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 EPN EFRC & DOE EERE), liquid solar fuels (DOE LiSA Hub), protonic photovoltaics (DOE BES), electrolyzer & fuel cell membranes (DoD ARO), interfacial ion-transfer catalysis (NSF CCI), 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

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

8/25/2022: The Ardo Group and 16 collaborators from the state of California at UC Irvine (Ge Group, Pan Group, Patterson Group, Yang Group), California Institute of Technology (Cushing Group), California State University Long Beach (Shon Group), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Ogitsu Group), and Sandia National Laboratories (Talin Group); from the state of Colorado at Colorado State University (Sambur Group), Fort Lewis College (Miller Group), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Hurst Group), and the University of Colorado Boulder (Dukovic Group); and from the U.S. Northeast at the City University of New York - Medgar Evers College (Salako Group), Columbia University (Esposito Group), the University of Michigan (Bala Chandran Group), and Yale University (Hu Group) as part of Ensembles of Photosynthetic Nanoreactors (EPN), with Shane as the Director, are awarded one of two UCI-led Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science through the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Go Team!

DOE Office of Science Logo

8/2/2022: Rohit's publication titled "Quantification of Excited-State Brønsted–Lowry Acidity of Weak Photoacids Using Steady-State Photoluminescence Spectroscopy and a Driving-Force-Dependent Kinetic Theory" is accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Congratulations, Rohit, Cassidy, Gabe, and Grant!

7/27/2022: The Ardo Group and collaborators from the University of Oregon, MIT, Stanford, Prairie View A&M University, Cal State LA, and UMass Boston as part of the Center for Interfacial Ionics (CI2), with Shannon Boettcher (University of Oregon) as the Director, are awarded one of three Phase I Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) from the U.S. National Science Foundation. Go Team!
NSF Logo

6/22/2022: The Ardo Group's collaborative publication with Gideon Segev at Tel Aviv University, Roel van de Krol at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, and Frances Houle at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory titled "The 2022 solar fuels roadmap" is accepted for publication in Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. Congratulations, Gideon (TAU), Roel (HZB), Frances (LBNL), and the rest of the team!

6/20/2022: Holly Shafer from Mount San Antonio College joins Team Ardo for the summer through the NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program. Welcome, Holly!

6/13/2022: Kaylyn Stewart from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County joins Team Ardo for the summer through the NSF REU Chem-SURF Program. Welcome, Kaylyn!

6/13/2022: Camila Muñetón from the University of Massachusetts Boston joins Team Ardo for the summer through the Research Corporation for Science Advancement Cottrell Scholars Collaborative Program. Welcome, Camila!

5/23/2022: Jen's publication titled "Identification of Photoacidic Behavior Using AC and Open-Circuit Photoelectrochemical Techniques" is accepted for publication in ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology. Congratulations, Jen, Simon, and Tim!

5/12/2022: Shirley Chang joins Team Ardo. Welcome, Shirley!

5/5/2022: Rohit is now also Dr. Bhide. Congratulations on your successful thesis defense and thank you for being curious, appreciative, and a (principal) investigator, Roiht!
Rohit Bhide during Ph.D. thesis defense

5/2/2022: Gabe is awarded a DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Award to perform 10 months of research under Dr. Sergei Tretiak at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, NM. Congratulations, Gabe!

4/26/2022: Ethan successfully passes his oral exam and is now a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Congratulations, Ethan!

4/22/2022: Captura Corporation, the company spun-out from efforts on our collaborative project with Harry Atwater (Caltech) and CX Xiang (Caltech) and funded by U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) received a Milestone award in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition. Congratulations, Captura!

4/19/2022: Enrique Surio from California State University, Los Angeles 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!

4/11/2022: Captura Corporation, the company spun-out from efforts on our collaborative project with Harry Atwater (Caltech) and CX Xiang (Caltech) and funded by U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) named its founding CEO, Steve Oldham. Congratulations, Captura!

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

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

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