Faculty Collaborating with the Energy Institute

Other Contributing Faculty

Abruña, Héctor

Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Research Interests: The Abruña group performs cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research on a wide variety of electrochemical phenomena with current emphasis on fuel cells, batteries and supercapacitors. We employ a wide range of electrochemical techniques as well as x-ray based methods, differential electrochemical mass spectrometry, in-situ FT-IR, confocal Raman, scanning electrochemical microscopy, in-situ TEM, and spectroscopic techniques to address problems of electrochemical interest. We synthesize novel electrocatalysts for fuel cells and carry out computational design and synthesis of high performance organic-based electrical energy storage materials.

Current work involves:

1.  Fuel cells:
•  The use of ordered intermetallics, for the electrocatalytic oxidation of formic acid and other small organic molecules of potential utility as fuels in fuel cells.
•  The use of core/shell electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR)
•  Development of novel catalyst support materials for fuel cells
•  Use of Differential Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry (DEMS), in-situ FT-IR in for mechanistic studies related to fuel cells.
•  Development of in-situ TEM techniques for the study of fuel cell and battery materials
2. Electrical Energy Storage (EES): Batteries and Supercapacitors
•  Lithium/sulfur batteries
•  Computational screening synthesis and characterization of organic molecules for EES
•  In-situ testing of battery systems using in-situ x-ray based technique (XRD, EXAFS, XANES)
Phone: 607-255-4720
Brock, Joel

Applied and Engineering Physics

Research Interests

For over 100 years, our fundamental understanding of the structure of materials on atomic length scales has been advanced by direct structural measurements using x-rays. Modern synchrotrons provide over 8 orders of magnitude higher fluxes than laboratory based sources. This flux enables us to utilize higher resolution: higher angular resolution for diffraction, higher energy resolution for spectroscopies, higher time resolution for dynamics, and higher spatial resolution for imaging. We employ modern synchrotron-based x-ray techniques to measure the structure directly on length-scales ranging from 1 - 50,000Å on time scales ranging from 10-6 - 103 seconds. We are currently concentrating our studies on pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of complex oxide thin films.

The desire to manufacture devices with characteristic features on (sub)nanometer length scales has driven an enormous effort to create thin films with precisely controlled chemical composition, crystal structure and morphology. Energetic processing techniques offer the enticing prospect of gaining additional control at the nanoscale over thin-film deposition and processing. However, our fundamental understanding of non-thermal growth and surface processing is in an early stage of development. We are studying the fundamental processes governing deposition via Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD). Empirically, by tuning the substrate temperature, background gas pressure, laser pulse rate, and energy density of the laser pulse, high quality films of many cubic perovskite (e.g., colossal magnetoresistance (CMR), piezoelectric, and high TC superconducting materials) can be grown using PLD. Our time-resolved x-ray structural measurements directly test proposed growth models. This research program is a component of the CCMR's IRG-3 and is based at CHESS.

I am also working to develop the next generation of x-ray sources. LINAC based x-ray sources such as (pulsed) X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs) and (cw) Energy Recovery LINACs (ERLs) will create diffraction limited and degenerate x-ray beams that will enable coherent and time-resolved techniques previously only possible with optical lasers. Our long term goal is to generate, manipulate, and utilize coherent x-ray beams for atomic-scale structural measurements on the relevant fundamental time-scales. Discovering and optimizing catalysts for electrochemical energy conversion processes, such as the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), are critical steps on the path towards developing renewable energy production and storage technologies. These two reactions are central to water-splitting, fuel cells, and metal-air batteries. SrTiO3 is the prototype for photo-catalytically active complex-oxide perovskite systems and our research focuses on using x-ray structural techniques to elucidate the (surface) structure-function relationship. Electrochemical studies (in collaboration with the Abruña group) complement the x-ray structural studies, demonstrating reaction intermediates and chemical surface coverage.

Email: jdb20@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-9006
Website: http://www.aep.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?netid=jdb20

Clark, Chris

Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

Research Interests: animal science, aquatic science, bioacoustics, biodiversity, biological and environmental engineering, biotechnology, conservation biology, ecology, electrical engineering, entrepreneurship, evolution, ornithology.

