Our group's mission is to advance the fundamental understanding of physical and chemical phenomena in ways that improve the lifetime, performance, and cost of electrochemical energy systems. Broadly, we improve device performance by first diagnosing and understanding fundamental obstacles, then developing new materials, architectures, and system-level solutions to these problems. To this end, we employ a variety of theoretical and experimental methods to integrate materials development with diagnostics and theory at the molecular and system-level. Every project in our group combines electrochemical experiments with material and/or device fabrication and characterization. Current topics of interest fall into two categories.

1. [Nonaqueous batteries for electric vehicles] Although battery-powered electric vehicles are beginning to enter the market, most EVs are too expensive, too big, and too risky for most people to consider. Our group studies chemical kinetics and transport inside batteries in order to determine material- and device-level approaches to improve performance, lifetime and cost. We are particularly interested in the formation of passivating films inside lithium, sodium, and other high-energy battery systems.

2. [Electrocatalysis for renewable electricity storage.] For grid-scale (i.e. mega-, giga-watt) storage, battery reactants and devices must be both efficient and low-cost. Flow batteries, or regenerative fuel cells, are a promising approach to decouple power from energy and to reduce the cost of inactive cell components. We are developing highly active and stable electrocatalysts for the efficient generation of fuels and chemicals.