Creatively solve our energy-related challenges. We exploit ion solvation in electrolytes to probe and control electrochemical phenomena in batteries and electrocatalytic devices.


We are artists masquerading as scientists and engineers. We dream, explore, and create.


POSTDOCTORAL OPENINGS (updated May 2024): (1) We are looking for postdoctoral candidates to join our team to work on projects focused on synthesis of solvents and salts for projects in batteries and electrocatalysis. If you have synthesis experience, please reach out! No specific knowledge of batteries is needed.

(2) A postdoc focused on AI and ML for battery electrolyte discovery. The project will focus on the deployment of ML and AI algorithms for materials discovery for batteries and electrocatalysis. Prior experience in AI or computation in chemistry/materials is highly desired.  No specific knowledge of batteries is needed.

If interested, send an email to chibueze@uchicago.edu with your CV.

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!


May 2024

Newest paper from the group published in Nature Catalysis. We show that using non-aqueous electrolytes allows us to manipulate water’s behavior. In so doing, we can suppress undesired water degradation to hydrogen gas, while allowing for 100% conversion efficiencies to desired carbon monoxide with earth abundant catalysts. Congrats to Reggie and all the co-authors!! Can read the paper here.

Chibueze is recognized as one of the Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) Talented Twelve!! See link to learn more.

The group receives a Google Research Scholar Award that allows us to explore our risky ideas on using generative AI to accelerate battery materials discovery! See story

Chibueze receives the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award!! The award recognizes the lab’s efforts in performing world-class research and educating the next generation of scholars. See link. And here.

New paper published where we study fluorinated ether solid state electrolytes. We show that by incorporating conductive polyethylene glycol (PEG) domains and controlling the polymer blend phase separation allows one to combine the benefits of PEG (good conductivity) with PFPE (high oxidative stability). Congrats to Emily and all the co-authors! See link.

April 2024

Chibueze was interviewed as a guest for the University of Chicago Podcast (The Course). Listen to learn more about Chibueze’s journey to UChicago and his research. Spotify. YouTube. Apple Podcasts.

Congratulations to Hrishi Srinivasan for receiving the NSF GRFP Fellowship!! Excellent news. Big congrats to Ben Kash, our former undergraduate, who also received the NSF GRFP.

March 2024

New paper published where we probe how solution processing affect hybrid inorganic-polymer composite electrolytes. Solution processing leads to conformal distribution of polymer within an inorganic but poor ion conductivity. Congrats to Priya and our former undergrad Claire Fuschi and all the co-authors. See link.

February 2024

The lab welcomes a new cohort of four (!!) PhD students. We welcome Seunga Heo (Chemistry), Qingyang Zhu (PME), Matin Mohebi (PME), and Ted Houser (PME) to the group. We cannot wait to see all the amazing research you will do.

January 2024

The RENEU 2024 application is now open! See this page. RENEU is a program focused on providing world class virtual research experiences to Nigerian undergraduate students. Deadline is March 1st.

December 2023

Newest paper from the group is published where we show that fluorination of a molecule allows the molecule to solvate and conduct ions whereas the hydrogenated version does not! This finding is important as it is conventionally assumed that fluorination of a molecule leads to poorer solvation and lower ionic conductivity. We discover that this is not the case! Congratulations Peiyuan and co-authors on the beautiful combination of experiments and computation! See link.

November 2023

Our first paper on probing solvent-free molten salts as a novel electrolyte class for batteries. We show that using low melting alkali salts (not conventional ionic liquids!) allows us to exclude solvents, have high ionic conductivity,  high oxidative stability, and high reversibility for lithium metal batteries. Congratulations Canh! See paper link.  Covered by PME News story, ScienceDaily.

Chibueze attends AIChE Fall conference in Orlando and presents our molten salt work and how water modifies CO2 reduction in aprotic media.

October 2023

Chibueze and the lab’s research on electrocatalysis is featured by CIFAR as part the “Nurturing a Resilient Earth” Series. Our efforts focused on using electrochemistry to convert carbon dioxide to fuels and chemicals Check it out here. Series.

The lab hosts the second annual “Battery Day” event at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Always an amazing time. See PME news story.

September 2023

Congratulations to Reggie for winning a second year of the Roberto Rocca Fellowship!

Congratulations to Hrishi for receiving the NSF NRT AIMEMS Fellowship! It will support his work for the next two years!

Chibueze hosted the RENEU workshop at the University of Lagos with the workshop focused on equipping Nigerian undergraduate students with the skills and information they need to be successful PhD applicants. Summer RENEU students also presented their work. See news story about the inaugural cohort of RENEU students.

August 2023

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 list, PME story, UChicago story.

Congratulations to Zoe for winning a poster presentation prize at the MRSEC Symposium!

Priya presents her work at the ACS Fall National Conference in San Francisco.

July 2023

The RENEU (Research Experience for Nigerian Undergraduates) has officially launched with five inaugural students! RENEU has received funding from UChicago Global!! See link. PME News story about pilot program.

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.

June 2023

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.

May 2023

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!

April 2023

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

March 2023

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

February 2023

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!

January 2023

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

December 2022

Our undergraduate Arnav Brahmasandra received a Metcalf grant for Autumn 2022. Congratulations!

November 2022

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

October 2022

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.

September 2022

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.

August 2022

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

July 2022

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!

June 2022

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.

May 2022

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.

April 2022

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!

March 2022

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.

February 2022

Congratulations to Hannah for passing her PhD candidacy exam!!

January 2022

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.

December 2021

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.

November 2021

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).

October 2021

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.

September 2021

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

August 2021

Chibueze serves as a panelist during the CDAC Summer Lab: Faculty Panel. See Link

July 2021

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.

June 2021

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!!

May 2021

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.

April 2021

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!

March 2021

Chibueze gave a presentation to the ICDC (Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center) on “Exploiting solvation effects for efficient electrocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide.”

February 2021

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.

January 2021

Happy New Year!!

December 2020

Our undergraduate Chris Birch is now a Liews Fellow and the fellowship will support his efforts in our lab! Congratulations.

November 2020

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 was an invited panelist in a ‘Virtual Academic Panel” for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars interested in pursuing academic positions. See Link. The video is here

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

October 2020

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

August 2020

Chibueze gave a presentation about data science and batteries at the UChicago CDAC Summer Lab series. See Link

July 2020

Jin Zheng joins the group as the first postdoctoral scholar. Her work will focus on advanced characterization tools for solid state batteries.

June 2020

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.

May 2020

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.

April 2020

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

March 2020

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.

February 2020

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

January 2020

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!

December 2019

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

November 2019

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.

October 2019

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.

September 2019

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.

August 2019

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.

July 2019

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.

June 2019

Chibueze visits Ethiopia and participates in a workshop to teach Ethiopian students about graduate STEM research opportunities. See news story.

April 2019

UChicago offer accepted! The Amanchukwu Lab now exists on paper and will open in January 2020…