Research Group


Ardo Group
Ardo Group outside Rowland Hall at UCI, Irvine, CA (6/13/2017)
(Back Row: Jen, David, Kevin, Joseph, Bill, Jingyuan, Shane; Front Row: Will, Eric, Chris, Sam, Simon)
Research opportunities exist in the Ardo Group for students with various backgrounds and expertise, spanning the disciplines of chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering, physics, and biology. Please contact Shane, via one of his contact options, for more information, and to discuss research opportunities in his laboratories.

Shane Ardo
ardo [at] uci [dot] edu
Shane Ardo
Principal Investigator (CV)
Postdoctoral Scholar, Caltech, 2010–2013 (Lewis Group; Photoelectrochemistry)
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2010 (Meyer Group; Photophysical Inorganic Chemistry)
M.A., Johns Hopkins University, 2008 (Meyer Group; Chemistry)
M.S., University of Maryland, 2005 (Yu Group; Nutrition & Food Science)
B.S., Towson University, 1999 (Computing, Applied, & Pure Mathematics)


Biography: Shane was born in San Francisco, CA and grew up in Ellicott City, MD. He is the lead inventor on 3 patents, lead author of a book chapter on dye-sensitized solar cells, and a co-author of over 20 peer-reviewed journal papers. Before attending graduate school, Shane worked as a software engineer, community college instructor, high school teacher, and strength and conditioning coach. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer, hiking, camping, and biking, and spending time with his family.


Larry Renna
lrenna [at] uci [dot] edu
Larry Renna
Postdoctoral Scholar
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2017 (Venkataraman Group; Polymer Chemistry)
B.S., Northeastern University, 2012 (Kirss Group; Chemistry; Mathematics minor)


Research: Photoelectrochemical characterization and device physics numerical modeling and simulations of ion-conducting polymeric materials and architectures pertinent to artificial proton pumps.

Biography: Larry was born and raised in New Jersey. Later, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts to attend college, where he performed undergraduate research on Ru and Fe complexes. Larry also did a co-op at QinetiQ working in Soldier Survivability. After graduation, Larry moved west to the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he studied mixed electronic and ionic transport in polymer nanoparticle assemblies and hybrid organic–inorganic halide perovskites. Larry also enjoys spending time with his human and canine family members.

Jingyuan Liu
jingyl31 [at] uci [dot] edu
Jingyuan Liu
Postdoctoral Scholar
Ph.D., The University of Tokyo, 2017 (Domen Group; Chemical Systems Engineering)
M.S., The University of Tokyo, 2014 (Chemical System Engineering)
B.S., Lanzhou University, 2011 (Chemistry and Chemical Engineering)


Research: Synthesis and photoelectrochemical characterization of photocatalyst particles, cocatalysts, and redox shuttles in novel particle suspension reactors for solar water splitting.

Biography: Jingyuan was born and grew up in Harbin, China. During her graduate studies, she worked in Domen Group and focused on the study of oxysulfide-based photocathodes for solar water splitting. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, swimming, shopping, and spending time with her family.

Rohini Bala Chandran
rohinibala [at] lbl [dot] gov
Rohini Bala Chandran
Postdoctoral Scholar
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2015 (Solar Energy Laboratory; Mechanical Engineering)
M.S., University of Minnesota, 2010 (Mechanical Engineering)
B.E., Birla Institute of Technology and Science, 2008 (Mechanical Engineering)


Research: Device physics numerical modeling, simulations, and experiments of novel prototype particle suspension reactors for solar water splitting.

Chris Sanborn
cdsanbor [at] uci [dot] edu
Chris Sanborn
Graduate Student (Chemistry, Organic)
B.A., St. Mary's College of Maryland, 2012 (Koch Group; Chemistry; Mathematics minor)

Research: Synthesis and characterization of photoacid molecules and ion-conducting nanoporous and polymeric materials and architectures pertinent to artificial proton pumps.

