In Situ Electrochemical Studies
In Situ Electrochemical Studies

We study electrochemical processes across active electrode-electrolyte oxide interfaces and surfaces under actual operating conditions using real-time probes. We draw conclusions about defect distributions and defect-mediated processes from the real-time evolution of potential within the system.

Manipulation and Tracking of Oxygen Vacancies
Manipulation and Tracking of Oxygen Vacancies

Oxygen vacancies provide many complex oxides their functionality. We use a combination of synthetic approaches and advanced conductive probes to confine, manipulate, and view vacancy accumulations responsible for resistive switching memory applicaitons.

Synthesis of Hierarchically Ordered Nanomaterials
Synthesis of Hierarchically Ordered Nanomaterials

We pair various template-directed synthetic approaches to yield ordered nanostructure arrays that display size-dependent properties that are measured using our advanced local probes.

Local Nanomechanics and Electrical Responses of Soft Matter
Local Nanomechanics and Electrical Responses of Soft Matter

We also work with various soft matter in its natural, hydrated state. Examples include mapping the local elastic properties of hydrogels, observing nucleation events of polymeric crystals, and the conductivity of individual protein nanowires.

Research Areas

Research Overview

Common energy conversion or storage systems typicall convert or transduce one form of energy to another.  Examples include a nuclear reactor, which produces a massive amount of heat that is converted to steam, and eventually produces work on a turbine to yield electrical power. For solar cells incident radiation produces excitons which may be separated and collected to form power, leaving unadsorbed light  to become heat.  Fuel cells directly convert chemical energy into electricity, with heat as a byproduct.

In nearly every case, these conversion or transduction processes occur at or within critical interfacial regions, junctions or boundaries.  Examples include anomalous transport that occurs at discrete interfaces of two dissimilar materials, the p-n junction enabling solar and semiconducting technologies, and the triple phase boundary, where gaseous, electronic, and electrolytic phases enable the incorporation of ions into the electrolyte.

The NITE Laboratory is driven by two primary pursuits: I) We aim to disrupt empiricism and inform the design of  materials used in energy and electronic applications through studies that combine in situ characterization, advanced synthesis, and theory of model interfaces. II) We train, educated, and mentor students and researchers of all levels to confer the knowledge and expertise requisite of the future workforce in the technology sector.