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Gila Stein's hands work with laboratory equipment.

Materials for Energy Applications

The transition to a sustainable energy system requires a plethora of new and improved materials. These materials enables novel applications for harvesting energy from renewable sources, transporting energy, storing energy, or converting it into other forms of energy.

Our research program is focused on fundamental principles to develop novel materials for energy harvesting, transport and storage, and conversion. Examples include development of photovoltaic material to convert solar energy to electricity or chemical fuels (Frymier, Khomami, Kilbey, Stein, Kalyanaraman), ion containing polymers such as ionomers, polymer electrolyte membranes, ionic liquids (Sangoro, Zawodzinski, Paddison, Guo), environmentally benign electrolytes (Sangoro, Paddison, Zawodzinski), electrocatalysts (Zawodzinski, Laursen, Khomami), and composite electrodes (Zawodzinski).

Related News

Joshua Sangoro Receives NSF CAREER Award
Associate Professor Joshua Sangoro was selected as a 2018 recipient of an NSF CAREER Award.

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Little Things Matter
Prados Associate Professor Gila Stein’s research group is conducting important work with photo-sensitive polymers and block copolymers.

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Featured Publications

Crystallization Modes of Poly(3-dodecylthiophene)-Based Block Copolymers Depend on Regioregularity and Morphology
Gila Stein’s lab works with self-assembling block copolymers that contain ionic or semiconductive segments. These materials combine the mechanical properties of commodity polymers (plastics) with the functionality of more “exotic” chemistries that transport ions and charges, which is promising for applications in “clean energy” devices (fuel cells, solar cells). This research is published in Macromolecules.

Mesoscale Organization and Dynamics in Binary Ionic Liquid Mixtures
Fundamental studies showcasing how to tune ion transport in ionic liquids using knowledge of the local structure and dynamics. These results demonstrate the potential to design the physicochemical properties of ionic liquids through control of solvophobic aggregation. This research from Joshua Sangoro is published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

Describing ion exchange membrane-electrolyte interactions for high electrolyte concentrations used in electrochemical reactors
Foundational study from Thomas Zawodzinski’s research team that presents a framework for describing behavior of ion exchange membranes exposed to practical high electrolyte concentrations as might be found in redox flow batteries or other electrochemical reactions. This research is published in the journal of Journal of Membrane Science.

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