We are a group of chemists at the University of Kentucky who are interested in answering fundamental scientific questions along our way to solving problems relevant to our society and environment. We prepare scientists and educators through laboratory training and professional development. We synthesize and analyze new organic compounds and polymers for a variety of applications. Currently a major focus of our research involves extending lifetimes in electronic materials and lithium-ion batteries, including studying the stability and reactivity of aromatic radical cations, including new spectroscopic techniques for predicting stability of redox shuttle additives in battery electrolyte. We’re also working on synthesizing electro-active materials for non-aqueous redox flow batteries.
Research in the Odom group focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of conjugated organic materials for applications that access multiple states of oxidation. In particular, we are interested in structure/property relationships of redox-active molecules for energy storage applications, such as lithium-ion batteries and redox-flow batteries. The organic components of these energy storage devices are vast and complex, and considering new materials requires meeting a diverse property set in a complex environment of electrolyte solvents, salts, and charged interfaces. In addition to tailoring organic molecules such that they exhibit reversible redox events in these environments, we must also consider factors such as electrochemical potentials, solubility over multiple states of charge, diffusion coefficients, permeability, and - not to be forgotten - cost and scalability. Simplicity in design is a critical factor. The elegance of our work is realized when we can design and produce simple, scalable compounds that allow us to advance our understanding and demonstrate improved function in working devices.
Prof. Odom’s office
Chemistry-Physics Building Room 225
Lexington, KY 40506-0055