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Research Interests

Our general goal is to contribute to the fields of physical and inorganic chemistry of materials. We aim to explore boundaries of ionic conduction, redox and intercalation chemistry of solids. We aim to use our scientific advances in chemistry to find new phases or assemble known ones as complex multi-functional architectures, in which all components synergistically realize their full potential.

Our interests in inorganic chemistry lie in significantly improving our ability to synthesize compositionally and morphologically complex, stable, functional materials.  Our interests in physical chemistry focus on defining the chemical pathways of redox reactions involving solids.  We are interested in phenomena that occur at multiple length scales, from atomic to macroscopic, or, in other words, from interfaces to particle assemblies.  As part of our quest to gain insight with increased chemical, spatial and temporal resolution, we have demonstrated a variety of analytical methodologies of chemical imaging and mapping, both in 2D and 3D.

Research Areas Heading link

  • Exploration of materials suitable for transport of single and multivalent ions: We aim to establish the design rules that govern ion intercalation into solid electrodes to guide the discovery of new functional materials. We explore reactivities sitting at the boundaries of inorganic chemistry to push for increased capacity of storage single valent ions such as Li+. We define the rules that underpin the possibility of conducting multivalent ions such as Mg2+. We use  knowledge generated from characterization of known materials to inform the design of new compositions, atomic frameworks and architectures that lead to the desired properties. Examples of our work on redox couples to compensate Li intercalation are summarized in the 2022 talk below.
  • Transition metal solids as electrocatalysts to enable decarbonization: We aim to discover complex phases that possess ideal electronic and chemical features to conduct important electrochemical transformations, such as the reduction of CO2. We partner with engineers pursuing the development of systems with optimal activity, selectivity and stability.
  • Definition of chemical pathways of electrochemical reactions with solids, at scales spanning from atoms to micrometers, and from bulk to interfaces: The outcome of electrochemical reactions involving solids depend critically on the chemical identity of the state under functional conditions. In turn, the chemical outcome reflects the interplay between the desired electrochemical reaction and secondary processes that decrease efficiency and reversibility. We apply a suite of existing characterization tools to define processes in the bulk and at interfaces. We are particularly biased toward X-ray methods, in the lab and in synchrotron user facilities, because of the rich structural and chemical information they offer. Examples of our work using chemical imaging are summarized in the 2017 talk below.

Watch Jordi talk about redox chemistry in oxides Heading link

Watch Jordi talk about our X-ray imaging efforts Heading link