rational solutions to interfacial problems in energy and sustainability

Kevin N. Wood

San Diego State University


About About About
The Interfacial Design Laboratory is focused on developing and disseminating cutting edge research in the areas of renewable energy, electrochemistry, and corrosion prevention.  Our strategy is to develop and utilize novel characterization methods to clearly understand reasons of failure, inefficiency and poor performance. Using this foundation we then design rational solutions to challenges facing society.  The laboratory is led by Kevin N. Wood, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.



Energy storage is the preeminent challenge facing the 21st century. Batteries are the key to enabling, potable power, electric vehicles, and a clean grid.

Fuel Cells

Fuel Cells are an essential part of the proposed hydrogen economy. The high efficiency of fuel cell devices make them a promising method for storing/generating energy.

Corrosion Prevention

Corrosion is a multi-billion dollar a year problem. Coatings and material modifications are essential for reducing waste and increasing productivity.

Interfacial Design

Interfacial design is a critical step in engineering solutions. To address these issues chemical and physical deposition strategies can be used.

Operando Characterization

Operando characterization platforms are an important method for determining the origins of failure and poor performance, enabling rational design strategies.


XPS on Li Battery Related Compounds: Analysis of Inorganic SEI Phases and a Methodology for Charge Correction

A methodology for how to accurately decompose XPS spectra in order to understand interfacial behavior in batteries.

Learn MoreAug 13, 2018

Operando X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of solid electrolyte interphase formation and evolution in LPS solid-state electrolytes

Developed a novel characterization platform help design safe, highly conductive next generation battery electrolytes.

Learn MoreJun 27, 2018

Band edge positions and their impact on the simulated device performance of ZnSnN2-based solar cells

Study on the viability of ZNT as a new Earth abundant adsorber for photovoltaic applications.

Learn MoreJan 08, 2018

Ru-Sn/AC for the Aqueous-Phase Reduction of Succinic Acid to 1, 4-Butanediol under Continuous Process Conditions

Developed a method for converting a renewable bio-mass feedstock into a common chemical used in everyday life.

Learn MoreAug 21, 2017

Atomic Layer Deposition of the Solid Electrolyte Garnet LLZO

Developed a way to make ultra-thin layers of a popular battery solid electrolyte. This could improve interfacial performance or manufacturability.

Learn MoreApr 14, 2017

Lithium metal anodes: toward an improved understanding of coupled morphological, electrochemical, and mechanical behavior

A perspective on the future of Li metal anodes of advanced next generation battery systems.

Learn MoreFeb 16, 2017

Dead lithium: mass transport effects on voltage, capacity, and failure of lithium metal anodes

This study is the second part (2/2) of understanding how voltage profiles can be be used to design next generation Li metal anode batteries.

Learn MoreMar 23, 2017

Dendrites and pits: untangling the complex behavior of lithium metal anodes through operando video microscopy

The first part of two studies that utilize optical video microscopy to understand how the voltage response of a battery can be used to understand what is happening inside a battery during operation.

Learn MoreOct 14, 2016

Spectroscopic investigation of nitrogen‐functionalized carbon materials

A synchrotron based study aimed at understanding why nitrogen modified carbons improve fuel cell catalyst durability.

Learn MoreApr 07, 2016

Improved cycle life and stability of lithium metal anodes through ultrathin atomic layer deposition surface treatments

Using atomic layer deposition to prevent corrosion during cycling of Li metal anode batteries.

Learn MoreSep 11, 2015

Hierarchical ZnO nanowire growth with tunable orientations on versatile substrates using atomic layer deposition seeding

A study on using atomic layer deposition to create hierarchical interfaces that can be used prevent corrosion, increase catalytic activity, or increase active surface area of materials.

Learn MoreJun 19, 2015

Nitrogen post modification of PtRu/carbon catalysts for improved methanol oxidation reaction performance in alkaline media

A study showing how nitrogen modification of the carbon on which fuel catalysts are deposited, can be used in alkaline based fuel cells.

Learn MoreJun 04, 2015

High‐Performance Alkaline Direct Methanol Fuel Cell using a Nitrogen‐Post doped Anode

A full fuel cell level study on how our modification of the best commercially available catalyst drastically improve performance.

Learn MoreJun 02, 2014

Effect of nitrogen post-doping on a commercial platinum–ruthenium/carbon anode catalyst

A small scale study on how our modification of the best commercially available catalyst drastically improve performance.

Learn MoreFeb 15, 2014

Recent progress on nitrogen/carbon structures designed for use in energy and sustainability applications

Review paper on how nitrogen modification of carbon based materials has been used to improve energy storage devices.

Learn MoreJan 28, 2014

Improvement in direct methanol fuel cell performance by treating the anode at high anodic potential

A study on how using a high voltage initial treatment of a full cell can improve device performance.

Learn MoreJan 01, 2014

Enhanced Fuel Cell Catalyst Durability with Nitrogen Modified Carbon Supports

Study on how nitrogen modification of a standard carbon powder can improve fuel cell performance.

Learn MoreFeb 12, 2013

Enhanced Stability of PtRu Supported on N-Doped Carbon for the Anode of a DMFC

A full fuel cell level study demonstrating how nitrogen modification of carbon supported catalysts improve lifetime and performance of these devices.

Learn MoreSep 18, 2012

In situ small-angle x-ray scattering analysis of improved catalyst—support interactions through nitrogen modification

A novel operando characterization study demonstrating that nitrogen doping of carbon catalyst supports improves fuel cell catalyst by preventing dissolution and coalescence of catalyst nanoparticles.

Learn MoreJul 01, 2012

Effect of halide-modified model carbon supports on catalyst stability

Initial investigation of how different dopants on carbon supported Pt/Ru catalysts effect fuel cell performance.

Learn MoreDec 12, 2012


Dr. Kevin N. Wood

Assistant Professor

Dr. Kevin N. Wood is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering department specializing in electrochemical energy storage devices.

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Jack Lucas

Graduate Student

Masters of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering (2020)

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Research Positions

  • Masters, Ph.D. and Post Doc Openings Available Please Contact

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