Our research group is pursuing nanostructure-based approaches to compact energy storage through supercapacitors. We are working on designs which combine highly conformal atomic layer deposition with self-assembled, regular arrays of very high aspect ratio nanopores. The nanopore templates are achieved in anodic aluminum oxide through a collaboration with Prof. Sang Bok Lee's group in chemistry. The combination enables the nanofabrication of very high surface area multilayer nanostructures, which may ultimately be used for other energy applications (e.g., batteries, solar cells). We are also exploring all-thin-film processing routes to the creation of such structures, as desireable for manufacturability.
As Director of the Maryland NanoCenter, I am also working to connect nano science and engineering expertise with the UMERC efforts, since nanostructured materials and nanostructures play a major role in many of the proposed solutions to the energy challenges ahead.