432798 Materials and Systems Engineering for Healthcare and Energy Applications – from Discovery to Design

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Meenesh R. Singh, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

My research is focused on developing mathematical, computational, and experimental tools for i) discovery of crystalline forms of pharmaceutical drugs and energy-conversion materials, and ii) identification and control of systems for the synthesis of pharmaceutical drugs and renewable fuels.

Research Area 1: Discovery and Growth of Crystalline Materials

Description: The crystal structure and morphology are two critical determinants of the physicochemical properties such as solubility, hardness, cleavage, optoelectronic properties, electrical and heat conductivities, and piezoelectric effect of crystalline materials. The polymorphs (or crystal structure) are determined in the early stage of crystallization process whereas the morphologies depend on growth, dissolution, and milling conditions. Figure 1 shows my research scheme to probe processes at different length scales using a combination of experimental and mathematical tools to control crystal structure, shape, and size by tuning various environmental conditions. The proposed research is fundamental to crystal growth in different areas of applications such as pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, catalysts, and specialized materials.

Figure 1: Research Plan for Discovery and Growth of Crystalline Materials

Selected Publications:

1.      Meenesh R. Singh, Jayanta Chakraborty, Nandkishor Nere, Hsien-Hsin Tung, Shailendra Bordawekar and Doraiswami Ramkrishna, “Image-Analysis-Based Method for Measurement of 3D Crystal Morphology and Polymorph Identification using Confocal Microscopy,” Crystal Growth & Design, 12 (7), 3735-3748, 2012

2.      Meenesh R. Singh and Doraiswami Ramkrishna, “A Comprehensive Approach to Predicting Crystal Morphology Distributions with Population Balances,” Crystal Growth & Design, 13 (4), 1397 – 1411, 2013.

3.      Meenesh R. Singh and Doraiswami Ramkrishna, “Dispersions in Crystal Nucleation and Growth Rates: Implications of Fluctuation in Supersaturation,” Chemical Engineering Science, 107 (7), 102-113, 2014.

4.      Doraiswami Ramkrishna and Meenesh R. Singh, “Population Balance Modeling. Current Status and Future Prospects,” Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 5 (1), 2014

5.      Meenesh R. Singh, Nandkishor Nere, Hsien-Hsin Tung, Samrat Mukherjee, Shailendra Bordawekar, and Doraiswami Ramkrishna, “Measurement of Polar Plots of Crystal Dissolution Rates using Hot-Stage Microscopy. Some Further Insights on Dissolution Morphologies,” Crystal Growth & Design, 14 (11), 5647 – 5661, 2014.

Research Area 2: Production of Renewable Fuels and Fertilizers

Description: Harnessing solar energy to produce transportation fuels is a promising route to support future energy demands. The solar fuel generators such as photoelectrochemical cells (PECs) and PV-Electrolyzers involve a two-step conversion of sunlight to fuels using a photovoltaic (PV) cell directly (wireless) or indirectly (wired) connected to an electrochemical cell. My research in this area is focused on identifying materials and systems to develop an efficient, robust, cheap and durable solar-fuel generator for water-splitting, carbon dioxide reduction and nitrogen fixation.

Figure 2: Research Plan for the Production of Renewable Fuels and Fertilizers

Selected Publications:

1.      Meenesh R. Singh, John C. Stevens, and Adam Z. Weber, “Design of Membrane-Encapsulated Wireless Photoelectrochemical Cells for Hydrogen Production”, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 161 (8), 2014

2.      Jian Jin, Karl Walczak, Meenesh R. Singh, Chris Karp, Nathan S. Lewis, and Chengxiang Xiang, “Experimental and Modeling/Simulation Evaluation of the Efficiency and Operational Performance of an Integrated, Membrane-Free, neutral pH solar-Driven Water-Splitting System,” Energy & Environmental Science, 7 (10), 3371-3380, 2014.

3.      Christopher M. Evans, Meenesh R. Singh, Nathaniel A. Lynd, and Rachel A. Segalman, “Improving the Gas Barrier Properties of Nafion via Thermal Annealing: Evidence for Diffusion through Hydrophilic Channels and Matrix,” Macromolecules, 2015.

4.      Meenesh R. Singh, Ezra L. Clark, and Alexis T. Bell, “Effects of Electrolyte, Catalyst, and Membrane Composition and Operating Conditions on the Performance of Solar-Driven Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide,” under review

5.      Meenesh R. Singh, and Alexis T. Bell, “Thermodynamic and Achievable Efficiencies of Solar-Driven Electrochemical Conversion of Water and Carbon Dioxide to Transportation Fuels,” submitted

Extended Abstract: File Uploaded