Creatively solve our energy-related challenges. We exploit ion solvation in electrolytes to probe and control electrochemical phenomena in batteries and electrocatalytic devices.
WHO WE ARE
We are artists masquerading as scientists and engineers. We dream, explore, and create.
Our group does both experiments (synthesis, characterization, fabrication) and computation (AI/ML, data science, molecular dynamics). We are always looking for excellent graduate students (PME, Chemistry, Physics) and postdoctoral scholars to work with us on solving some of the most difficult challenges in Energy Storage and Conversion. Reach out to Chibueze.
Please see “PEOPLE” page to see what we are looking for in graduate students, undergrads, and postdocs.
You can follow us on Twitter!
The lab receives the Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Award!! Exciting news. It will support our work on probing interfacial and bulk solvation effects on electrochemical transformations such as carbon monoxide (CO) reduction. See link.
Congratulations to Zoe for winning a poster presentation prize at the MRSEC Symposium!
The RENEU (Research Experience for Nigerian Undergraduates) has officially launched with five inaugural students! RENEU has received funding from UChicago Global!! See link.
The lab welcomes Brianna Ross, a high school student from Lindblom Math and Science Academy, who is part of the PME After School Matters (ASM) STEM Internship program.
It’s summer. The lab welcomes Sarah Langham who is a PME REU student from the University of Florida.
We said goodbye to Michael who graduated from UChicago. Michael was among the first group of undergraduates who joined us in 2020! We will miss you.
The lab receives a seed grant from the University of Chicago Women’s Board to develop high throughput methodologies for battery materials discovery.
Tarun Arora, a Masters student in computer science, joins the lab for the summer.
Congratulations to Zoe who receives a Metcalf fellowship to support her summer research.
Jaemin Kim, a Chemistry PhD student, officially joins the group where his thesis will focus on AI for electrolyte discovery
Chibueze, Peiyuan, and Ritesh give presentations at the Electrochemical Society (ECS) Spring meeting in Boston. Peiyuan receives a travel grant from the ECS to participate!
Chibueze publishes a paper from his time as a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. The work uses solid state NMR to understand ion transport and solvation in perfluoropolyether polymer electrolytes. See link.
Chibueze hosts Professor Martin Winter (University of Munster) for the Distinguished PME Colloquium at UChicago as well as a talk at Argonne National Lab.
Luke Philips joins the group as an undergraduate researcher
Emily Doyle receives the NSF GRFP fellowship!! Congratulations!
Chibueze receives the ACS-ENFL (Energy and Fuels Division) Early Career Investigator Award
Chibueze gives multiple invited talks at ACS Spring 2023 conference in Indianapolis on the groups work on CO2 reduction in nonaqueous electrolytes and the effect of fluorinated ether electrolytes on suppressing solvent co-intercalation in graphite-containing batteries. Link
Bidushi Sarkar joins the group as the newest postdoc!
PhD students Hrishi Srinivasan and Ke-Hsin Wang officially join the group!!
Congratulations to Emily for passing her candidacy exam!
Our undergraduate student Arnav received a Quad Undergraduate Research Scholar Award!
Newest paper from the group is published!! Congratulations to Ben and Reggie. Their work focused on understanding why CO2 reduction doesn’t occur in aprotic solvents when alkali cations are present. Using XPS, undesired carbonate precipitation was found to be the culprit. They then use acidic aprotic media to eliminate carbonate formation and support high Faradaic efficiencies for CO, HCOOH, CH4 in electrolytes containing alkali cations for the first time. See Link.
Our postdoc Ritesh Kumar is named a Schmidt-AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellow!! Big congratulations.
We have launched a summer research program for Nigerian students. Check out this page and apply if eligible. Link
Our undergraduate Arnav Brahmasandra received a Metcalf grant for Autumn 2022. Congratulations!
Our undergraduates Ishaan Roy and Michael Han receive the Quad Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards!! Congratulations.
