Welcome to Dr. Amin Salehi-Khojin’s research group!

Vision: World energy consumption is projected to more than double by 2050 and to more than triple by the end of the century. Incremental improvements in existing energy networks will not be adequate to supply this demand in a sustainable and affordable way. Finding sufficient supplies of clean energy for the future is one of world’s most daunting challenges and requires discovery of new materials with outstanding functionalities. We are an interdisciplinary research team at University Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with the mission to advance the state of the knowledge at the boundary of science and engineering. We conduct fundamental studies to deeply understand the structure-property-processing correlations in two dimensional (2D) materials and have discovered unique energy related applications in which the 2D materials offer competitive advantages over traditional materials. Using 2D materials, in the past four years, we have made major breakthroughs in interdisciplinary areas, such as energy conversion, storage and transport. For the first time, we designed a new architecture for the lithium-air batteries that operate in a real air (containing all impurities) with a high-energy density comparable to that of internal combustion engines (published in Nature 2018). We also developed the first generation of a solar-to-hydrocarbon energy storage system using a novel artificial leaf platform that mimics the photosynthesis process and converts CO2 to fuel using solar energy without any electricity input (published in Science 2016). More recently, for the first time, we developed a carbon neutral and fully rechargeable Li-CO2 battery that operate up to 500 consecutive discharge and charge cycles (published in Advanced Materials 2019).

Our findings at UIC have been highlighted in more than one thousand news outlets, including Times, Guardian, New York Post, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, Midwest Energy News, Chicago Tribune, Nature Research, Chemistry World, Yahoo News, and Renewable Energy Magazine. A full list of media coverages on our research can be found in the News section.

Salehi-Khojin named one of “100 Leading Global Thinkers” by Foreign Policy

Introductory video by CCTV covering ‘Artificial leaf’ solar cell project. Our “artificial leaf” solar cell which converts carbon dioxide to burnable fuel using only sunlight for energy has been covered by hundreds of U.S. and international news organizations, including Times, the Guardian, the New York Post, Huffington Post, the Daily Mail, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, Midwest Energy News, Chicago Tribune, The Electrochemical Society, and American Society of Civil Engineers. The story has been liked and shared on social media more than 200,000 times.