Solving the big challenges in distributed energy generation, storage and power management requires coordinated research that reaches beyond the labs of individual faculty. The Center facilitates fundamental and applied research that crosses disciplines and is informed by the tough problems facing our industry partners. Our affiliated faculty members are listed below.
3D printing of porous materials with nano-scale designer architectureProfessor Chen’s group has been developing laser and UV light based 3D printing techniques, including laser direct ablation, UV nanoimprinting, and stereolithography and has been utilizing these techniques to integrate nanomaterials such as piezoelectric nanocomposites for energy production.
Nanostructured and polymeric materials for electrochemical energy storage and conversionProf. Zheng Chen's research focuses on design and synthesis of nanostructured and polymeric materials, their hybrids for next generation electrochemical energy storage, and conversion applications including batteries, electrochemical capacitors, and fuel cells.
Defect engineering for high efficiency solar cells and solar-to-fuelsProfessor Fenning’s group develops new methods and approaches for controlling impurities and defects in materials for photovoltaics and (photo)electrocatalysis. By understanding defect interactions, the group works to reduce the cost of solar power and solar energy storage and pursues paths toward low cost, high volume manufacturing, researching the intersection of semiconductor physics, interfaces, and electrochemistry.
Ultra-flexible and stretchable solar cells and inexpensive, large-area grapheneProfessor Lipomi’s research includes the development of green chemistry and nanomanufacturing techniques that are applied toward the fabrication of mechanically compliant, organic electronic materials and devices for solar energy conversion.
Materials and architectures for energy conversion and storageProf. Liu's group combines chemical synthesis, electrochemistry, and materials engineering to develop ion conducting materials which enable next-generation rechargeable batteries and electrochemical actuators.
Novel materials processing methods and interfacial engineering of materials for energy-related applicationsProfessor Luo’s group are focused on designing and tailoring materials for energy-related applications, including lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, solid ionic conductors, photocatalysts, high-temperature materials for improving energy efficiency, and materials for applications in nuclear power generation systems and clean coal technologies.
Electrochemical energy storage and conversion materials, advanced diagnosis for battery materialsProfessor Meng’s group heads an interdisciplinary laboratory focused on energy storage (batteries and supercapacitors) and conversion (solar and magnetic). Professor Meng’s research group, LESC, has been focusing its efforts on the basic science and applied research for the design and development of energy storage and conversion materials. This includes lithium ion batteries, thermoelectric materials, permanent magnetic materials, and perovskite solar cells.
Data-driven computational design of materialsProfessor Ong’s research includes the development of novel thermodynamics analyses of quantum mechanical calculations and the investigation of structure-property relationships in nature. The Materials Virtual Lab has unique capabilities in the development of state-of-the-art IT and data management infrastructure for materials data, such as those generated from high-throughput computations.
Colloidal synthesis, low dimensional materials for energy storage, plasmonic nanoparticles for photovoltaics and photocatalysisProfessor Tao and her group are creating novel low-dimensional materials for photocatalysis, photovoltaics, and energy storage. They have developed the capability to engineer metal and metal chalcogenide nanocrystals, and are exploring new methods for the chemical synthesis and self-assembly of solid-state nanostructured materials.
Wearable energy harvesting devices, porous electrodes and electrocatalysisProfessor Wang is a leading expert in electrochemistry, biofuel cells, advanced materials and wearable devices, bring extensive experiences in these areas.
Soft electronics, nano-electronics, and materials for energyProfessor Xu’s research interests focus on understanding the electrical, mechanical, and other characteristic behaviors of functional inorganic materials when they are geometrically engineered into a soft format, and exploring these materials as building blocks for soft electronics, nano-electronics, and energy harvesting/storage devices.
High-throughput computational design and property optimization of functional materialsProfessor Yang and his group’s goal is to develop a fundamental understanding of the structure-property relationship of the hybrid perovskite-based materials and to identify underlying design principles for the further property optimization, performance enhancement and accelerating the design of more efficient hybrid photovoltaic materials.
Advanced X-ray Microscopy of Ionic, Magnetic and Electronic materialsProfessor Shpyrko and his group is developing and using novel x-ray imaging techniques that are applied to a variety of materials systems. Professor Shpyrko and his group are especially excited to expand these microscopy approaches to operando imaging of working devices for energy applications.
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Silicon nanotechnology, surface chemistry and coatings, silicon-lithium anodes, photonic crystalsProfessor Sailor is a field leader on nanomaterials synthesis, and the study of their fundamental chemistry, photochemistry, electrochemistry, optical physics, and biomaterials properties. In particular, Professor Sailor specializes in porous silicon and their application, and has worked on creating high performance porous silicon based lithium-ion batteries as efficient secondary anodes.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ultra-low-energy memory, processing elements and architectures to dramatically lower the energy consumption of information technologiesProfessor Fullerton's expertise is in thin-film magnetic and nano-materials. He is an internationally acclaimed scholar in areas such as thin film and superlattice growth, magnetic recording and nano-technologies, and x-ray and neutron scattering.
Solution processing and printing methods, flexible electronic devicesProfessor Ng's group focuses on scalable solution processing and printing methods to advance flexible electronics. Our research interests include energy generation and storage devices, to meet the powering requirements of flexible systems.
Computer Science and Engineering
Embedded system design, resource management at the system level, hardware management and embedded software optimization, power management algorithmsProfessor Rosing is currently heading the effort focused on SmartCities as a part of DARPA and industry funded TerraSwarm center. As a part of this effort she has focused on modeling and control of distributed energy resources, including batteries, while leveraging human and machine context. During 2009-2012 she led the energy efficient datacenters theme as a part of the MuSyCcenter.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Materials and devices for thermal energy transport and conversionProfessor Chen’s research focuses on thermal energy transport, conversion, and management across different length scales. Professor Chen’s interest includes developing materials and devices for thermoelectric and solar-thermal energy conversion as well as thermal management.
Low-grade heat, energy harvesting, green cement, energy efficiency, thermal runaway in batteriesProfessor Qiao designed “thermal-runaway-free” lithium ion battery cells and modules; invented lean-organic compacted hybrid (LOCH), a green construction material that is cheaper than portland cement and stronger than steel reinforced concrete; and developed thermally chargeable supercapacitors (TCS), a novel system that converts low-grade heat to electricity with a high efficiency.
Market specific algorithms to construct realistic estimates of the direct economic value of the energy storage deviceProfessor Elliott is building algorithms for optimally operating storage devices in market connected grids. The algorithms are used for valuation of batteries with differing chemistries and applications.
Forecasting greenhouse gas emissions; role of economic incentives, regulation and technical change on energy systems; valuation of non market impacts.Professor Carson works on forecasting greenhouse gas emissions and how incentive structures facing firms and utilities interact with regulatory regimes in the short run and in the long run with technological innovation possible from R&D investments. He also estimates the economic value of reducing negative externalities such as air pollution, oil spills and power outages associated with energy systems.
UC San Diego Microgrid
Energy storage, self-sustaining microgrid, solar energy businessByron Washom is the Director of Strategic Energy Initiatives at UC San Diego charged to bring quantum RD&D innovations/partnerships to campus in generation, storage and efficiency.
Graduate Student Representative
We welcome additional faculty members and researchers to join the Sustainable Power and Energy Center.