Vilas Pol

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Associate Professor of Materials Engineering (by courtesy)

FRNY 2146
Purdue University
Davidson 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
  • Kyungho Kim (co-advisor with Jeffrey Youngblood)
  • Daw Gen Lim, (co-advisor with Jeffrey Youngblood)
  • Jialiang Tang

Research Associates

  • Dr. Reza Rostamikia

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Dong Hee Kim
  • Xin Li Phuah
  • Daniel Kyungbin Kye
  • Mark Joseph Fratto
  • Anjela Aurora
  • Zihan Zhang

Awards and Honors

Sustainable Engineering Forum Research Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2016)
Fellow - The World Technology Network (2016)
Seeds for Success, Excellence in Research Award, Purdue University (2016)
Technology Finalist, The World Technology Network (2016)
TEDx (Technology, Entertainment and Design) speaker, Purdue University (2016)
UpCarbon Technology Finalist, R and D 100 award, R and D Magazine, Washington DC (2016)
R and D Top 100 award, R and D Magazine, Las-Vegas, USA (2015)
ACS Certificate of Merit, Division of Environmental Chemistry (ENVR), American Chemical Society (2015)
Technology Finalist, "Versatile Hard Carbon Microspheres Made from Plastic Waste," R&D100 Awards (2015)
People’s Choice Award, "SOYACELL: Rechargeable Soy Battery," Indiana Soybean Alliance Innovation Competition (2015)
Bravo Award, Purdue University (2015)
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, Chemistry Views 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
“Beyond the Theoretical Capacity Limits of Iron Oxide Anodes: Nanosized γ-Fe2O3 for Lithium-ion Batteries”, J. Tang, C. E. Z. Lugo, G.A. Seisenbaeva, V. G. Kessler, V. G. Pol, J. Mater. Chem. A, 4, 18107-18115 (2016)

“Long Cycle Life Microporous Spherical Carbon Anodes for Sodium-ion Batteries Derived from Low Cost Industrial Alcohols”, D. Zhou, M. Peer, Zhenzhen Yang, V. G. Pol, D. K. Fulya, J. Jorne, H. C. Foley, C. S. Johnson, J. Mater. Chem. A 2016, 4, 6271-6275 (2016)

“Towards Next Generation Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: Non-conventional Carbon Compartments/Sulfur Electrodes and Multi-scale Analysis”, A. D. Dysart, J. C. Burgos, A. Mistry, C.-F. Chen, Z. Liu, C. N. Hong, P. B. Balbuena, P. P. Mukherjee, V. G. Pol, J. Electrochem. Soc. 163 (5) A730-A741 (2016).

"Advancement in Sodium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries," J. Tang, A. D. Dysart, V. G. Pol, Curr. Opin. Chem. Eng., 9, 34–41 (2015) "Upcycling of Packing-Peanuts into Carbon Microsheet Anodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries," V. Etacheri, C. N. Hong , V. G. Pol, Environ. Sci. Technol., 49, 11191-8 (2015)

"Ordered Network of Interconnected SnO2 Nanoparticles for Excellent Lithium-Ion Storage," V. Etacheri, G. A. Seisenbaeva, J. Caruthers, G. Daniel, J.-M. Nedelec, V. G. Kessler, V. G. Pol, Adv. Energy Mater., 5, 1401289 (2015)

"Spherical Carbon as a New High-Rate Anode for Na-Ion Batteries," V. G. Pol, E. J Lee, C. S. Johnson, Electrochimica Acta, 127, 61-67 (2014) "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, 258, 46-56 (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)