About MER Lab
The Materials and Electrochemical Research (MER) Laboratory in the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department is located in the Laxalt Mineral Research building in room 479. MER Lab prides itself on the comprehensive suite of surface analysis techniques exclusive to this lab. Electrochemical analysis coupled with in-depth surface analysis allows for a thorough investigation of the interface ex situ and, in some scenarios, in situ. These capabilities allow us to explore the research interests shown below.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to browse Dr. Chidambaram's CV below or contact us here.
Materials for pyroprocessing of used nuclear fuel (UNF)
Several DOE funded projects are focused on evaluating materials performance and behavior in molten salts used for pyroprocessing. One of the recent projects is to utilize in-situ spectroscopy to help with nuclear materials accountability.
Advanced (Gen IV) nuclear reactor materials
MER Lab is actively involved in identifying materials performance, behavior and degradation mechanism for use in Gen IV reactors. We have a unique custom designed and built supercritical water loop that we utilize specifically for this project.
Biohybrid materials for productions of biofuels and pharmaceuticals
MER Lab has developed and patented a novel biohybrid material in which consist of a composite of living bacteria and polymers. Our research has shown that these materials can be utilized to reduce the time to produce bioethanol (for fuel or in beer) by ~25%.
Electrodes for oxygen evolution and reduction
MER Lab is developing new low-cost electrode materials that can be easily produced and commercialized for use in various applications for OER and ORR.
Materials for Geothermal Energy
World's leader in geothermal energy, Ormat Technologies, is located in Reno, NV. MER Lab working with Ormat on understanding and reducing the scaling and corrosion in their plants and develop inhibitors for the same. Formulations developed in this laboratory is currently used in two of their plants.
Green synthesis of catalytic nanomaterials
MER Lab has synthesized several nanoparticles using bacteria. These environmentally friendly and green processes not only lower energy costs but also produce almost no toxic wastes.
Energy Storage (batteries)
Our current research on this topic is two-fold: (i) to develop low-cost high efficiency grid-level energy storage devices and (ii) to develop newer architectures for Li ion batteries that are more stable.