Holger Kleinke's research focuses on finding and optimizing new thermoelectric materials. Thermoelectrics are capable of converting heat into electrical energy and vice versa. This environmentally friendly energy conversion currently has several applications, but is limited by its low efficiency. His research group is attempting to increase the efficiency so that thermoelectrics may be used to recover electricity from the nowadays abundant waste heat, e.g. in the exhaust of automobiles.
Sonny Lee's research efforts focus on challenging problems in transition element inorganic chemistry. His studies involve the synthesis of new compounds and compound classes, and the characterization of their physical and chemical properties by a broad array of methods.
Linda Nazar carries out research in inorganic materials chemistry, solid state chemistry and electrochemistry. Her research is focused on the development of electrochemical energy storage devices and materials.
One of the most interesting aspects of materials chemistry is the design of structures with specific physical properties. Using guided principles, Prof. Nazar’s team synthesizes new materials, determines their structures and investigates their physical properties. She is, in particular, interested in ion and electron transport in materials as these properties are central to solid state electrochemistry and energy storage batteries.
Over the years Richard Oakley has taught both classroom and laboratory courses, ranging from introductory chemistry to senior inorganic and graduate offerings. His research work has spanned the three-way interface between chemistry, physics and materials science, most recently focusing on the synthesis and solid state characterization of molecular radicals, biradicals and radical ions, with the goal of generating functional materials with unusual magnetic, conductive and/or optical properties. Outside of his academic pursuits he has been heavily involved with the development and organization of national and international scientific conferences.
Rodney Smith’s research involves the study of electrocatalysts for use in sustainable energy storage systems. His research examines the chemistry of electrode surfaces, measures electron transfer kinetics and probes electrochemical reaction dynamics in an effort to guide the design and fabrication of solid-state electrocatalysts.