Energy, Efficiency & Sustainability

Developing novel materials, devices, and processes to enable chemical transformations as well as capture, convert, and store energy in an efficient and sustainable manner are grand challenges facing the globe. Our faculty is involved in this endeavor at all scales, including: 

  • Synthesis and characterization of energy-related and catalytic materials;
  • Engineering catalytic and biological systems to synthesize and transform chemical feedstocks;
  • Reaction rate theory and chemical process design;
  • Chemical manufacturing with process intensification; and (v) technoeconomic evaluation of large scale energy and chemical technologies.

Research Themes

Catalysis & Sustainable Reaction Engineering

Design of new materials; recycling of plastics into their derived monomers; creating new classes of porous oxide catalysts; functionalized inorganic hybrid materials incorporating nanomaterials and other materials

Electronic & Optical Materials

Synthesis of metallic, semiconducting, and oxide nanostructures for energy conversion; self-assembly of inorganic frameworks; photovoltaic organic semiconductors and conjugated polymers; and controlling the properties of crystals.

Soft Materials

Control of the structure of soft matter on molecular through microscopic lengthscales to optimize properties for applications, from energy to biomaterials

Engineered Biological & Bio-inspired Systems

Characterization of protein synthesis in cells; understanding how microbes can be reprogrammed for biofuel production and bioengineering; structuring material interfaces to increase power conversion efficiency of opto-electronic, photovoltaic, and LEDs