Biography: Chris was born in one of the snowiest cities in the United States. A half-decade after his birth, his family moved away from the frostbiting whiteouts and settled below the Mason-Dixon Line. As an undergraduate, Chris developed polyvalent iodonium compounds to be applied in unique syntheses. Moreover, the molecules he made could be used in medicinal imaging techniques. Concurrently, he worked as an intern at the Robert Becker Laboratory researching and developing corrosion resistant primers for the United States Navy. In his spare time, he enjoys playing sports, specifically Ultimate Frisbee.

Bill Gaieck
wgaieck [at] uci [dot] edu
Bill Gaieck
Graduate Student (Materials Science and Engineering)
B.S., University of California San Diego (UCSD), 2012 (Chemistry, with studies in Chemical Education)

Research: Synthesis and photoelectrochemical characterization of photocatalyst particles, cocatalysts, and redox shuttles in novel particle suspension reactors for solar water splitting.

Biography: Bill was born and raised in San Diego, CA. Broadly, his scientific interests include surface/interface dynamics, computational modeling, and spectroscopy with respect to energy capture, conversion, and storage. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, baking, bowling, climbing, and salsa dancing.

David Fabian
dmfabian [at] uci [dot] edu
David Fabian
Graduate Student (Chemistry, Physical Materials)
B.S., The College of William & Mary, 2013 (Wustholz Group; Chemistry)

Research: Analysis and characterization of the fundamental photophysics and photoelectrochemistry of hybrid organic–inorganic thin-film materials.

Biography: David was born in Rockville Centre, NY and grew up in Chatham, NJ. As an undergraduate, he did research in surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to identify fading colorants in historical artworks and also spent a summer working at Merck & Co. In his spare time, he enjoys playing piano, golfing, Ultimate Frisbee, and skiing.

Joseph Cardon
jcardon [at] uci [dot] edu
Joseph Cardon
Graduate Student (Chemistry, Organic)
B.S., Brigham Young University, 2012 (Castle Group; Organic Chemistry)

Research: Synthesis and characterization of halide electrocatalysts, and analysis and characterization of the fundamental photophysics and photoelectrochemistry pertinent to next-generation dye-sensitized devices.

Biography: Joseph was born in Provo, Utah and spent about half of his life there. The other half was spent in San Francisco CA, Kingston Ontario in Canada, and Fort Worth TX. As an undergraduate he researched osmium-catalyzed aminohydroxylation of hindered olefins as a synthetic route for unnatural amino acids. After graduation he worked as a polymer chemist developing heavy metal containing acrylics as transparent radiation shielding. He is interested in applications of physical chemistry to real systems. Joseph spends his free time running around town and watching cartoons with his wife Kelsey.

Will White
wnwhite [at] uci [dot] edu
Will White
Graduate Student (Chemistry, Organic Materials)
B.S., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2014 (Thayumanavan Group; Chemistry (cum laude))

Research: Synthesis and characterization of photoacid molecules and ion-conducting polymeric materials and architectures pertinent to artificial proton pumps.

Biography: Will was born in Vermont and spent the first 18 years growing up and picking stone fruit. During his undergraduate studies he found his calling in chemistry while working on the synthesis of small molecule BODIPY dyes for organic solar cell devices.

Jen Logan
jlogan1 [at] uci [dot] edu
Jen Logan
Graduate Student (Chemistry, Physical Analytical)
B.S., University of West Florida, 2010 (Vaughan Group; Chemistry)

Research: Synthesis and characterization of photoacid molecules and materials pertinent to artificial proton pumps.

Biography: As an undergraduate Jen studied the seasonal and spatial variations in the ultraviolet absorbing capacity of natural phytoplankton communities. At UC Irvine, Jen had the opportunity to conduct summer research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory during her second year in the Ph.D. Program. For fun, Jen enjoys CrossFit, spending time with her husband and dogs, and reading fictional goodness.