Chibueze gives two invited talks at the AIChE Fall National Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. The first talk focused on our work on solid state polymer electrolytes for lithium metal batteries. The second talk was focused on our understanding of aprotic electrolyte effects for CO2 reduction.
Chibueze co-chaired the session on Ion Containing Polymers at the AIChE Fall National Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.
Chibueze attended the Scialog Conference on Negative Emissions Science in Tucson, Arizona. Link
Newest paper from the group is published in Energy and Environmental Science. Congratulations to Peiyuan! As Li-ion batteries are deployed in applications such as electric vehicles, we need additional properties such as higher energy densities and wider temperature range. Unfortunately, current ‘carbonate-based’ electrolytes can support these. Peiyuan’s work shows that fluorinated ethers can. More importantly, this work solves a longstanding problem with ether electrolytes where they often struggle when used with graphite. See Link.
New collaborative paper with the de Pablo group published where molecular dynamics was used to probe ion transport behavior in our fluorinated ether electrolytes. See Link.
The group participates in Science Works at the Museum of Science and Industry. We host a booth where kids and adults alike fabricate actual batteries! Was fun seeing their excitement when their batteries light up an LED bulb. Our outreach work sponsored by PME and the National Science Foundation. See Link.
The lab welcomes Arnav Brahmasandra as the newest undergraduate in the group.
Congratulations to Emily for receiving a PME NSF NRT Fellowship!! It provides 2-year support to pursue AI + materials.
The lab receives a grant from the Department of Energy to support our work on batteries for long duration energy storage! See Link.
Chibueze was nominated and invited to attend the Frontiers of Engineering symposium hosted by the National Academy of Engineering. See Link.
The lab attends the ACS Fall 2022 conference in Chicago with Priya and Peiyuan presenting posters and Hannah and Reggie giving talks. Our first conference since the pandemic began.
The lab says goodbye to Trinity as she wraps up her summer research stay.
Our first paper on CO2 reduction is published! The work studied aprotic electrolytes and showed that ion pairing within the electrolytes affect the electrochemistry. More importantly, we select solvents that have relevance for industrial CO2 capture. Congrats Reggie, Chris and all the authors. Work funded by seed through UChicago Data Science Institute. See Link.
Congratulations to Reggie for winning the Roberto Rocca PhD fellowship! Link
New paper published from the group on our work on understanding the effect of polymer on hybrid inorganic-polymer solid state electrolytes. Surprisingly, we show that high hybrid ionic conductivity does not need a conductive polymer. Congratulations Priya, Claire, Walker and all the authors! See Link.
New UChicago undergraduate Uyen Le joins the group. She is funded as an Odyssey Scholar. Welcome!
Welcoming two new undergraduates to the lab this summer. Zoe Umlauf is supported by a UChicago Metcalf Grant, and Trinity Hixson-Wells joins us from Xavier University in Louisiana as a MRSEC REU student.
Chibueze is named a 2022 CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar!! The CIFAR Global Scholar award recognizes 18 out of 200 scholars worldwide, and will accelerate our efforts on CO2 conversion. See story by PME. Story by CIFAR.
Four of our undergraduate students graduated! We said goodbye to Christina, Walker, Ben, and Claire. Although bittersweet, we are excited that they are moving to full time positions at Tesla, Twelve, and Nanograf.
Our undergraduate student Christina won the Howell Murray Alumni Association Award! Congratulations.
Chibueze gave an invited talk at the ACE-Fuels Monthly Seminar hosted by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).
Some of the lab’s work was profiled by PME. Showcasing our approach of thinking about electrolyte design through connection of building blocks. See here.
The Congressional Hearing was also profiled on the local NBC Chicago 5 News. Can watch it here.
Chibueze was invited as an Expert Witness for the US Congressional Field Hearing. The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing titled: “Pedal to the Metal: Electric Vehicle Batteries and the Critical Minerals Supply Chain.” You can find his written and oral testimony here.
