Research in our group centers on two topics, thin films and small scale energy generation. The thin film work,which is the larger topic, centers on membranes made from block copolymers. In some cases, these membranes are etched to make monodisperse pores 2 - 100 nm in diameter. These membranes are used for water purification. In other cases, the membranes form 30 nm lamellae of glassy and rubbery polymers. Here, we seek coatings which have the low permeability of the glass but the flexibility of the rubber. Such coatings can inhibit corrosion. Other impermeable membranes developed here can retard release of carcinogens from landfills by over 100 times.
The work on energy generations aim to make a single farm energy self-sufficient. The best developed part of this topic purifies hydrogen made from agricultural waste for use in fuel cells. These fuel cells can generate more electricity than the farm needs.