Kevin Tkacz
ktkacz [at] uci [dot] edu
Kevin Tkacz
Graduate Student (Materials Science and Engineering)
B.S., Carnegie Mellon University, 2014 (Majetich Group; Physics)

Research: Pulsed-laser spectroscopic analysis and device physics numerical modeling and simulations of the fundamental photophysics and photoelectrochemistry pertinent to next-generation dye-sensitized devices.

Biography: Kevin grew up in a small town called Novelty outside of Cleveland, OH. During his undergraduate career in Pittsburgh, PA he decided he wanted to live somewhere with better weather and thus chose southern California. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading science fiction and fantasy, playing board games, and spending time outside.

Sam Keene
skeene [at] uci [dot] edu
Sam Keene
Graduate Student (Physics / ChaMP)
B.S., Harvey Mudd College, 2011 (Donnelly Group; Physics)

Research: Synthesis and photoelectrochemical characterization of photocatalyst particles, cocatalysts, and redox shuttles in novel particle suspension reactors for solar water splitting.

Biography: Sam was born and raised in Denver, CO. Before joining the Ardo group he worked as a research assistant studying biomedical optics in the Diffuse Optical Spectroscopy & Imaging Lab (DOSI) Lab at the Beckman Laser Institute and as a graduate student researcher studying quantum dot solar cells in the Law Group at UC Irvine. When he is not in lab you can find Sam snowboarding, mountaineering, backpacking, cooking, brewing beer, or just hanging out with his girlfriend and his dog.

Simon Luo
luos9 [at] uci [dot] edu
Simon Luo
Graduate Student (Chemistry, Physical)
B.S., University of San Francisco, 2016 (Castro / Karney Group; Chemistry; Physics minor)

Research: Synthesis, theoretical calculations, and characterization of photoacid molecules and ion-conducting nanoporous materials and architectures pertinent to artificial proton pumps.

Biography: Simon was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. After 21 years living under the same roof, he finally moved out to attend UC Irvine. As an undergraduate, he investigated the thermodynamics of hydrogen shifts in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons via computational modeling. Interested in other skillsets, Simon found laser spectroscopy to be a flexible, yet powerful tool. His ultimate goal is to apply his knowledge in fields concerning clean and renewable energy. In his free time, Simon enjoys biking, gaming, and cooking as well as photography and random DIY projects.

Eric Schwartz
schware1 [at] uci [dot] edu
Eric Schwartz
Graduate Student (Materials Science and Engineering)
B.S., University of Pennsylvania, 2016 (Winey Group; Materials Science & Engineering)

Research: Synthesis and characterization of photoacid molecules and ion-conducting polymeric materials and architectures pertinent to artificial proton pumps.

Biography: Eric grew up in Jenkintown, PA and performed his undergraduate studies close by in Philadelphia. As an undergraduate student, he studied thermomechanical properties of acid copolymers and ionomers. He has also done summer internships at Merck & Co., Inc. and the Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies (GIANT) Innovation Campus. He is very happy to be in California where the wind does not eat his face for a few months out of the year. During his free time, he enjoys playing music and board games.

Andy Trinh
andyt5 [at] uci [dot] edu
Andy Trinh
Undergraduate Student (Chemistry Major)

Research: Synthesis and characterization of photoacid molecules pertinent to artificial proton pumps.

Biography: Andy was born in San Jose, CA which is best known as the bay area and the Silicon Valley. He has two older brothers and aspires to work in crime labs in the future. He is the President of the UCI Roller Hockey Club and his hobbies include playing sports, having board game parties, dancing, hiking, and watching TV shows.

Greg Krueper
gkrueper [at] uci [dot] edu
Greg Krueper
Undergraduate Student (Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering Double Major)

Research: Metal-oxide materials synthesis and spectroelectrochemical characterization of charge shuttles pertinent to next-generation dye-sensitized devices.

Biography: Greg was born in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. He is a member of UCI ESC and the Campuswide Honors Program, and is passionate about renewable sources of energy and environmental sustainability. Greg enjoys programming Java apps and reading novels in his spare time, and he is always up for a game of Smash Bros.

