Accelerating the Discovery of New Materials

We are combining robotics and machine learning tools to build the world’s first automated materials synthesis platform. This artificially-intelligent materials scientist, “Ada”, will help us rapidly discover new materials to address important challenges in a variety of fields. Our primary focus is the development of advanced clean energy materials and technologies.

Meet Ada

Mission Innovation

Materials Acceleration Platform Report (Clean Energy Materials Innovation Challenge Expert Workshop, January 2018)

Converting CO2 into Something Useful

Cheap, clean electricity affords us the opportunity to convert waste CO2 into carbon-based fuels and other valuable chemicals. Our team is advancing the science and engineering of deploying electrocatalysts, membranes, and flow chemistry in electrolyzers that will contribute to a carbon-neutral environment.

Weekes, D. M. et al. Acc. Chem. Res. 201851, 910.
Salvatore, D. A. et al. ACS Energy Lett. 20183, 149.
He, J. et al. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 129, 6164.
Hudkins, J. et al. Energy Environ. Sci. 2016, 9, 3417.

Advanced Solar Cells

Thin-film organic and perovskite solar cells contain light-absorbing layers for capturing sunlight and hole-transport materials for crucially shuttling charges within the cell. We are designing molecules with superior conductivity and stability to produce higher efficiencies and stabilities in the next generation of solar cells.

Chiykowski, V. A. et al. Angew. Chem. In. Ed. 2018, 57, 1-6. A Hot Paper!
Parlane, F. G. L. et al. Nat. Commun. 2017, 8, 1761.
Chiykowski, V. A. et al. Chem. Comm. 2017, 53, 2367.
Simon, S. J. C. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 1040.

Electrochromic Windows

Electrochromic windows can conserve the energy that buildings require for heating and cooling. These windows dynamically control heat and light transfer by switching between clear and tinted states. We have developed novel fabrication techniques to produce uniform films without the need for high vacuum conditions or sophisticated equipment.

Cheng, W. et al. iScience. 2018, 10, 80-86.
Cheng, W. et al. Chem 20184, 821.

Chemistry at the Interface

We develop molecular tools to resolve how electrons and holes are transported across junctions and interfaces. Our systems are capable of measuring how exceptionally weak interactions (e.g. halogen bonds) affect chemistry that occurs in less than a nanosecond.

Kellet, C. W. et al. Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 74916.
Sampiao, R. N. et al. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2018, 115, 7245-7253.
Parlane, F. G. L. et al. Nat. Commun. 2017, 8, 1761.
Hu, K. et al. Nat. Chem. 2016, 8, 853-859.
Robson, K. C. D. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 1961-1971.

 

Energy Storage

Solar-driven water (photo)electrolysis offers a means to store solar energy as chemical fuels (e.g. hydrogen, organic feedstocks). We are developing catalysts to increase the efficiency of these reactions and to discover new reactions that disrupt the economics of clean energy technologies.

Li, T. et al. Nature Commun. 2017, 8, 390.
Speck F. D. et al. Chem 2017, 590-597.

Smith, R. D. L. et al. Science 2013, 340, 60.
Smith, R. D. L. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 11580-11586.
Wasylenko, D. W. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 16094-16106.