The central theme of the Ardo Group's research program is to understand and control reaction mechanisms at interfaces, with the goal of optimizing energy conversion for practical applications, including solar seawater desalination, solar fuels devices, photovoltaics, redox flow batteries, and fuel cells.

Dye-Modified Ion-Exchange Membranes

Watch a short video from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation explaining The Ardo Group's solar desalination concept and Shane's Distinctive Voices Lecture (53 minutes) from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine titled "Development of a plastic water bottle for sunlight-driven desalination."

Asymmetry is the key characteristic responsible for light-induced charge separation, current rectification, selective catalysis, and energy transport; it is operative in semiconductors, biological membranes, and molecular donor–chromophore–acceptor complexes. Members of the Ardo Group design and control asymmetry through modeling, synthesis, and engineering of molecule–material structures. The electrochemical, photoelectrochemical, and photophysical properties of hard and soft material interfaces are manipulated via molecular functionalization and electrostatic engineering. New materials and molecules are being investigated, including multiple-electron-transfer oxidation catalysts, near-infrared-absorbing dyes, photoacidic nanocrystals, chemically modified surfaces, and ion-conducting polymers. 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, applied physics, electrical engineering, and biophysics.
Group News

12/12/2017: Team Ardo makes dye-sensitized solar cells using blackberry dyes with middle-school students from Sierra Preparatory Academy through the LEAPS program at UCI. Thank you, Eric, and the rest of the team!

11/28/2017: Chris is now also Dr. Sanborn. Congratulations on your successful thesis defense, Chris!

11/27/2017: Hsiang-Yun's publication titled "Direct observation of sequential oxidations of a titania-bound molecular proxy catalyst generated through illumination of molecular sensitizers" is accepted for publication in Nature Chemistry, and with an excellent accompanying News and Views article by Anna M. Beiler & Gary F. Moore. Congratulations, Hsiang-Yun!

11/15/2017: Will's publication titled "Conversion of Visible Light into Ionic Power Using Photoacid-Dye-Sensitized Bipolar Ion-Exchange Membranes" is accepted for publication in Joule, and publicized via various news outlets:, UC Irvine, ScienceDaily, NewsWise, EurekAlert!, and on 11/17/2017: AZoCleantech, and on 12/13/2017: Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. Congratulations, Will, Chris, and David!

11/3/2017: Shane is named a Scialog Fellow by Research Corporation for Science Advancement for taking part in the Scialog on Advanced Energy Storage.
Richard, Shane, and Silvia during the award presentation

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