Chibueze attended a workshop in Paris hosted by PME to foster closer ties with industry. See here
The PME has a significant focus on pioneering new concepts for energy storage. See story here.
The lab welcomes Ishaan Roy as the newest undergraduate student!
Science meets Art. Chibueze and Peiyuan work with artists Lydia Ourahmane and Alex Ayed for their exhibition “Laws of Confusion” at the Renaissance Society on campus . Lithium metal and glovebox gloves are part of the exhibition. See story here.
Chibueze gave an invited talk at the ACS Spring 2022 Conference. Talk focused on our work on probing CO2 reduction in aprotic electrolytes.
Congratulations to Hannah for passing her PhD candidacy exam!!
The lab continues to grow as we welcome Ritesh Kumar as the newest postdoc in the lab! His work will focus on AI/ML methods for electrolyte discovery.
The lab receives the NSF CAREER Award!! Exciting news. The award will support work on electrolyte design for batteries and our STEM outreach efforts in Chicago and Nigeria. See Link
The lab welcomes Emily Doyle as the newest PhD Student! Her work will focus on novel solid state electrolytes.
The lab welcomes Canh Vu as the newest postdoctoral scholar! His work will focus on microcalorimetry and novel electrolytes for battery chemistries.
Peiyuan receives Honorable Mention for the PME Maria Lastra Excellence in Mentoring Award. Congratulations! See Link
Chibueze gave a talk at the virtual Junior Faculty Battery Symposium hosted by Columbia University
Priya gave a talk at the 1st annual UChicago MRSEC symposium.
Peiyuan, Reggie, and Hannah present posters at the 1st annual UChicago MRSEC symposium.
Chibueze is named a Texas A&M 12 under 12 Young Alumni by his undergraduate institution. See Link
Our very own Priya Mirmira won the Sheridan Music Festival Piano Competition! Multi-talented.
Chibueze was interviewed by CNBC as part of their profile on ‘low cobalt’ batteries. Chibueze discussed some of the challenges low cobalt cathodes face especially regarding electrolyte design. An important point is the need to ensure that the renewable energy revolution leaves no one behind. See link
The lab says goodbye to Cindy Xue, who has worked with us since the summer.
Lab undergraduates Cindy Xue and Walker Gillett are named Quad Undergraduate Research Scholars!
Chibueze gave an invited talk at the 3M Nontenured Faculty Award Symposium. Talk focused on oligomer type electrolytes for lithium metal batteries.
Chibueze gave an invited talk at the Chicago Area NMR Discussion group on how the lab uses NMR to answer fundamental questions in batteries.
Chibueze gave an invited virtual talk as part of the BITRI-AMRS (Bostwana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation-African Materials Research Society) seminar focused on Sustainable Energy. Talked about our work on novel fluorinated electrolyte design for lithium metal batteries. It was an honor speaking after the Nobel Prize winner (Stan Whittingham).
Chibueze hosted the 2nd annual US-Nigeria PhD Engineering workshop. The goal of the workshop was to prepare bright Nigerian and African undergraduates to be successful for US PhD applications. The workshop included US faculty members and current Nigerian students discussing their research and reasons for pursuing a PhD program.
The lab welcomes Lucy Schmid as the newest undergraduate researcher!
Chibueze gave Walter Massey, former NSF director and Bank of America Chairman, a tour of the research lab and facilities.
Chibueze gave a talk at the Argonne National Lab Solid State Battery Symposium focused on our work on hybrid and polymer electrolytes for lithium metal batteries.
Chibueze gave a Faculty style “TED Talk” on his research as part of the PME 10 year anniversary events. He gave the talk in the form of an African Folktale!! Watch it here.
