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, 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.
Group News

9/11/2018: Will is awarded a DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Award to perform 5 months of research under Dr. Todd Deutsch at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO. Congratulations, Will!

7/2/2018: David is now also Dr. Fabian. Congratulations on your successful thesis defense and thank you for being fearless, thoughtful, and cool (even-keeled), David!

6/21/2018: The Ardo Group receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science through the Office of Basic Energy Sciences's Solar Photochemistry Research Area for a DOE Early Career Research Program Award to pursue research toward "Understanding and controlling the fundamental photochemistry of protonic solar energy conversion." Go Team!

DOE Office of Science Logo

6/20/2018: The Ardo Group's collaborative publication with the Loeb Group at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile titled "The role of lithium cations on the photochemistry of ruthenium complexes in dye-sensitized solar cells: A TDDFT study with the BCL model" is accepted for publication in Journal of Photochemistry & Photobiology A: Chemistry. Congratulations, Mauricio (PUCC)!

6/18/2018: The Ardo Group's collaborative perspective publication with his Lorenz Center workshop co-organizers (David Fernandez Rivas, Miguel Modestino, and Verena Schulze Greiving) titled "Pathways to electrochemical solar-hydrogen technologies" is accepted for publication in Energy & Environmental Science, 2018 Energy and Environmental Science HOT articles. Congratulations, David (UT), Miguel (NYU), Verena (UT), and the rest of the workshop team!

5/29/2018: Shane hosts Tito Abruña who visits UCI as part of the UCI Department of Chemistry Physical Seminar Series to talk about in situ and operando electrochemical materials characterization with the Ardo Group and others. Thanks for the great visit and thought-provoking seminar, Tito!

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