The aim of our lab is rational design and discovery of superior material systems that will help improve resource sustainability. We focus on multinary materials, for example high entropy materials, as catalysts for processes that help in realizing a sustainable future. To that end, we use machine learning- guided combinatorial materials science and high-throughput techniques. The designed materials are investigated for their ability to solve issues in catalysts for sustainable resources and materials for energy applications.
Our lab researches fundamental questions such as: How do composition and structure effect the functionality of the multinary materials as sustainable catalysts? How can rational design lead to
improved material properties? How is (chemical) stability affected? And much more.
Perovskite and stannite multinary materials
We design and characterize perovskite (ABX3) and stannite (A2BCX4) based crystal systems and examine their abilities as catalysts for the different water splitting reactions as well as incorporating them into solar cells. The abilities of these materials to include many cations into their crystal lattices makes them ideal candidates for rational design of new multinary materials.
High entropy materials (HEM)
HEM are multinary material systems containing at least 5 elements with equimolar fractions (center of the phase diagram). These elements have a high mixing entropy, which leads to a negative Gibbs free energy, favoring a single-phase state of the material, governed by the entropy of the system. We design and synthesize, using physical vapor deposition (PVD), HEM and examine their characteristics and properties as catalysts for sustainable fuels. Some of the reactions we use HEMs for include, methanol oxidation, CO oxidation, and CO2 reduction, which all lead to clean carbon based molecules that can be used as clean fuels.
Nanostructured multinary materials
Direct synthesis of multinary nanostructures, using physical vapor deposition such as glancing angle deposition. Utilizing PVD to directly synthesize complex nanostructured functional multinary systems, dramatically simplifies their preparation, forming highly controllable structures. Due to the nature of PVD, the nanostructures we form are varied (including core-shell, junctions, etc.), which affects the properties of the materials, and can lead to dual functionalities. We then study these different nanostructured multinary materials in applications such as catalytic reactions and photovoltaics.