Venkat Viswanathan

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Courtesy Appointments, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering

Venkat Viswanathan

Source: College of Engineering


5000 Forbes Ave
Scott Hall 5109
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 268-4675





Venkat Viswanathan's research focus is on identifying the scientific principles governing material design, inorganic, organic and biomaterials, for novel energy conversion and storage routes. The material design is carried out through a suite of computational methods being developed in the group validated by experiments. Some key research thrusts include identifying principles of electrolytes design (organic material) that can tune electrode catalysis, identification of new anode, cathode (inorganic materials) and electrolyte materials for next generation batteries, new electrocatalysts (inorganic) and biomaterials for energy storage and separation applications.   In addition to material design, our group is involved in several cross-cutting areas such as battery controls, electric vehicle security and GPU accelerated computing.

His awards include: Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry in 2018; National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2016; American Chemical Society PRF Young Investigator in 2014; Finalist in MIT TR Innovators Under 35 in 2014; Electrochemical Society Daniel Cubicciotti Award in 2010; Electrochemical Society Herbert H. Uhligh Summer Fellow in 2009.


Ph. D. 2013, Stanford University
B.Tech, M.Tech, 2008 Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

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Publications on Google Scholar


Selected Publications

  • A Khetan, H. Pitsch, and V Viswanathan, Solvent Degradation in Nonaqueous Li-O2 Batteries: Oxidative Stability vs H-abstraction, J Phys Chem Lett, (2014), 5, 2419-2424
  • A Khetan, H. Pitsch, and V Viswanathan. Identifying Descriptors for Solvent Stability in Non-Aqueous Li-O2 Batteries, J Phys Chem Lett, 2014 vol. 5 pp. 1318-1323.
  • H. S. Casalongue, S. Kaya, V. Viswanathan, Daniel J. Miller, Daniel Friebel, H. A. Hansen, J. K. Nørskov, A. Nilsson, H. Ogasawara, Direct observation of the oxygenated species during oxygen reduction on a platinum fuel cell cathode, Nature Communications, 4, 2817
  • V. Viswanathan and H. A. Hansen, Unifying Solution and Surface Electrochemistry: Limitations and Opportunities in Surface Electrocatalysis, Top. Catal., (2013) DOI: 10.1007/s11244-013-0171-6
  • A. Jackson,† V. Viswanathan,† A. J. Forman, A. H. Larsen, J. K. Nørskov, T. F. Jaramillo, Climbing the Activity Volcano: Core–Shell Ru@Pt Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction, ChemElectroChem, (2014) 1, 67-71.
  • A. C. Luntz, V. Viswanathan, J. Voss, J. Varley, J. K. Nørskov, R. Scheffler and A. Speidel Tunneling and Polaron Charge Transport Through Li2O2 in Li-O2 Batteries, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., (2013) 4, 3494-3499.
  • J. Varley, V. Viswanathan, J. K. Nørskov and A. C. Luntz, Lithium and oxygen vacancies and their role in Li2O2 charge transport in Li-O2 batteries, Energy Environ. Sci., (2014) DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42446D
  • V. Viswanathan, J. K. Nørskov, A. Speidel, R. Scheffler, S. R. Gowda, and A. C. Luntz, Li-O2 Kinetic Overpotentials: Tafel Plots from Experiment and First Principles Theory, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., (2013) 4, 556-560.
  • V. Viswanathan, H. A. Hansen, J. Rossmeisl, and J. K. Nørskov, Unifying the 2e− and 4e− reduction of oxygen on metal surfaces, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., (2012) 3, 2948-2951.
  • D. Friebel, V. Viswanathan, D. J. Miller, T. Anniyev, H. Ogasawara, A. Larsen, C. O’Grady, J. K. Nørskov and A. Nilsson, Balance of nanostructure and bimetallic interactions in Pt model fuel cell catalysts: An in situ XAS and DFT study, J. Am. Chem. Soc., (2012) 134 (23), 9664-9671.
  • B. D. McCloskey, A. Speidel, R. Scheffler, D. C. Miller, V. Viswanathan, J. S. Hummelshøj, J. K. Nørskov and A. C. Luntz, The twin problems of interfacial carbonate formation in non-aqueous Li-O2 batteries, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., (2012) 3, 997-1001.
  • V. Viswanathan, H. A. Hansen, J. Rossmeisl, and J. K. Nørskov, Universality in oxygen reduction electrocatalysis on metal surfaces, ACS Cat., (2012) 2, 1654-1660.
  • V. Viswanathan, H. A. Hansen, J. Rossmeisl, T. Jaramillo, H. Pitsch, and J. K. Nørskov, Simulating linear sweep voltammetry from first-principles: Application to electrochemical oxi- dation of water on Pt(111) and Pt3Ni(111), J. Phys. Chem. C, (2012) 116 (7), 4698-4704.
  • V. Viswanathan, K. Thygesen, J.S. Hummelshøj, J. K. Nørskov, G. Girishkumar, B. D. McCloskey, and A. Luntz, Electrical conductivity in Li2O2 and its role in determining capacity limitations in non-aqueous Li-O2 batteries, J. Chem. Phys., (2011) 135, 214704.
  • B.C. Han, V. Viswanathan, and H. Pitsch, First-principles based analysis of electrocatalytic activity of unreconstructed Pt(100) surface for oxygen reduction reaction, J. Phys. Chem. C, (2012) 116 (10), 6174-6183.
  • V. Viswanathan, and F. Wang, Theoretical analysis of the effect of particle size and support on the kinetics of oxygen reduction reaction on Platinum nanoparticles, Nanoscale, (2012) 4 (16), 5110-5117.
  • M. Garcia-Mota, M. Bajdich, V. Viswanathan, A. Vojvodic, A. T. Bell, J. K. Nørskov, Importance of correlation in determining the electrocatalytic oxygen evolution activity on cobalt oxides, J. Phys. Chem. C, (2012) 116 (39), 21077-21082.
  • V. Viswanathan, F. Wang, and H. Pitsch, Generalized Monte-Carlo based framework for simulating catalytic and electrocatalytic systems, Comput. Sci. Eng., (2012) 14 (2), 60-68.