My research aims to advance the frontiers of science, mathematics and engineering,
motivated by societal needs in energy, sustainability, and human health.
My group integrates chemical engineers with physicists, mathematicians, materials scientists and mechanical engineers.
Our interdisciplinary research spans
electrochemistry, transport phenomena, energy storage, water purification, nanotechnology, and medical physics,
and strives to combine theory, experiment and computation to achieve deep understanding of important engineering problems.
Our research focuses on fundamental aspects of electrochemical interfaces, reaction kinetics,
phase transformations and transport with
applications in batteries, fuel cells, electrodeposition, corrosion, and electrocatalysis.
We develop mathematical models, motivated and validated by experiments and molecular simulations.
Recent topics include double-layer structure, coupled ion-electron transfer kinetics, control of metal dendrites,
the molecular structure of ionic liquids, transport in bromine flow batteries,
metal-insulator transition in lithionic memristors, and
non-equilibrium thermodynamics of Li-ion batteries.
Related to this research, I serve as director of
D3BATT: Data-Driven Design of Rechargeable Batteries for Toyota Research Institute.
Electrokinetics is another long-standing interest, since my early work on induced-charge electro-osmosis in microfludics and colloids. Over the past decade, our group has been developing a new approach to
water desalination and purification called "shock electrodialysis",
based on passing extreme currents through charged porous media to drive ionic separations.
Recent topics in also include electrokinetic control of viscous fingering, electro-osmotic vortices in porous media,
shock electrodeposition, capacitive deionization and electroneutrality breakdown in nanochannels.
My work in fluid mechanics spans micro/nanofluidics, multiphase in porous media, granular flow,
gas dynamics and aerosols. I am interested in deriving exact solutions and asymptotic approximations, and applying fundamental fluid dynamics to engineering problems.
Recent topics include moisture sorption and cryotolerance of charged porous media, nanofluidic transport, coating flows, heat transfer, and airborne transmission of respiratory diseases.
Advanced mathematics permeates all of my work, including both continuum and statistical models.
I love complex analysis, conformal mapping, partial differential equations, stability analysis,
matched asymnptotic expansions, scaling and self-similarity and random walks. Recently, my group has also focused on data-driven modeling, especially learning physics from images in a variety of contexts.
A new method for removing lead from drinking water, MIT News, SEpt. 23, 2021.
A method to assess Covid-19 transmission risks in indoor settings, MIT News, April 15, 2021.
Monitoring CO2 to assess risk of indoor airborne SARS-CoV-2 transmission, Medical News, April 13,
In a leap for battery research, machine learning gets scientific smarts, SLAC, Mar. 8, 2020.
MIT Professors Launch Website to Estimate Risks of Contracting COVID Indoors, Newsweek, Dec. 3, 2020.
Aerodynamics of Infectious Disease: Airflow Studies Reveal Strategies to Reduce Indoor Transmission of COVID-19, SciTechDaily, Nov. 22, 2020.
Dry air indoors will increase transmission of Covid-19 as winter approaches, Forbes, October 25, 2020.
Covid-19's wintry mix: As we move indoors, dry air will help the coronavirus spread, STAT News (Boston Globe), October 21, 2020.
Coronavirus News Roundup, Scientific American, Octover 2, 2020.
How to Keep the Coronavirus at Bay Indoors,
New York Times, September 27, 2020.
- Nuclear Options,
Water Environment and Technology, April 2020.
- Why cement paste sticks, Frontiers in Energy Research, Winter 2020.
- A new way to remove contaminants from nuclear wastewater, MIT News, Dec. 19, 2019.
Multi-university effort will advance materials, define the future of mobility
, MIT News, April 3, 2017.
In batteries, a metal reveals its dual personality, MIT News, Sept. 1, 2016.
- A nanoview of battery operation, Science, August 2016.
- Stanford-led team reveals nanoscale secrets of rechargeable batteries, Stanford News, August 2016.
- Bose Grants fund bold and innovative visions, MIT News, November, 2015.
- Shocking new way to get the salt out, MIT News, November 2015.
Study sheds light on why batteries go bad, Sceince Daily, September, 2014.
Novel bromine battery: Small-scale demo, large-scale promise, Energy Futures 4, Spring 2014.
- How electrodes charge and discharge, MIT News, April 2014.
Researchers resolve misunderstanding bout how some lithium batteries function, ClimateWire, April 2014.
- New desalination technique also cleans and disinfects water, MIT Technology Review, Feb. 11, 2014.
- Interview videos at Ser
Spurring storage, Energy Next, Nov. 2013.
Power surge for flow batteries,
Nature 500, 504-505 (29 August 2013).
New rechargeable flow battery enables cheaper, large-scale energy storage, MIT News, Aug. 2013
Rethinking Battery Design, NSF Award Highlight, 2013.
- Revealing how a battery material works, MIT News, Feb. 8, 2012.
- Fill 'er up with... lithium SIAM News, Mar. 1, 2010.
MIT Energy Fellow's model may power up the batteries of the future, MIT Energy Initiative, June 17, 2009.
`Two-faced' particles act like tiny submarines, Science News,
Mar. 3, 2008.
Big lab on a tiny chip, Scientific American,
2007, pp. 100-103.
Theoretical plumber, Popular Science, October
2007.(some follow-up articles: USA
Today, MIT News
Fast Moving Front: "Induced-charge electrokinetic
phenomena", Thompson Scientific, Sept. 2007.
MIT's "Dream Team" wins SIAM Award for MCM 07, SIAM News, June
Battery-powered lab-on-a-chip could be near, EE Times
, Nov. 27, 2006.
Portable 'lab on a chip' could speed blood tests, MIT News,
Oct. 16, 2006.
create a "fluid conveyor belt"
, ISN News, Sept. 9, 2006.
Fractal tendrils, Tech Talk, Feb. 4, 2004.
modeling and experimentation to improve microfluidics, ISN News,
Feb. 2, 2004.
Past Research Snapshots