Chibueze receives the 2021 ECS-Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship to support the labs work on novel polymer electrolytes for solid state lithium metal batteries! Award is sponsored by the Electrochemical Society and Toyota Research Institute. See Link1 Link2
The lab’s work was profiled as part of a Case Study by Waters Inc (parent company of TA instruments). We talk about our work on electrolyte design for lithium batteries and how novel characterization tools such as microcalorimetry are vital. See Link
Chibueze serves as a panelist during the CDAC Summer Lab: Faculty Panel. See Link
The 2nd paper from the group is published!! Congrats Peiyuan and Priya. We studied how the connectivity of the building blocks (ethers, fluorinated segments) affect ion solvation, ionic conductivity and electrochemical stability. Interestingly, we show an unusual behavior: the lower the fluorine content in the electrolyte, the better the oxidative stability.
Our undergrad Benjamin Kash is a 2021 Astronaut Scholar. Congratulations!! See Link
The lab welcomes three summer undergrads: Cindy Xue, Claire Fuschi, and Oscar Pecho Rivera. Cindy’s work will be supported by a UChicago Metcalf Grant. Pecho’s work will be supported by the PME REU program.
Undergrads Chris Birch and Beamlak Lefebo and Masters student Zifeng Kang graduate! Chris will be pursuing a PhD at Carnegie Mellon, and Zifeng will be starting at Amazon!!
Chibueze received the 3M Nontenured Faculty Award!! See Link
The first paper from the group was accepted! Priya, Jin, and Peiyuan show that multiple characterization tools are required to determine amorphous solid state electrolyte purity, and that residual Li2S content penalizes ionic conductivity and battery cycling. See Link
Our undergrads Michael and Walker received the “Deans Fund for Undergraduate Research” to support their projects in the lab.
With beautiful Chicago weather, the group (finally!) was able to celebrate with Reggie, Priya, and Peiyuan who passed their PhD candidacy exams 2 months ago.
We said goodbye to our first postdoc Jin Zheng, who will be moving to Argonne.
We have multiple postdoc openings in the lab! One focused on data science/computational chemistry for electrolyte discovery. The second focused on developing advanced characterization tools such as calorimetry for the study of electrochemical devices (batteries, electrocatalysis). Come join us! Reach out to Chibueze if interested. Data Science Link | Characterization Link.
Chibueze gave a “Model Class” presentation to recently admitted UChicago students on energy research done at UChicago. The students were engaged and there were so many brilliant questions!
Chibueze gave a presentation to the ICDC (Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center) on “Exploiting solvation effects for efficient electrocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide.”
Peiyuan, Priya, and Reggie all pass their PhD candidacy exams!!! Exciting times ahead.
Runtong Yan joins the group as an intern focused on data science tools for battery development.
Happy New Year!!
Our undergraduate Chris Birch is now a Liews Fellow and the fellowship will support his efforts in our lab! Congratulations.
The lab is excited to welcome Hannah Fejzic as our newest PhD student!!
Chibueze was a co-author on a recent paper in JACS where in situ NMR was used to study (and quantify) the effect of electrolyte type and coatings on lithium metal deposition. See Link
Chibueze gave a talk at the 3M Technical Forum on “Data science accelerated design of fluorinated electrolytes for lithium batteries.” Thanks Matt Bruzek, Mike Yandrasits, and Ignatius Kadoma for setting it up.
Chibueze hosted Jodie Lutkenhaus for the PME Distinguished Colloquium Series Seminar where she discussed her work on “Redox-active Macromolecular Radicals Towards Sustainable Energy Storage.” See Link
Chibueze organized a US-Nigeria PhD workshop to prepare high achieving Nigerian undergraduates to apply to US engineering PhD programs. See Link.
The lab receives a UChicago MRSEC Seed Grant to work on novel hybrid solid state electrolytes!
The lab welcomes two new undergraduate students: Beamlak Lefebo and Benjamin Kash
Chibueze gave a presentation about data science and batteries at the UChicago CDAC Summer Lab series. See Link
Jin Zheng joins the group as the first postdoctoral scholar. Her work will focus on advanced characterization tools for solid state batteries.
