• NOVEL GRAPHITE-LIKE MATERIALS   In 2016, we discovered a new [direct synthesis route] to bulk, high boron-content graphitic carbon, a material of long-time interest as an alternative to (pure carbon) graphite, especially in energy storage applications such as alkali metal-ion batteries. This exciting new synthetic direction toward heteroatom-doped graphitic materials (recently also extended to [phosphorus doping]) is currently being pursued further in our new laboratory at MSU.
Graphitic Materials
  • HIGH-PRESSURE HYDROGEN STORAGE   At pressures above 10 MPa (~100 atm) at room temperature, hydrogen becomes significantly non-ideal, requiring additional attention to the modeling of its behaviors in the presence of an adsorbent surface. These pressures are relevant to next-generation, on-board hydrogen storage vessels: tanks for compressed hydrogen storage at up to 10,000 psi (~69 MPa) have been [in development] already for some time. At MSU, we design and build apparatus to investigate adsorptive hydrogen storage at high pressures, and are working to develop a robust, assumption-less model for thermodynamic analysis.


  • ZEOLITE-TEMPLATED CARBON   Synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) within the pores of a zeolite template, ZTCs are a novel class of 3D carbon materials warped out of the 2D by the highly confined environment in which they are forged. ZTCs are unique in their extremely high surface area and uniform pore [structure], achieved "bottom-up" without any chemical or physical activation step. Applications for extremely high surface area materials such as ZTCs are broad ranging: from gas storage and gas separations, to electrodes in supercapacitors (and, recently, [Al]-, [K]-, and [Mg]-based battery-like devices!).
ZTC Synthesis Summary
  • ULTRAFAST BATTERIES   We have several new projects in the design, fabrication, and testing of state-of-the-art and next-generation battery electrodes across several chemistries, especially those based on the lithium-ion shuttle. Two projects of highest importance focus on (i) the [rapid charging of graphite] and other carbon-based anodes and (ii) the stabilization of high-capacity phases such as silicon and phosphorus.


  • NOVEL SUPERCRITICAL SOLVENTS   In 2014, we [discovered] nitrogen to be an effective solvent for the purification of porous, reactive gamma-phase magnesium borohydride. As this class of materials [continues to grow], the need for such atypical solvents will also grow and we have active interests in investigating low temperature supercritical solvents for advanced extraction and drying applications.
Nitrogen ScD
  • [YOUR PROJECT HERE!]   We have interests and capabilities in both materials synthesis (primarily devoted to carbon-based materials) and gas adsorption (measurement and theory), and welcome fresh new ideas for research that overlaps with these efforts. Recent collaborations include characterizing carbide-derived carbons, performing thermodynamic analyses of deep methane reservoirs, and synthesizing heteroatom-doped graphenes.