The central theme of the Ardo Group's research program is to understand and control the kinetics of reaction mechanisms at interfaces, with the goal of optimizing power conversion for practical applications, including desalination, solar fuels devices, photovoltaics, fuel cells, electrolyzers, and redox flow batteries.
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 numerical modeling, chemical synthesis, and molecular-level engineering of moleculematerial structures. The electrochemical, photochemical, photophysical, and ionic 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/proton-transfer oxidation catalysts, near-infrared-absorbing dyes, photoacidic nanocrystals, chemically modified surfaces, and ion-conducting polymers. Results from each study provide a better fundamental understanding of the important charge-transfer, energy-transfer, and ion-transfer phenomena that dictate the function and effectiveness of energy and water technologies.
The Ardo Group is well-suited for students and postdoctoral scholars with various backgrounds and expertise, spanning the disciplines of chemistry, chemical engineering, applied physics, materials science, electrical engineering, and biophysics.
9/2/2019: An article based on an interview with Shane titled "Turning seawater into drinking water" is published online by Irvine Standard that describes the Ardo Group's research and vision for a new technology to desalinate salt water using a novel light-driven ion pumping process. Go Team!