Email: cwc2@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-254-2405
Website: http://vivo.cornell.edu/display/individual5549

Craighead, Harold

Applied and Engineering Physics

Research Interests: Our research centers on the new science and applications of nanometer-scale devices and structures. The behavior of these structures, with dimensions as small as tens of nanometers, can be dominated by effects of size and surface area. Essential areas of study include the development of nanofabrication processes and their impact on the properties of materials and devices.

Our work also focuses on advances in the understanding and manipulation of the physical properties of systems of reduced dimensions. Present research topics include nano-scale analytical systems. We are investigating the application of these advances to the fields of optics and biology.

Selected Current Research Projects * Biosensors and Chemical Analysis * MEMS and NEMS * Micro- and Nanofluidics * Nanofabrication * Single Molecule Studies

Email: hgc1@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-8707
Website: http://www.aep.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?netid=hgc1

DiSalvo, Frank

Research Interests:  Synthesis and characterization of solid state compounds, disvoer and understand materials with novel cyrstal structures and/or new or enhanced properties, physical properties, such as electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity, thermopower, Hall effect and magnetic susceptibility, as well as selected chemical properties, such as eletrochemical behavior, are examined and compared to properties expected on the basis of electronic structure calculations or similarity to known compounds.

Email: fdj3@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-7238
Website: http://chemistry.cornell.edu/faculty/detail.cfm?netid=fjd3

Fennie, Craig

Applied and Engineering Physics

Research Interests

Our interests lie at the intersection of Condensed matter/materials physics and solid state chemistry and can be broadly characterized as centered on the use of theory to elucidate the fundamental principles that govern the relationship between the structure and the macroscopic behavior of complex bulk, thin film, and heterostructured materials in which lattice, magnetic, orbital, and/or electronic degrees of freedom are active

 In this regard we are particularly interested in understanding how the composition, symmetry, geometry, and topology of crystalline motifs influence the interplay among the active degrees-of-freedom, how this subsequently manifests itself in the macroscopic properties, and if this interplay can be controlled so as to produce "designer" properties and functionalities.

We are fascinated by systems in which understanding the structural complexity is key to explaining their macroscopic properties and in particular by systems under extreme environments where chemical intuition often breaks down. Our modus operandi combines microscopic Hamiltonians/models with fundamental principles of solid-state chemistry and first-principles simulations.

Today, first-principles quantum techniques are powerful tools for analyzing and interpreting the properties of crystalline materials, yet the theoretical design of new materials with targeted properties remains challenging. Why? At a somewhat fundamental level, that the laws governing the physics of materials are in fact relatively simple, it is just that the behavior of the constituents as a whole are complex. Indeed, materials are made up of atoms whose type, number, and arrangement - the crystalline motif - creates distinct properties that emerge through the collective behavior of the seemingly simpler, well-understood parts. The discovery of emergent phenomena in condensed matter systems is therefore intimately linked with that of discovering the crystalline materials that display these phenomena.

This work by its very nature has to cross the border between the traditional disciples of physics and of chemistry, and when successful impacts both fields. As a long-term goal of ours is to develop an ab initio strategy towards materials discovery (sometimes referred to as "materials-by-design"), it is my strong belief that it would be quite difficult to make a meaningful and long-lasting impact without engaging both disciplines with the same drive and focus. 

Email: fennie@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-6498
Website: http://www.aep.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?netid=cjf76

Giannelis, Emmanuel P.

