Vilas Pol

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

ViPER Research Group Homepage

The Vilas Pol Energy Research (ViPER) Group is an experimental collective dedicated to advancing the current state of commercial energy storage technology. Utilizing the forefront of material synthesis techniques available within our own facilities (namely high-power pulsed-sonochemistry, solvent-deficient autogenic chemistry, hydrothermal synthesis, "ViP" Carbonaceous Processing), a diverse range of powerful, multi-purpose materials are fabricated and tested inside next-generation electrodes and battery cell systems.

Working closely with government, industry, and university partners across the globe, the ViPER Group works to develop and characterize our materials and processes, and adapt them to appropriate applications in manufacturing, molecular modeling, and other influential spheres. In addition to material synthesis and process optimization, we perform a wide variety of structure, morphology, and composition techniques to understand the fundamental chemistry of our materials, engineering and the underlying mechanisms of their formation.

Professor Pol's extensive research background includes electrochemical engineering, nano-material & composite technology, colloid and interfacial science, surface chemistry, and environmental engineering. His current passion lies in electrochemical energy storage technologies, primarily the scalable design and effective optimization of electrode materials for lithium-ion, lithium-sulfur, and sodium-ion systems. Our current efforts include:

(1) Synthesis of novel carbon architectures (i.e, nano & sub-micro spheres; macro, meso, and micro-structured carbons; fullerenes; nanotubes; graphene; and their metal and metal-oxide hybrids) for energy storage applications.

(2) Fabrication of high-capacity Lithium-ion anode materials with long, stable cycle life and high columbic efficiency using tin, antimony, germanium, silicon, and their composites. We are also exploring oxides based anodes such as anatase and bronze phases of TiO2, Li4Ti5O12 and TiNb2O7 for lithium and sodium ion batteries.

(3) Design of nano and micro-structuring processes to advance electrode materials and electrolytes for lithium-sulfur, lithium-oxygen, and sodium-ion battery systems.

(4) Development of the physio-electrochemical transport understanding in multi-scale porous microstructures and the relevant electrode degradation mechanisms over long cycle periods (in collaboration with prominent modeling groups).

(5) Exploration of innovative electrochemical cell geometries with great mechanical, flexible, and lightweight properties.

(6) Applications of our new, multi-functional hybrid materials outside the field of lithium-based battery cells, such as super-capacitors; bio-sensing; solar cells; lubrication additives; fuel cell catalysts, superconductors; and optical, magnetic, and flexible polymer-based devices.

Research Group

Graduate Students

  • Ryan Adams (co-advised with Arvind Varma)
  • Arthur D. Dysart
  • Jialiang Tang

Research Associates

  • Dr. Vinodkumar Etacheri

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Jonathan Angelo
  • Nicholas Dininger
  • Chulgi Nate Hong
  • Ram Saraswat

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

Google Scholar Profile

“Tunable, Functional Carbon Spheres Derived from Rapid Synthesis of Resorcinol-formaldehyde Resins,” V. G. Pol, L. K. Shrestha, and K. Ariga, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 9, 10649 (2014)

“Kinetic Pathways to Control Hydrogen Evolution and Nanocarbon Allotrope Formation via Thermal Decomposition of Polyethylene,” S. A. Deshmukh, G. Kamath, V. G. Pol, and S. K. R. S. Sankaranarayanan, Journal of Physical Chemistry, 118, 9706-9714, front cover illustration (2014)

"Sonochemical Deposition of Sn, SnO2 and Sb on Spherical Hard Carbon Electrodes for Li-Ion Batteries," V. G. Pol, J. Wen, D. J. Miller and M. M. Thackeray, J. Elec. Soc., 2014, 161, A777-A782.

"Spherical Carbon as a New High-Rate Anode for Na-Ion Batteries," V. G. Pol, E. J Lee, C. S. Johnson, Electrochim Acta, 2014, 127, 61-67.

"Pulsed Sonication for Alumina Coatings on High-Capacity Oxides: Performance in Lithium-Ion Cells," V. G. Pol, Y. Li, F. Dogan, E. Secor, M. M. Thackeray, D. P. Abraham, J. Power Sources, 2014, 258, 46-56.

“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)