Major Projects



The reduction of protons to molecular hydrogen is one of the most fundamental electrocatalytic processes, and the development of efficient electrocatalysts for this process is of great industrial and environmental importance. This research develops a new class of improved electrocatalysts for molecular hydrogen (H2) generation that harnesses proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) assisted catalysis using [2Fe-2S] complexes ([Cat]) and acidic proton donors (HA) (see Figure at right). The research leverages our very recent findings that certain butterfly [2Fe-2S] complexes exhibit exceptionally fast rates  (106-108 molecules of hydrogen produced per molecule of catalyst per second) for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reactions (HER) at low overpotentials. These extraordinary findings are being exploited  to develop [2Fe-2S] cluster-based electrocatalysts for improved performance in the HER.


High Refractive Index Polymers from Elemental Sulfur for Infrared Thermal Imaging and Optics​

In collaboration with the Pyun and Norwood groups, we develop a new class of high refractive index, optical polymers that will allow for the first time the use of low cost, plastic optics for long wave infrared (LWIR) thermal imaging. The key to accelerating materials design, fabrication and development is the development of new high-throughput computational methods with machine learning that afford vastly improved optical transparency in the LWIR spectrum from 8-12 µm, which is the primary spectral window used for LWIR thermal imaging. This advance enables the development of lower cost IR imaging systems, which strongly impact the defense and automotive sectors, and allow for large scale entry of this technology into consumer markets, such as smartphone optics.