Material Science and Engineering

Research Interests: Efforts to manipulate and control materials at the nanoscale have taken center stage in research activities all over the world. These efforts are motivated, in part, by the realization that nanoscale materials often exhibit properties that are dramatically different from their microscale counterparts. In that respect polymer nanocomposites synthesized by adding nanoparticles such as nanoclays into the polymer matrix have attracted considerable attention in recent years. The goal is to develop lightweight composites with potentially superior mechanical, rheological, electrical, thermal and biomedical properties by taking advantage of the high surface area available in the nanoparticles and the accompanied synergistic effects with the polymer matrix. Over the years are group has been active and contributed to these efforts. Specific directions have included 1) chemical synthesis and processing of nanocomposites with controlled structure and interface properties 2) characterization of interface structure and dynamics, and 3) delineation of molecular and structural features that contribute to the mechanical and physical properties of the materials. All previous efforts have focused on fine-tuning the polymer/nanoparticle miscibility in order to achieve full nanoparticle dispersion. More recently we have become interested in manipulating nanoparticles into organized assemblies by exploiting depletion interactions/phase separation of nanoclays and other nanoparticles. Finally, we are devoting a significant part of our recent efforts into the development of "solvent-free" or "dry" nanoparticle fluids. These new hybrid systems consist of inorganic nanoparticle cores functionalized with a charged corona. Because of their molecular architecture they flow like liquids but possess no volatility. Furthermore, because of their hybrid nature their optical, magnetic, electronic, biological and other properties can be fine-tuned to meet potential applications.

Email: epg2@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-9680

Howe, Rod

Senior Extension Associate, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE); Program Director, Development Sociology (D SOC), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)

Research Interests: adult and extension education, applied economics, community development, development sociology, entrepreneurship, land use, rural development, sustainable development

Email: rlh13@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-2170
Website: http://vivo.cornell.edu/display/individual8662

Kay, David

Development Sociology

Research Interests: David provides leadership for CaRDI programming in the areas of energy, land use and community development. His work on land use involves research, outreach, and training efforts that attempt to build community-based decision making capacity and to help weave local policy into a regionally coherent fabric. Recently, he has increasingly focused on the community and economic development implications of energy transitions. David serves on the boards of several city, town, county and New York State State not-for-profit or government organizations concerned with sustainability and municipal land use planning.

Email: dlk2@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-2123
Website: http://devsoc.cals.cornell.edu/cals/devsoc/people/faculty.cfm?netId=dlk2

Kourkoutis, Lena

Applied and Engineering Physics

Research Interests:  Nanostructured Materials, Next Generation Energy Related Devices, Complex Electronic Materials, Atomic-resolution Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy, Cryo- electron Microscopy for Soft and Composite Materials.

The Kourkoutis electron microscopy group focuses on understanding and controlling nanostructured materials, from complex oxide heterostructures to materials for battery and photovoltaic applications to biomaterials.

The presence of interfaces between different components is a key feature of all nanoscale materials and devices. Macroscopic properties of a system depend upon detailed atomic configurations, interfacial chemistry, and electronic coupling. We use aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy to determine the atomic-scale structure, elemental distribution and electronic structure of individual nanostructures and their interfaces.

In order to explore a new range of phenomena and materials we are developing low temperature high-resolution electron microscopy techniques. The topics we are pursuing include: Novel phases that emerge at low temperatures at complex oxide interfaces; solid-liquid and hard-soft interfaces in next generation energy related devices such as photovoltaics, batteries and fuel cells and organic/inorganic interfaces in biomaterials.

Phone: 607-255-9121
Lehmann, Johannes

Crop and Soil Sciences

Research Interests I am interested to advance our general understanding of biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrient elements in soil, providing important insight into regional and global element cycles such as the carbon or sulfur cycle. This field of research has global and local relevance with implications for climate change and environmental pollution. The strong background in the chemistry, biology and physics of soils and its cycles provide the basis for the development of intelligent solutions for sustainable soil and land use management. The most exciting examples include the discovery of stabilization mechanisms of organic matter in soil nano-structures and the development of a biochar soil management technology that improves soil fertility, sequesters carbon and reduces off-site pollution. Recent efforts include the combination of bio-energy and biochar applications to soil, which offer the opportunity to develop a carbon-negative energy technology which at the same time improves the environment.

Email: cl237@cornell.edu

Phone: 607-254-1236

Website: http://css.cals.cornell.edu/people/faculty.cfm?netId=cl273

Lei, Xin Gen

Animal Science

Research Interests: Development of a new generation of animal feed and human food of defatted microalgal biomass from the biofuel production.  Functional genomics of mineral-dependent enzymes in antioxidation, diabetes, obesity, and bone integrity in mice, pigs, and primary cells; overexpression and protein engineering of phytases and proteases for nutrition and environmental protection; using pigs as a human model and biofortification to fight against global micro-nutrient deficiencies in humans.

