Research

Our research program will be focused on the development of electrocatalysts for energy conversion applications,  the design of electrochemical platforms for nanoparticle analysis, and development of electrochemical sensors for point-of-care diagnostics. Key challenges we aim to address include selective electroreduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) and single nanoparticle electrochemistry.

 

Selective Electrocatalysis

​​Increasing emission of CO2 gas from burning fossil fuels is becoming a serious global issue. Electrochemical reduction of CO2 is one promising solution because it can potentially convert CO2 into chemicals with economic value. However, the lack of product selectivity is a big challenge. Multiple products including undesired by-products are commonly yielded during CO2 electroreduction. The poor product selectivity causes low energy efficiency. We are developing new strategies to achieve selective electroreduction and building model catalysts for understanding the mechanisms.

 

Single Nanoparticle Electrochemistry

Nanoparticles have attracted the attention of researchers due to their unique properties that emerge at the nanometer length scale. The development of high-performance functional nanoparticles requires in-depth fundamental understandings of their activities. However, there is scant information about the distribution of nanoparticle activities in a nanoparticle ensemble because most analytical techniques depend on ensemble-averaged measurements. We are developing new electrochemical platforms for single nanoparticle analysis.

 

Electrochemical Biosensors for Point-of-Care Testing 

Point-of-care testing (POCT) is to perform biochemical testing at or near the site of patient care whenever the medical care is needed. One foremost challenge is the high cost and low long-term stability of bioreagents used in the POCT devices, in particular antibodies. One potential solution is to develop polymer-based “artificial antibodies” using molecular imprinting technology. However, neither the binding affinity nor the recognition specificity of artificial antibodies is comparable to these of natural antibodies at present. We are developing new artificial antibody-based electrochemical biosensors to address these challenges.

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