Vilas Pol

Associate Professor

FRNY 2146
Purdue University
School of Chemical Engineering
Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering
480 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2100
(765) 494-0044 (office)
(765) 494-0805 (fax)
M.Sc., Pune University, India, 1996
Ph.D., University of Bar-Ilan, Israel, 2005

Research Interests

Dr. Pol’s expansive research interests includes electrochemical engineering, nano-materials and composites technology, colloids and interfaces science, surface chemistry, and environmental technology. The most recent area of interest however, has been centered on electrochemical energy storage, mainly lithium-ion batteries and other similar chemistries. Using advanced synthesis techniques devolved and improved upon by Dr. Pol, major breakthroughs in developing commercially viable electrodes for these batteries is possible. With the various equipment and technologies available in the lab, we are able to start out with simple chemical precursors and end with a working battery, which then undergoes extensive cycling in order to validate that electrode material.

Current main areas of interest include the following.

(1) Using various advanced synthesis methods to increase the stability and cycling performance of tin, antimony, germanium, and silicon based anodes for lithium ion batteries, which would greatly increase the capacity of these electrodes.
(2) Development of various carbon architectures including nano/sub-micro spheres, macro, meso and micro-structured carbon particles, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, graphene and their hybrids with metals and oxides for energy storage applications.
(3) Going beyond lithium ion batteries, utilizing novel nano and micro-structuring processes to make advances in the electrode materials and electrolytes for lithium-sulfur, lithium-oxygen and sodium-ion batteries.
(4) Understanding of the physico-electrochemical transport physics in multi-scale porous microstructures and the processes that degrade active electrode materials over long cycle periods in energy storage devices is carried out with eminent modeling groups.
(5) Our newly designed hybrid materials possesses fascinating surplus applications in the areas of super-capacitors, bio-sensing, solar cells, lubrication additives, catalysts for fuel cells, superconducting, optical, magnetic and flexible polymer devices. Collaborative efforts are underway around the globe to pursue these tasks.

In addition to synthesizing electrode materials, various advanced structural, morphological and compositional tools are employed to understand the materials chemistry, surface chemistry and materials engineering aspects and to make recommendation on how to improve the synthesis procedure.

Welcome to ViP (Vilas Pol’s) Energy Research Laboratory, an experimental research group. In our ViP (V x i = P) laboratory, the cell voltage (V) is multiplied by current (I) to get Power (P). Powerful functional materials are getting fabricated employing innovative pulsed-sonochemical approach, solvent-less autogenic chemical reactions, hydrothermal synthesis and scalable, economical ViP processing routes.

Research Group

Graduate Students

  • Arthur D. Dysart
  • Sean G. Fronczak

Research Associates

  • Dr. Vinodkumar Etacheri

Awards and Honors

Brian Kelly Award, British Carbon Society, World Carbon Conference, Rio-Brazil, 2013
First Place, Science as Art competition, MRS Fall Meeting, Boston, 2012
People’s Choice Award, Art of Science contest, Argonne National Laboratory, 2012
Second Prize, International Year of Chemistry, ChemistryViews video contest, Wiley, 2011
First Prize, Art of Science contest, Argonne National Laboratory, 2011
Grand Prize, ACS worldwide ‘How Does Chemistry Help YOU Be Green?’ video contest, 2010
Near Hit Safety Award, Argonne National Laboratory, 2010
Argonne Scholar (Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship), Argonne National Laboratory, 2008
Intel Prize, Outstanding poster, 25th Israel Vacuum Society Conference, 2006
Best Student Award, All Maharashtra State Student Welfare Association, India, 2000
Gold Medal, Kabaddi, DRDO Sports Board, Government of India, 2000

Selected Publications

“Probing the Evolution and Morphology of Hard Carbon Spheres”, V. G. Pol, J. Wen, K-C. Lau, S. Callear, C-K. Lin, S. A. Deshmukh, S. Sankaranarayanan, L. A. Curtiss, W. I. F. David, D. J. Miller, M. M. Thackeray, Carbon, 68, 104-111 (2014)

“Ultrasound Assisted Design of Sulfur/Carbon Cathodes with Partially Fluorinated Ether Electrolytes for Highly Efficient Li/S Batteries”, W. Weng, V. G. Pol, K. Amine, Adv. Mater., 25, 1608 (2013)

“Mesoporous Anatase TiO2 Nanorods as Thermally Robust Anode Materials for Li-Ion Batteries: Detailed Insight into the Formation Mechanism”, G. A. Seisenbaeva, J-M. Nedelec, G. Daniel, C. Tiseanu, V. Parvulescu, V. G. Pol, L. Abrego, V. G. Kessler, Chemistry - European Journal, 19, 17439-17444 (2013)

"Spherical carbon particles and carbon nanotubes prepared by autogenic reactions: Evaluation as anodes in lithium electrochemical cells," V. G. Pol, M. M. Thackeray, Energy & Environ. Sci., 4, 1904-1912 (2011)

“Novel Nanostructures of Borides, Nitrides, Phosphides, Carbides, Sulphides, Selenides and Oxides Fabricated by Dry Autoclaving of the Precursors at Elevated Temperature, V. G. Pol, S. V. Pol, A. Gedanken”, Adv. Mater. 23, 1179-1190 (2011)

“Autogenic Reactions for Preparing Carbon-Encapsulated Nanoparticulate TiO2 Electrodes for Llithium-ion Batteries”, V. G. Pol, M. M. Thackeray, S. H. Kang, C.S. Johnson, J. M. Calderon Moreno, J. Power Sources, 195, 5039 (2010)

“A Comparison of High Capacity xLi2MnO3•(1-x)LiMO2 (M=Ni, Co, Mn) Cathodes in Lithium-ion Cells with Li4Ti5O12- and Carbon-Encapsulated Anatase TiO2 Anodes”, S.-H. Kang, V. G. Pol, I. Belharouak and M. M. Thackeray, J. Electrochem. Soc., 157, A267 (2010)

“Testing of Carbon-Coated VOx Prepared via RAPET as Li Insertion Materials”, A. Odoni, V. G. Pol, S. V. Pol, D. Aurbach, A. Gedanken, Adv. Mater. 18, 1431 (2006)

“Synthesis of WC nanotubes”, S. V. Pol, V. G. Pol, A. Gedanken, Adv. Mater. 18, 2023 (2006).