Email: XL20@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-254-4703
Website: http://ansci.cornell.edu/faculty/lei.html

Mount, Tim

Applied Economics and Management

Research Interests: Tim Mount's research and teaching interests include econometric modeling and policy analysis relating to the use of fuels and electricity, and to their environmental consequences (acid rain, smog, and global warming). Professor Mount is currently conducting research on the restructuring of markets for electricity and the implications for (1) price behavior in auctions for electricity, (2) the rates charged to customers, and (3) the environment.

Email: tdm2@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-4512
Website: http://dyson.cornell.edu/people/profiles/mount.php

Muller, David

Applied and Engineering Physics

Research Interests

My group's research at Cornell University is focused on understanding the behavior of materials and devices at the atomic scale. Using some of the most powerful electron microscopes in the world, placed in specially-designed and environmentally isolated rooms, we are able to explore the chemistry, electronic structure and bonding inside objects as diverse as transistors, turbine blades, two-dimensional superconductors, fuel cells and batteries. All of these systems are made up of different materials, and where they join at the atomic scale, the boundary conditions on the quantum mechanical wavefunctions force very different behavior from what might be expected of the bulk materials. At these boundaries, where everyday intuition breaks down, we are searching for new and unexpected phases and physics. The impact of this research on devices, both larger and small, could be very significant. We are interested in students who enjoy both physics theory and experiment, can think in both real and reciprocal space, and care about both why things are, and what they might be used for. Openings are likely in the area of atomically-engineered materials for energy generation, conversion and storage, and studies of two-dimensional materials and electronic phases in complex oxides. Projects range from fundamental science to collaboration with industry.

Email: dm24@cornell.edu

Phone: 607-255-4065

Website: http://www.aep.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?netid=dm24 

Sabin, Jenny

Architecture Art Planning

Research InterestsJenny E. Sabin's work and research is at the forefront of a new direction for 21st-century architectural practice — one that investigates the intersections of architecture and science, and applies insights and theories from biology and mathematics to the design of material structures. Sabin is an assistant professor in the area of design and emerging technologies in architecture at Cornell University. She is principal of Jenny Sabin Studio, an experimental architectural design studio based in Philadelphia and director of the Sabin Design Lab at AAP, a research and design unit with specialization in computational design, data visualization and digital fabrication. Sabin is also a founding member of the Nonlinear Systems Organization (NSO), a research group started by Cecil Balmond, where she was Senior Researcher and Director of Research. She is cofounder of LabStudio, a hybrid research and design network, with Peter Lloyd Jones.

Email: jes557@cornell.edu

Phone: 607-255-2898

Website: http://aap.cornell.edu/people/jenny-sabin

Samorodnitsky, Gennady

Operations Research and Information Engineering 

Research Interests: His research interests lie both in probability theory and in its various applications. A very important area is that of stochastic modeling, and he is especially interested in "non-standard" models, in particular those exhibiting heavy tails and/or long-range dependence. These models behave very differently from the "usual" models that are typically based on Gaussian or Markov stochastic processes. Both heavy tails and long-range dependence are observed in financial processes, teletraffic processes and many other processes. Since many classical statistical tools break down in the presence of long-range dependence and/or absence of Gaussianity, it is very important to understand how "non-standard" models behave, how one simulates them, how one estimates their parameters, and how one predicts their behavior in the future. He is interested in interaction of toplogy with probability theory; applications are, among others, in medicine and cosmology. A major area of interest is studying and modeling extremes in climate and understanding, in particular, whether, in fact, extremes in climate grow faster than the averages. He is looking closely, in particular, at certain financial and queueing models. Other areas of interest include self-similar (fractal-like) stochastic processes, extrema of stochastic processes, zero-one laws, positive and negative dependence in stochastic processes, stable and other infinitely divisible processes and level crossings of stochastic processes.

