Overview of Ardo Group Research Foci
The central aim of the Ardo Group research program is to understand and control spatiotemporal mechanisms and dynamics of non-equilibrium processes relevant to desalination, atmospheric water harvesting, solar fuels devices, photovoltaics, electrolyzers, fuel cells, and electric heat pumps.

Guided by results from numerical simulations and processes that occur in Nature, members of the Ardo Group design and fabricate 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 the transport and transfer phenomena (ion, electron, photon, energy, heat) that dictate the function and effectiveness of sustainable clean water and renewable energy technologies.

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

Moore Foundation Logo

DOE Office of Science Logo      DOE EERE Logo

Nissan Chemical Corporation Logo      NSF Logo      DOD Army Research Office CCDC ARL Logo

Research Corporation Logo      Cottrell Scholars Collaborative Logo      Sloan Foundation Logo

UCI Research Seed Funding Program Logo      UC-MEXUS Logo
Group News

8/31/2020: Rylan is now also Dr. Kautz. Congratulations on your successful thesis defense and thank you for being systematic, genuine, and perseverant, Rylan!
Rylan Kautz during Ph.D. thesis defense

8/13/2020: The Ardo Group, Boettcher Group, Markland Group, Minus Group, Sa Group, Surendranath Group, and Wang Group receive collaborative funding 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." Go Team!
Cottrell Scholars Collaborative Logo

7/29/2020: The Ardo Group, Caltech, LBNL, SLAC, NREL, UC San Diego, and the University of Oregon as part of the Liquid Sunlight Alliance (LiSA), with Harry Atwater (Caltech) as the Director, are awarded one of two Fuels from Sunlight Hubs from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science through the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Go Team! And congratulations to Jerry Meyer (UNC) (Shane's Ph.D. Advisor) as the Director of the Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels (CHASE), the other awarded Fuels from Sunlight Hub.

7/28/2020: Emily is awarded an Undergraduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry from the ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry. Congratulations, Emily!

7/6/2020: Gabryelle McDaniel joins Team Ardo virtually for the summer through the UCI Accelerating Careers in Engineering and Science (ACES) Program. Welcome, Gabryelle!

7/1/2020: The Ardo Group's collaborative publication with Muhammed Musthafa. O. T.'s Group at IISER Pune titled "An Electrochemical Neutralization Cell for Spontaneous Water Desalination" is accepted for publication in Joule. Congratulations, Zahid (IISER) and the rest of the team!

5/15/2020: Grant Barton, John Hylak, and Jerome Neal officially accept offers to attend graduate school in the Department of Chemistry at UIUC, the Department of Chemical Engineering at Caltech, and the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University, respectively. Congratulations, Grant, John, and Jerome!

4/22/2020: The Ardo Group and the Paddison Group receive collaborative funding from the U.S. Department of Defense's Army Research Office through the Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory to pursue research toward "Elucidating Design Criteria for Enhancing Rates of Water Dissociation at Bipolar Membrane Interfaces Using Multiscale Modeling and Experiments." Go Team!

DOD Army Research Office CCDC ARL Logo

4/22/2020: The Liquid Solar Fuels Report (DOI: 10.2172/1615599) and Brochure are available from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science through the Office of Basic Energy Sciences as a BES Workshop Report. Thanks to Bill Tumas (NREL), Jillian Dempsey (UNC), Tom Mallouk (UPenn), Kara Bren (URochester), Andrew Rappe (UPenn), Wendy Shaw (PNNL) and Shane for their hard work in organizing and writing this document. Go Team!

More News