Our research is on fundamental understanding of polymeric materials and functional soft matter for electrochemical devices and related chemical-mechanical phenomena for energy applications. The focus is on structure-property characterizations and modeling of these polymers to understand and optimize their functionality in electrochemical technologies, including performance and durability. Our work involves a wide range of topics from continuum modeling and diagnostics of ion-containing polymers (ionomers) and thin films, including interrogation of their transport and mechanical properties and structure/function relationships, to morphological characterization through synchrotron X-ray techniques at the Advanced Light Source (ALS).
Research interests and activities include:
- Structure/Property relationships and modeling of ionic soft matter for energy conversion devices
- PFSA-based ionomers and thin films (see our recent review.
- Diagnostics and modeling of ion-exchange polymers for electrochemical energy technologies
- Development of characterization tools for morphology and mechanics of ionomers and thin films
- Understanding and mitigation of failure in polymer-electrolyte separators
- Ionomer studies for Fuel-Cell Performance and Durability (FC-PAD consortium)
- Membrane durability including combined chemical-mechanical degradation effects
- Investigation of transport/stability relationships of polymer-electrolyte membranes
- Elucidating ionomer thin film behavior to improve cell performance
- Characterization of novel polymer membrane separators for
- Water-splitting and Electrolysis (HyGen consortium)
- Redox Flow Batteries
- Water treatment