Photo-activated Sensors and Biosensors

This research is about transforming any smartphone/smartwatch to a Biosensor for health monitoring and Sensor for environmental monitoring. We are advancing the science of photo-activated sensing materials by modulating the size, morphology, and composition of materials on the nanoscale. Utilizing the new sensing materials, image-based sensing technology, and machine learning our group develops:
i) Biosensors for analyzing biological fluids to monitor health and detect potential disease
ii) Sensors for tracking water and air quality to identify chemical contaminants and toxic compounds

Photoreactors for Water & Air Purification

Ultraviolet (UV) photonics, photoreactions, and photoreactors are essential to many technologies and industries. We are developing novel materials and devices operating with UV light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) and microplasma UV—the emerging UV technology stars. Our current strategic project focuses on the development of the next generation of UV reactors operating with UV-LEDs and microplasma UV. The research programs we have been leading in this field continue to significantly impact product development in the UV reactor industry.

Artificial Photosynthesis & Solar Fuels

Artificial photosynthesis involves capturing energy from the sun and storing it in the form of chemical fuels. The focus of this research is to create engineered solar fuel generators for the photocatalytic production of hydrogen and value-added chemicals. We develop photoelectrochemical cells and multifunctional photocatalysts for fuel generation by water splitting and carbon dioxide conversion. Our target is to build sustainable ways of producing solar fuels by utilizing earth-abundant materials and cost-effective processes.

Computational Modeling of Chemical & Biological Systems

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) plays a significant role in the study of chemical and biological systems and various phenomena happening within these systems. We integrate fundamental physical models with CFD to develop chemical and biological reactor performance models for virtual prototyping and design optimization. Further, we perform experimental analysis, including laser-based imaging techniques, for model evaluation. The optical diagnostic methods utilized include particle image velocimetry (PIV) and planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF). The results of this research are applied to advance the design of new reactors.