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Texas State University

The Big Future of Energy is Small

Powering Innovation

Led by Dr. Christopher Rhodes, researchers in the Advanced Energy Materials Laboratory at Texas State explore using nanomaterials for energy storage and conversion.

close up of a microscope

Dr. Rhodes’ passion and interest in the science of clean energy developed during his initial years in college. Perhaps, then, it is no surprise that this drive to make a positive impact on society would lead him to the College of Science and Engineering at Texas State University. He currently serves as an associate professor and researcher, developing nanomaterials for energy storage and conversion. Advancements in this field aid humanity on its journey to renewable energy, which can have tremendous benefits to the environment.

[Dr. Rhodes'] projects have been funded by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies.

Mindful of the applications of his scholarly research, Rhodes, along with various collaborators, focuses on creating new types of nanomaterials that overcome the challenges associated with the technology, including improving performance, lowering materials costs, and enhancing durability and safety.

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Dr. Rhodes and his student test lithium-ion battery cells.

hand holding lithium ion battery cell

Renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S., increasing 100% from 2000 to 2018.


An innovator in the field of electrochemical energy storage and conversion materials, Rhodes is currently focused on three active projects: producing cathodes that can be utilized in safe, high-energy aqueous nickel-zinc batteries, creating improved catalysts for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, and helping to develop regenerative fuel cells for underwater vehicles and other technologies.

His projects have been funded by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies.


The global renewable energy market is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2025.


Though Rhodes’ work delves deep into electrochemistry, spectroscopy, and other congruent areas of materials science and chemistry, he equates his work to something more akin to art.

“I think there’s a lot of creativity that’s not really recognized in science, coming up with new things. You’re designing, envisioning. There’s a lot more analogies to art or music — you’re creating. Science as we practice is a creative process,” Rhodes says.

Dr. Rhodes’ magnum opus is sure to have a profound effect on our world.

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