen, H., Valluilin, R., Strehmel, V., Buchner, R., Kaerger, J., and Kremer, F. (2011). Charge transport in ionic liquids: the interplay between molecular structure and dynamics. Soft Matter 7 (5), 1678-1681.
  • Iacob, C., Sangoro, J. R., Papadopoulos, P., Schubert, T., Naumov, S., Valluilin, R., Kaerger, J. and Kremer, F. (2010). Charge transport and diffusion of ionic liquids in nanoporous silica membranes. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 12, 13798-13803.
  • Serghei, A., Tress, M., Sangoro, J. R., and Kremer, F. (2009) Electrode polarization and charge transport at metal-electrolyte interfaces. Phys. Rev. B, 80, 184301.
  • Sangoro, J. R., Turky, G., Abdel-Rehim, M., Naumov, S., Ghoneim, A., Kaerger, J., and Kre- mer, F. (2009) Charge transport and dipolar relaxations in hyperbranched polyamide amines. Macromolecules, 42(5) 1648-1651.
  • Sangoro, J. R., Serghei, A., Naumov, S., Galvosas, P., Kaerger, J., Wespe, C., Bordusa, F., and Kremer, F. (2008) Charge transport and mass transport in imidazolium-based ionic liquids. Phys. Rev. E, 051202.
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