Email: gs18@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-9141
Website: http://www.orie.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?netid=gs18

Schlom, Darrell

Material Science and Engineering

Research Interests: The focus of my group's research is investigating and perfecting the properties of oxide materials for electronic uses. To do this, we grow oxide thin films on single crystal substrates of closely related substances. The single crystal substrate provides a structural template for the thin films that we grow. The films follow this atomic template and are thus said to be epitaxial (inheriting their crystalline arrangement from the underlying substrate). Our focus on oxides is due to the tremendous promise that these materials hold for electrical applications. Oxides exhibit an unparalleled variety of electronic properties. Insulating, semiconducting, and even superconducting oxides all exist within the set of structurally compatible oxides known as perovskites. This structurally related family also includes oxides that are magnetic, ferroelectric, or even both at the same time. In short, this family of oxides contains the full spectrum of electronic properties. A major challenge, however, is to prepare these materials with sufficient quality and integrate them with adequate control so that these properties can be fully utilized in electronic devices. This is our research goal.

Email: schlom@cornell.edu

Phone: 607-255-6504

Website: http://www.mse.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?netid=ds636 

Wiesner, Ulrich

Material Science and Engineering

Research Interests:The goal of current research in the Wiesner group is to combine knowledge about the self-assembly of soft polymeric materials with the functionality of solid-state materials to generate novel hierarchical and multifunctional hybrid materials. Research results of the group on the use of blocked copolymers as structure directing agents for inorganic materials suggest that in analogy to biology, the sequence information of higher order blocked synthetic macromolecular architectures may be used to encode information about hierarchical structure of co-assemblies with ceramic or other materials. These principles may permit the design of entirely new classes of functional materials that have no analogue in the natural world with potential applications ranging from power generation and energy conversion all the way to the life sciences.

As a particular model system to understand structure formation principles, silica-based hybrids from block copolymer mesophases have been studied extensively over the last ten years. One of the main working principles involves utilizing the thermodynamics of amphiphilic block copolymers, i.e., knowledge about their self-assembly behavior (bottom-up) to structure direct precursors for silica-type oxides. In the meantime these principles have been extended to other oxides as well as to non-oxide ceramics (e.g., SiCN). Synthesis results in mesostructured hybrid materials with structure control down to the nanometer length scale that upon, e.g., thermal processing can subsequently be converted into purely ceramic materials with preserved structure (e.g., mesoporous materials). The final materials have a broad range of potential applications in, e.g., catalysis and separation.

A second major current research direction of the Wiesner group focuses on a novel class of fluorescent core-shell silica nanoparticles, now referred to as C-dots, with potential applications, e.g., as fluorescent labels in biolabeling and bioimaging. Water-soluble C- dots encapsulate multiple organic fluorophores into a solid-state silica environment, thereby improving their photophysical properties as compared to the free dye in water. C-dots have narrow size distributions and in the 20-30 nm size range achieve brightness levels reaching those of semiconductor quantum (Q-) dots with simultaneously enhanced photostability over free dye in aqueous solutions. They are synthesized through a modified Stöber process and overcome toxicity and disposal issues of competing Q-dot technologies. As a result of their optical property profiles they constitute an attractive alternative to existing materials platforms for applications in information technologies and the life sciences requiring bright fluorescent probes. Fundamental studies are aimed at understanding and controlling optical phenomena of this novel class of radiative nanoparticles and of optical structures and devices that integrate them.

Email: ubw1@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-3487
Website:  http://www.mse.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?netid=ubw1

Wise, Frank

Applied Engineering Physics

Research Interests: Properties of semiconductor nanostructures- This work ranges from basic physics to applications. For example, we determine the electron states and vibrational modes of semiconductor nanostructures. Example applications include efficient infrared light emitters and photovoltaic devices for solar energy conversion.

Studies of optical spatiotemporal solitons- Optical solitons are packets of localized electromagnetic radiation that propagate without spreading out spatially despite diffraction nor temporally despite group-velocity dispersion. We are working to generate fully-confined spatiotemporal solitons (sometimes referred to as "light bullets").

Development of femtosecond-pulse lasers and amplifiers- We are working to develop sources of ultrashort optical pulses that could be used in applications outside of basic research laboratories. Currently we are focused on fiber lasers and amplifiers. Our activities range from theoretical studies of new mechanisms for shaping pulses in lasers to laser engineering and commercial development. 

Email: fww1@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-1184
Website: http://www.aep.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?netid=fww1

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