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

8/24/2021: Simon is now also Dr. Luo. Congratulations on your successful thesis defense and thank you for being 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!

5/26/2021: At the annual Edward K. C. Lee Dinner and Ceremony, Leanna receives an Award for Contributions to Education by a Chemistry Department TA, an award given for exceptional contributions as a teaching assistant by cultivating an excellent rapport with students and going above and beyond what is required for their assignment. Shane was the emcee of the virtual Awards Ceremony and it was well-received. Congratulations, Leanna (and Shane)!

5/17/2021: Joe Gonzales joins Team Ardo. Welcome, Joe!

5/15/2021: Emily Barragan officially accepts an offer to attend graduate school in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Columbia University. Congratulations, Emily!

5/3/2021: Shane takes part as a discussion panelist during the Henry Samueli School of Engineering Dean's Distinguished Lecture virtual event, which was recorded. Congratulations, Shane!

4/26/2021: The Ardo Group receives federal funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation through the Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanisms B (CSDM-B) Program for "Assessing the applicability of Marcus theory to excited-state proton transfer and protonic photochemical energy conversion." Go Team!
NSF Logo

4/26/2021: The Ardo Group's collaborative perspective publication with the Boettcher Group at the University of Oregon titled "Reinvigorating electrochemistry education" is accepted for publication in iScience. Congratulations, Paul (UO)!

2/9/2021: The Ardo Group's leading efforts on a collaborative project from Research Corporation for Science Advancement's Cottrell Scholars Collaborative for "Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the age of COVID-19: A new STEM pipeline model that grows undergraduate research at minority-serving institutions via collaboration, personnel exchange and online training" is publicized by the UCI School of Physical Sciences. Go Team!

1/29/2021: Ana Bender joins Team Ardo. Welcome, Ana!

1/19/2021: The Ardo Group receives funding from UCI Beall Applied Innovation, as Shane is named a Faculty Innovation Fellow in recognition of having an impact on society and being committed to enhancing UCI's culture of innovation, which was publicized by the UCI School of Physical Sciences on 2/1/2021. Go Team!
UCI Beall Applied Innovation Logo

1/7-8/2021: Team Ardo runs a virtual Trust in the Scientific Method, Ask-a-Scientist event with middle-school students from McFadden Intermediate School. Thank you, Cassidy, Jen, Simon, Leanna, Rohit, Zejie, Gabe, Ethan, and Geoff!

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