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Chemical reactions can be used to store energy, transform molecules into valuable feedstocks, and recycle precious natural resources. We leverage heterogeneous catalysis to tailor the reaction pathway, impacting the product distribution and rate of conversion. Electrocatalysis provides an additional handle by manipulating the distribution of electronic (and ionic) charge in a system, in some cases circumventing the need for high temperatures and pressures of traditional thermal routes and enabling modular reactor design.
We study the electrochemical transformation of molecules into fuels, chemical feedstocks, and recovered resources. Some reactions consume energy, and we study how to harness sunlight to drive them in photoelectrochemical systems. Other reactions produce energy, and can be used in devices such as fuel cells. We put special emphasis on the use of abundant elements, such as metal oxides, to drive electrocatalytic reactions in an economical and scalable manner.
Our approaches to study these systems dig deep, probing the reaction mechanism with in situ and operando X-ray and vibrational spectroscopies. We work closely with experts in thin film growth, enabling studies of model catalyst surfaces, and extend our studies to higher surface area systems as well. Through combining material synthesis, characterization, and catalytic evaluation, we seek to rationally design efficient and selective electrocatalysts and electrochemical systems.
Electrochemistry and catalysis, photoelectrochemistry, heterogeneous catalysis, surface science, reaction engineering.
Scientist – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (joint appointment, 2018-present)
Linus Pauling Postdoctoral Fellow – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (2016-2018)
Ph.D. – Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NSF Graduate Research Fellow (2011-2016)
M.Phil. – Physics, University of Cambridge, Churchill Fellow (2010-2011)
B.S. – Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University (2006-2010)