Welcome!

The Materials and Systems Engineering Laboratory (MaSEL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago is led by Prof. Meenesh R. Singh. We are developing state-of-the-art materials, computational and experimental tools to solve problems related to energy, environment and healthcare. Our current research projects are steered towards solving grand challenges of the 21st century-

 

i) Develop Carbon Sequestration Methods

ii) Manage the Nitrogen Cycle

iii) Provide Access to Clean Water

iv) Engineer Better Medicines

Latest News & Announcements

Electrochemical Production of Ammonia using Nitrogen Gas is now Published in ACS Catalysis with Multiple Press Releases

(12/20) Congratulations to Nishithan C. Kani for his first publication in ACS Catalysis with multiple press releases!

Fundamental Processes behind Motion of Magnetic Nanoparticles is now Published in PNAS with Multiple Press Releases

(11/20) Congratulations to Ayankola Ayansiji and Anish Dighe for their groundbreaking work on magnetophoresis!

Ms. Paria Coliaie Receives 2020 AIChE Women in Chemical Engineering (WIC) Travel Award

(10/20) Congratulations to Paria Coliaie for receiving WIC travel award to attend 2020 AIChE meeting.

Mr. Aditya Prajapati Receives 2020 AIChE Environmental Division Graduate Student Paper Award - 1st Place

(8/20) Congratulations to Aditya Prajapati for receiving the best paper award from AIChE Environmental Division.

Ms. Paria Coliaie Receives 2020 Provost Graduate Internship Award

(5/20) Congratulations to Paria Coliaie for receiving the provost graduate internship award for her summer internship at AbbVie Inc. 

Governing Theory for Crystal Growth is now Published in PNAS with Multiple Press Releases

(11/19) Congratulations to Anish Dighe for developing a multiscale computational framework to identify crystal growth rates from first principles.

Research Highlights

Salting-Out Artificial Photosynthesis

"Chemical engineers from the US have put forward a concept for a new type of artificial photosynthetic system to convert carbon dioxide into almost pure liquid ethanol fuel. It uses a saturated salt electrolyte, and, according to their calculations, the system would be capable of generating 15.27 million gallons of ethanol per year per square kilometre."

Artificial Photosynthetic System for High-Yield Production of Ethanol

"A team at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley is proposing an artificial photosynthesis scheme for direct synthesis and separation to almost pure ethanol with minimum product crossover using saturated salt electrolytes."

Moving Artificial Leaves Out of the Lab and Into the Air

"..researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have proposed a design solution that could bring artificial leaves out of the lab and into the environment. Their improved leaf, which would use carbon dioxide — a potent greenhouse gas — from the air, would be at least 10 times more efficient than natural leaves at converting carbon dioxide to fuel."

Clearing up the ‘dark side’ of artificial leaves

"While artificial leaves hold promise as a way to take carbon dioxide — a potent greenhouse gas — out of the atmosphere, there is a “dark side to artificial leaves that has gone overlooked for more than a decade,"

Clearing up the ‘dark side’ of artificial leaves

"While artificial leaves hold promise as a way to take carbon dioxide — a potent greenhouse gas — out of the atmosphere, there is a “dark side to artificial leaves that has gone overlooked for more than a decade,"

This is How Good Solar-to-Fuel Conversion Can be

"Researchers with the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have evaluated the potential efficiencies of this process for several different photoelectric cell configurations, catalysts, and fuel end products. The group concluded that solar energy could break down CO2 into synthesis gas—a blend of hydrogen and carbon monoxide that used to make other hydrocarbons—at an efficiency of 18.3 percent or could make liquid hythane—a mix of hydrogen and methane—at 20.3 percent efficiency."

Converting Carbon Dioxide to Carbon Monoxide using Water, Electricity

"Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis have determined how electrocatalysts can convert carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide using water and electricity. The discovery can lead to the development of efficient electrocatalysts for large-scale production of synthesis gas -- a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen."

UIC, AbbVie Develop a Novel Device to Screen Advanced Crystalline Materials

"Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and AbbVie Inc. have developed a novel device that will help scientists and pharmaceutical companies more effectively screen and test formation of drug substance"

Breach of 'dancing' barrier governs crystal growth

"Researchers found that when crystal-forming molecules are surrounded by a solvent, like water, the solvent molecules form a shield that they call a solvation shell. When this shield fluctuates, molecules can break free to form crystals. They also showed that temperature, solvent type and the number of solvent molecules all affect the shell’s fluctuation..."

Producing Ammonia with Smaller Carbon Footprint

"Singh and colleagues have developed a new method to produce ammonia that relies on the use of a mesh screen coated in copper – a catalyst that helps bind nitrogen to hydrogen to make ammonia. The electrification of the screen helps drive the reactions at ambient conditions."

Research Videos

Journal Covers