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.
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 donorchromophoreacceptor complexes. Members of the Ardo Group design and control asymmetry through modeling, synthesis, and engineering of moleculematerial structures. The electrochemical, photochemical, 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.