Investigators - Chemistry

Faculty members pursuing energy-related research, who are affiliated with the Chemistry Department ( follow. Click on the person's name to view a brief description of their research interests or click on the web site for more information. Click on an e-mail address to correspond. You may also find additional information by clicking at the left on the 'Research/Publications' category.

Amitava Choudhury,

Prakash Reddy,,

Dr. Amitava Choudhury's primary research area is inorganic solid state and materials chemistry. We are involved in the synthesis of new materials encompassing oxides, chalcogenides, and hybrid organic-inorganic solids.  The current focus of the group is to make materials that can be applied to energy generation or storage, e.g. cathode materials for lithium- and Sodium-ion battery, inorganic-organic hybrid material for catalysis and gas storage application and complex chalcogenide for thermoelectric materials.

  • Cathode Materials for Li-ion battery:  In this particular project we are trying to explore the synthesis of polyanion-based (phosphate, sulfate, borate) new materials involving the transition metals like Ti, V, Mn, and Fe. Several synthesis methodologies are being employed for the synthesis of new materials which include (i) molten salt flux and (ii) hydrothermal techniques. Once a new structure or composition is identified, we then investigate the properties of the new material thoroughly to test for it's effectiveness as cathode materials for Li- and Na-ion battery.
  • New Thermoelectric Materials:  In this project new chalcogenide compositions incorporating heavy metals are being synthesized and structurally characterized. Exploratory routes as well as hypothesis driven chemistry guides the synthesis of target compositions. Theoretical calculations are carried out in collaboration with Dr. Medvedeva, (Physics, Missouri S&T) to get further insights into the band structure of the material. Low and high temperature thermoelectric properties (Thermal conductivity, Resistivity, and Seebeck Coefficient) are measured in collaboration with Dr. Hor (Physics, Missouri S&T), Dr. Hilmas (MS&E, Missouri S&T), and Dr. McGuire (ONL).    
  • Hybrid Porous Solids:  We are interested in synthesizing new multicomponent porous solid, which are hydrolytically stable and has multi-functionality. These porous materials are subsequently tested for gas storage and catalysis. 

Keywords: Li-ion battery, Na-ion battery, thermoelectrics, gas storage and catalysis

Recent publications related to energy research:

  • Hooman Yaghoobnejad Asl and Amitava Choudhury, “Phosphite as Polyanion-based Cathode for Li-ion Battery: Synthesis, Structure and Electrochemistry of LiFe(HPO3)2Inorg. Chem. 2015, (accepted for publication).
  •  Hooman Yaghoobnejad Asl, Kartik Ghosh, Melissa P. Vidal Meza and Amitava Choudhury, “Li3Fe2(HPO3)3Cl: an electroactive iron phosphite as a new polyanionic cathode material for Li-ion battery” J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015, 3, 7488 – 7497.
  •  Hooman Yaghoobnejad Asl and Amitava Choudhury, “Phosphorous acid route synthesis of iron tavorite phases, LiFePO4(OH)xF1−x [0 ≤ x ≤ 1] and comparative study of their electrochemical activities” RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 37691-37700.

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Dr. Prakash Reddy has inter-disciplinary research interests in organic, bioorganic, physical organic, and electrochemistry related to energy storage applications. Among other on-going research projects in synthetic and mechanistic organic chemistry, superacids, reactive intermediates, electrophilic reactions, kinase inhibitors, and organofluorine chemistry, his research group is currently exploring nonflammable, nonvolatile, nonaqueous, high-voltage ionic-liquid and carbonate-based electrolytes, and boron-based anion receptors for applications in lithium-ion and metal-air batteries. Most recently, his research group, in collaboration with Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is pursuing the elucidation of the mechanisms of formation of the solid-electrolyte interface (SEI) on the electrode surfaces, which improves the lithium-, lithium-ion, or metal-air battery performance.

Key words: nonaqueous electrolytes, ionic liquids, lithium ion batteries, metal-air batteries, SEI, anion receptors, ab initio calculations, redox flow batteries.

Selected recent publications most closely related to the renewable energy:

  • Reddy, V. P.; Blanco, M.; Bugga, R. Boron based anion receptors for lithium-ion and metal-air batteries, J. Power Sources, 2014, 247, 813-820.
  • Nair, N.; Mendoza-Cortes, J. L.; Abrol, R.; Goddard III, W. A.; Reddy, V. P. 1,3-Sigmatropic fluorine migration to boron in McLafferty type of rearrangements: observation of tetrafluorobenzyne radical cation and trifluorobenzyne cation by CID-mass spectrometry, J. Organometal. Chem. 2013, 747, 133-139.
  • Reddy, V. P.; Prakash, G. K. S. Friedel-Crafts Reactions, Kirk Othmer Encylopedia of Chemical Technology, Wiley, New York, 2013, 1-49.
  • Madria, N.; Arunkumar, T. A.; Nair, N. G.; Vadaplli, A.; Huang, Y-W.; Jones, S. C.; Reddy, V. P. Ionic liquid electrolytes for lithium batteries: Synthesis, electrochemical and cytotoxicity studies, J. Power Sources, 2013, 234, 277-284.

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