Wayne State University


In-situ Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy Raman Spectroscopy (SECM-RAMAN)

The Arava Research Group is interested in fundamental electrochemical principles underlying in energy systems such as batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells. We design variety of nanomaterials and understand their transport phenomena, electrode kinetics, electrocatalytic activity, and thermal and electrochemical stabilities under extreme environments using insitu Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy coupled Raman Spectroscopy (SECM-Raman) technique. Our diverse activities in terms of applications include developing high energy and safe batteries for electric vehicles, micro-batteries to power micro-sensors, and flexible hybrid energy devices for wearable assistive technologies.

Real-time Water Quality Monitoring (MicroBuoy Technology)

Energy Related Applications

The performance of rechargeable energy devices such as lithium-ion, lithium-sulfur, lithium-air batteries and supercapacitors is inherently tied to the properties of materials used to build them. Our research focuses on the enhancement of these properties for next generation energy devices through nanoscale engineering and novel designs. We are looking at several nanostructured materials such as Si nanowires, graphene, carbon nanotubes and their hybrid combination with metal oxides and polymers as electrodes and several polymer, and room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) based composite as electrolytes for full military range temperature operation. Specific interests include:

  • Development of high capacity anode and cathode materials for lithium ion batteries
  • Thermally stable electrolytes for Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors
  • Miniaturized high-temperature secondary batteries for oil & gas applications
  • Design aspects of three dimensional microbatteries
  • Lithium-sulfur and Lithium-air chemistries using novel electrolytes

Flexible Integrated Energy Devices

The size and weight of conventional wearable robotic devices demand significant improvements in the overall design and performance. Incorporating smart and energy efficient technologies in the basic design of an assistive device could significantly help the wearer in performing their daily tasks. The long-term vision of our collaborative research is to develop soft, lightweight and self-powered assistive technologies that can augment human movements for rehabilitation in stroke, musculoskeletal, and spinal cord injuries. We are looking at fundamental relation between energy-actuation functionalities by developing nanomaterials based flexible and stretchable devices. We currently focus on:

  • Biomechanical energy harvesting from human movement
  • Developing ultrathin wearable energy devices
  • Powering autonomous sensors
  • Lightweight nanocomposite materials

Nanostructured Low-dimensional Materials

Our lab deals with synthesis and characterization of a variety of low dimensional materials. Mechanical, thermal, electrical, optical, chemical, and sensing properties of materials are tuned by introducing nanoscale size affects thereby exploit them for targeted applications. We currently focus on the following materials/techniques:

  • CVD synthesis of carbon based 1D, 2D and 3D nanostructures
  • Chemical reduction and thermal exfoliation techniques for 2D materials
  • Hydrothermal and sol-gel techniques
  • Electropolymerization