Solid state ion transport membranes are sought after for their versatility in a myriad of electrochemical processes in industry including batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers, and desalination membranes. Using the Nealey Group’s ability to align thin film block co-polymers via self-assembly and directed self-assembly, I am orienting block copolymer domains with very different chemical functionalities and using post-organization reactions and incorporation techniques to selectively modify domains to fulfill a specific function. With a wide range of polymer chemistries and reaction methodologies in addition to device fabrication capabilities, I intend to fundamentally investigate ion transport mechanisms in solid state electrolytes and improve upon existing systems with that knowledge.
Yu Kambe received his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University in Spring 2013. He is working toward his PhD in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago under the mentorship of Prof. Paul Nealey. As an undergraduate, Yu worked under Prof. Lynden Archer on high rate electrode materials for Li-ion and Li-metal batteries while holding the president position for the Materials Research Society Cornell chapter. In 2013, following graduation, he joined as a lead project engineer for a startup company in the Silicon Valley called C3Nano Inc. developing next generation transparent conducting films. In 2014 fall, he joined the Institute for Molecular Engineering as one of the inaugural PhD students bringing with him over 7 years of cumulative industry experience.