Anni Zhang
anniz2 [at] uci [dot] edu
Undergraduate Student (Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering Double Major)

Research: Photoelectrochemical characterization of photocatalyst particles, cocatalysts, and redox shuttles in novel particle suspension reactors for solar water splitting.

Stephanie Yeh
sjyeh [at] uci [dot] edu
Stephanie Yeh
Undergraduate Student (Materials Science and Engineering Major)

Research: Characterization of ion-conducting polymeric materials and architectures pertinent to artificial proton pumps.

Biography: Stephanie is studying electronic processes and materials. She previously interned at Boeing for two summers and works as a Community Assistant at Vista del Campo where she advises upperclassmen. She is obsessed with pandas, loves to eat pastries, and has a love-hate relationship with chocolate. In her spare time she likes to play volleyball, watch vlogs and cooking videos, swim at the ARC, and binge watch TV shows on Netflix.

Mike Chen
dezhangc [at] uci [dot] edu
Mike Chen
Undergraduate Student (Chemistry Major)

Research: Analysis and characterization of the fundamental photophysics and photoelectrochemistry of hybrid organic–inorganic thin-film materials.

Biography: Mike was born and raised in Guangzhou, China. Influenced by his friend, he has a deep love in learning electrochemistry and material science. He previously studied and interned at Guangdong University of Technology where he synthesized the perovskite, LaMnO3. In his free time, he enjoys playing video game and spending time with his friends.

Baldwin Liwanag
bliwanag [at] uci [dot] edu
Baldwin Liwanag
Undergraduate Student (Chemistry Major)

Research: Characterization of ion-conducting polymeric materials and architectures pertinent to artificial proton pumps.

Biography: Baldwin was born and raised in Long Beach, California. He became fascinated with chemistry in high school and hopes to explore careers and opportunities pertinent to the field. In his free time he enjoys cooking, working out, and occasionally dancing.

Jenny Conde
jconde [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Jenny Conde
Undergraduate Student (Energy Engineering Major at UC Berkeley)

Research: Characterization of ion-conducting polymeric materials and architectures pertinent to artificial proton pumps.

Biography: Jenny grew up in Newport Beach, California, and attends UC Berkeley. At UC Berkeley, she is a member of Engineers for a Sustainable World, the Regents' and Chancellor's Scholars Association, and the engineering sorority Phi Sigma Rho. She is passionate about renewable energy and sustainability and has done renewable energy research with UCI's Advanced Power and Energy Program. In her free time she enjoys watching The Flash and Arrow and playing with her dog.

Ardo Group Alumni
Visiting Scholars
  • Mohammad Qureshi (2017) – Professor at Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Department of Chemistry
  • Zhangjing Zhang (2015 – 2016) – Professor at Fujian Normal University, College of Materials Science and Engineering

Postdoctoral Scholars

Graduate Students

Postbaccalaureate Scholars

Undergraduate Students
  • Jackie Angsono (2014 – 2016, B.S. in Chemistry) – Laboratory Technician at Orange Coast Analytical, Inc.
  • Nancy Estrada (2014 – 2015, Chemistry)
  • Connie Loo (2015 – 2016, Physics)
  • Diana Luong (2015 – 2016, B.S. in Chemistry)
  • Victor Macedonio (2013 – 2014, B.S. in Chemistry) – Environmental Chemist at AirKinetics, Inc.
  • Tabitha Miller (2014 – 2015, B.S. in Chemistry) – Graduate Student at UC Riverside, Chemistry
  • Sabeena Sebastian (2015 – 2016, Chemical Engineering)

High School Students
  • Jennifer McCleary (2014 – 2015) – Undergraduate Student at MIT, Chemical Engineering
  • Jonathan Moon (2016 – 2017) – Undergraduate Student at TBD
  • Sam Nitz (2016) – Undergraduate Student at TBD
  • William Sheu (2016 – 2017) – Undergraduate Student at TBD