Overview of Ardo Group Research Foci
The Ardo Group is a Diverse Team of Innovators and Educators that are Allies for Change. We are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, research integrity, and dissemination of knowledge. These constitute the foundational guiding principles that underpin our daily actions, and lead to our Team's camaraderie.

In our research, we invent new ways to leverage daily variations in terrestrial photon fluxes between the Sun, the Earth, and the Universe to help close the Water Cycle, the Carbon Cycle, the Hydrogen Cycle, and the Nitrogen Cycle. More specifically, the central aim of our research program is to understand and control dynamics of non-equilibrium processes relevant to photoelectrochemical desalination (Moore Foundation), oceanic carbon capture (DOE ARPA-E), solar photocatalytic H2 production (DOE EERE), liquid solar fuels (DOE LiSA Hub), protonic photovoltaics (DOE BES), electrolyzer & fuel cell membranes (DoD ARO), excited-state proton-transfer dynamics (NSF CSDM-B), and ionic ratchets (UCI Beall Family Foundation).

Guided by results from numerical simulations and processes that occur in Nature, our Team designs and fabricates kinetically asymmetric systems using chemical synthesis and molecular-level engineering of molecule–material structures. Specific tailoring of the mechanisms imparted by these asymmetries allows us to control photo-induced charge separation in solar energy conversion schemes, current rectification using electrochemical ratchets and ionic diodes made from ice or ion-exchange membranes, selective and rapid catalysis of PCET reactions and water dissociation, and local temperature using photonic and heat transfer processes. Results from each study increase fundamental knowledge of transport and transfer phenomena (ion, electron, photon, energy, heat) that dictate the function and effectiveness of technologies for sustainable clean water, carbon capture, and renewable energy.

The Ardo Group is well-suited for students and postdoctoral scholars with various backgrounds and expertise, spanning the disciplines of chemistry, applied physics, chemical engineering, materials science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and biophysics. Click on the following links to watch a short video from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that explains 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."


We are grateful to our sponsors for their generous support of our research program

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Logo      Liquid Sunlight Alliance (LiSA) Logo      National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) Logo

DOE Office of Science Logo      DOE EERE Logo

DOE ARPA-E Logo      NSF Logo      DOD Army Research Office CCDC ARL Logo

Research Corporation Logo      Cottrell Scholars Collaborative Logo      Sloan Foundation Logo

UCI Beall Applied Innovation Logo      UCI Research Seed Funding Program Logo     
Group News

2/26/2022: The Ardo Group's collaborative publication with Hannes Hempel at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin titled "Predicting Solar Cell Performance from Terahertz and Microwave Spectroscopy" is accepted for publication in Advanced Energy Materials. Congratulations, Hannes (HZB), Simon, Joseph, and the rest of the team!

2/17/2022: Shane hosts Tom Kempa who visits UCI as part of the UCI Department of Chemistry Inorganic/Physical Seminar Series to talk about lower-dimensional materials with the Ardo Group and others. Thanks for the great visit and thought-provoking seminar, Tom!
Maxx, Tom, and Digs during visit

2/14/2022: Enrique Surio from Cal State Univ. LA is awarded an inaugural Cottrell Postbac Award from Research Corporation for Science Advancement to continue to perform research in the Ardo Group all next year. Congratulations, Enrique!

2/4/2022: Dennis Tang joins Team Ardo. Welcome, Dennis!

12/21/2021: Leanna is awarded a UPenn Vagelos Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship. Congratulations, Leanna!

12/4/2021: Ana successfully passes her second-year research report. Congratulations, Ana!

11/24/2021: Leanna is now also Dr. Schulte. Congratulations on your successful thesis defense and thank you for being focussed, approachable, and the sky's the limit, Leanna!
Leanna Schulte during Ph.D. thesis defense

11/18/2021: Shane presents a UCI Solutions that Scale virtual Seminar on the group's efforts in solar H2 production and ocean deacidification. Congratulations, Shane!

11/17/2021: Jen successfully passes her oral exam in the Department of Chemistry. Congratulations, Jen!

11/1/2021: Dr. Tea Yon (Tim) Kim joins Team Ardo. Welcome, Tim!

8/31/2021: Rohit receives a travel grant from UCI Associated Graduate Students (AGS) to defer costs of attending the 30th International Conference on Photochemistry. Congratulations, Rohit!

8/24/2021: Simon is now also Dr. Luo. Congratulations on your successful thesis defense and thank you for being a tinkerer, diligent, and reliable, Simon!
Simon Luo during virtual Ph.D. thesis defense

7/21/2021: Simon's publication titled "Clarification of mechanisms of protonic photovoltaic action initiated by photoexcitation of strong photoacids covalently bound to hydrated Nafion cation-exchange membranes wetted by aqueous electrolytes" is accepted for publication in Energy & Environmental Science. Congratulations, Simon, Will, and Joseph!

7/20/2021: Leanna's publication titled "Turning Water into a Protonic Diode and Solar Cell via Doping and Dye Sensitization" is accepted for publication in Joule. Congratulations, Leanna, Will, and Larry!

6/16/2021: The Ardo Group's collaborative publication with the Wickramasinghe Group at UCI titled "Tunneling based ten attomolar specific DNA biosensor" is accepted for publication in AIP Advances. Congratulations, Zahra, Larry, and the rest of the team!

6/14/2021: The Ardo Group's collaborative publication with the Wu Group at UCI titled "Hybrid density functional study of band gap engineering of SrTiO3 photocatalyst via doping for water splitting" is accepted for publication in Physical Review Materials. Congratulations, Yusheng!

6/9/2021: Rohit's abstract was selected for a talk at the 30th International Conference on Photochemistry virtual Meeting. Congratulations, Rohit!

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