|Michael was born in Winnipeg, Canada, where he received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Manitoba. His graduate thesis focused on designing and characterizing membranes for artificial photosynthetic systems - one of the key components of the CCI prototype. |
He developed two pathways to tackle this issue:
1) a homogeneous approach involving composites of conducting polymers and complex inorganic ions, and
2) a heterogeneous approach where bipolar membranes are revisited for solar fuels requirements using materials such as graphene, which allow both electrode reactions to take place in two different, optimal pH to enhance operation and stability.
Now at MIT, in the Hammond lab Michael will be investigating controllable polymeric nano-layer materials with dual ion- and electron-conducting properties for protective battery electrode coatings, which he will also apply to artificial photosynthetic membrane technology. Using layer-by-layer and other nano-composite fabrication chemistry, bulk structures can be enhanced with specialized qualities needed to facilitate efficient solar-to-fuels conversion.