Nano-scale and atomic phenomena often give rise to macroscopic properties that make certain materials exceptional candidates for use in energetic and environmental applications. However, much of the fundamental science underlying such phenomena has yet to be understood. Our group is interested in elucidating the nanostructure-function relationships in materials related to energy and the environment.
We specialize in applying atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques to atomic processes in heterogeneous catalysis, photocatalysis, and ion conducting materials. A major thrust of our research involves the advancement and implementation of in situ and operando TEM capabilities, enabling us to study materials in a variety of stimulated states. We are also at the forefront of applying probe-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy coupled with monochromated electron energy-loss spectroscopy (STEM/EELS) to obtain high energy-resolution vibrational and excitational signals, especially from beam-sensitive materials. Our usage of advanced aberration-corrected TEM techniques is enhanced by multi-scale modeling methods, including density functional theory, ab initio molecular dynamics, and finite element multiphysics calculations.