The central theme of the Ardo Group's research program is to understand and control reaction mechanisms at interfaces, with the goal of maximizing energy-conversion efficiency for realistic applications, including solar fuels devices, photovoltaics, solar seawater desalination, redox flow batteries, and fuel cells.
Asymmetry is the key characteristic responsible for light-induced charge separation and current rectification; it is present in semiconductors, biological membranes, and molecular donorchromophoreacceptor complexes. Members of the Ardo Group design and control asymmetry through modeling, synthesis, and engineering of moleculematerial structures. The electrochemical, photoelectrochemical, and photophysical properties of hard and soft material interfaces are manipulated via molecular functionalization, electrostatic engineering, and physical protection. New materials and molecules are being investigated, including photoacidic materials, multiple-electron-transfer oxidation catalysts, infrared-absorbing dyes, anion-conducting metalorganic frameworks, and functionalized monolayer materials. The results from each study are pertinent to fundamental electrochemistry and charge-transfer, energy-transfer, and ion-transfer phenomena.
The Ardo Group is well-suited for students and postdoctoral scholars with various backgrounds and expertise, spanning the disciplines of chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering, physics, and biology.