The lab has resumed after a 3 month hiatus due to the pandemic.
Chibueze joins the scientific advisory board of the data-driven materials science startup Aionics. See Link
Chibueze joins the Community Board of the journal Materials Horizon. See Link.
Chibueze co-authors a paper published in Nature Energy focused on the molecular design of a fluorinated ether capable of supporting high energy density lithium metal batteries. See Link.
The lab welcomes UChicago computer science masters student Zifeng Kang whose work will focus on the use of data science/ML tools for the design of next generation batteries.
PhD student Priya Mirmira participated in the Argonne Live event for middle school students. See archived recording here. Link
The lab receives a seed grant from CDAC to work on the intersection of AI and Electrochemistry. See Link
Chris Birch wins a Metcalf grant to support his summer research in the lab.
Christina Pirrotta is selected for the Stamps Scholars Program! Congratulations
Michael Han and Christina Pirrotta win Metcalf grants to support their work in the lab.
Chibueze’s postdoctoral paper has been published in JACS! We synthesized a novel class of fluorinated ether electrolytes that show high ion conductivity with high electrochemical stability. See Link | PDF
Chibueze obtains a joint appointment at Argonne National Lab (Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division)! This will enable the lab to forge closer ties with Argonne.
The lab donates supplies (gloves, sanitizers) to support the university’s COVID-19 efforts.
The lab temporarily closes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lab welcomes undergraduates Walker Gillett and Michael Han.
The lab officially opened on Feb 24th! We celebrated with some tacos.
Chibueze presented a poster at the Batteries GRC in Ventura, CA
The lab welcomes undergraduates Chris Birch and Christina Pirrotta and recent high school graduate Richard Yin
Peiyuan Ma joins the group as the third PhD student! His work will focus on the synthesis of new electrolytes for batteries.
First paper from the group published. It’s a commentary in Joule detailing how to advance electrolyte design for batteries and electrocatalysis. I also discuss some semantics regarding ‘electrolyte engineering’ and ‘electrolyte chemistry.’ See Link. PDF
The lab officially opens!
Chibueze was profiled by the TomKat Center fellowship that supported his postdoctoral research at Stanford! See link
Chibueze presents his research at the African Materials Research Society (MRS) meeting in Arusha, Tanzania
Reggie Gomes Neto becomes the 2nd PhD student to join the lab!! His work will focus on electrocatalysis in low protic media.
Chibueze attends AIChE in Orlando Florida and presents in the “Electrochemistry Fundamentals” session.
Priya Mirmira becomes the 1st PhD student to join the lab!! Exciting times are ahead. Her work will focus on new electrolytes for batteries.
Chibueze presents his postdoctoral work at CEA Saclay (just outside Paris). Thanks Magali Gauthier for the invitation! Link
Chibueze presents some of his recent work at the Technical University of Munich. Thanking Robert Morasch and the group of Hubert Gasteiger for their discussions and hospitality.
Chibueze publishes his recent work in Advanced Energy Materials. This work shows that nonpolar alkanes modify lithium-ion solvation for lithium metal batteries.
Chibueze attends the NMR-EPR Summer School on Energy Materials at Newcastle University. See link.
Chibueze presents 2 papers and 1 poster in Johannesburg, South Africa as part of the US-Africa Forum on Nanotechnology. It was a great opportunity to meet with African researchers and plan future collaborations. See link.
Chibueze attends the CASTEP workshop at the University of Oxford.
Chibueze obtains a Visiting Fellowship from Corpus Christi College at the University of Cambridge (UK) and will be spending 4 months with Professor Clare Grey utilizing solid state NMR to study polymer electrolytes.
Chibueze visits Ethiopia and participates in a workshop to teach Ethiopian students about graduate STEM research opportunities. See news story.
UChicago offer accepted! The Amanchukwu Lab now exists on paper and will open in January 2020…