Assistant: Martha Hepworth
The Manthiram Lab is developing a synthetic paradigm in which carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water can be converted into a wide range of chemicals and materials using renewable electricity. These molecules act as a source of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms, which can be precisely assembled into more complex molecules. This means that a device which breathes air, drinks water, and takes in solar photons could someday, in principle, make many of the chemicals that we rely on.
The lab specifically creates electrocatalysts which facilitate the molecular-level dance through which chemical bonds are broken and formed, so that desired molecules can be made more selectively, efficiently, and at faster rates.