ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENGINEERING, Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, Photon Science, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR EXPERIMENTS, SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis
The research I am doing investigates chemical transformations in energy. More specifically, the chemistry and physics of materials as they relate to catalyzing chemical reactions of interest are studied. Generally speaking, two types of reactions: those that convert water and CO2 into fuels and chemicals utilizing renewable energy (e.g. solar or wind), and those that convert those fuels back into usable energy in the form of electricity are studied.
In my group some of the members are focused on engineering the electronic properties of semiconductors in order to improve their ability to harvest solar photons to then convert that energy into a more storable form, that of chemical fuels. Other group members are focused on surface chemistry of materials, seeking to engineer their atomic and electronic properties in order to deliver fast reaction rates with high product selectivity and catalyst durability. Some of these materials are then incorporated into devices for energy storage and conversion systems.
Much of the research effort in my group is centered on nanomaterials to achieve our research goals, aiming to understand and then exploit new and exciting materials properties that emerge at nano-scale dimensions. Our research approach begins with materials design, as we hypothesize interesting materials (nanostructures, compositions, etc.) for energy applications. We then synthesize these materials with atomic-scale precision, and characterize them with state-of-the-art microscopy and spectroscopy techniques in order to understand their atomic structure and electronic properties. We then evaluate these materials for chemical, photochemical, and thermochemical reactions, aiming to understand how they function at the most fundamental level. All of this information is then incorporated into the next round of materials design with the goal of improving functionality from there.
Shriram Center, 443 Via Ortega, Rm. 305
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-4125