Dr. Houle’s research interests include:  chemical modification of nanoparticle, semiconductor, metal and polymer interfaces, surfaces and films; oxidative ageing of atmospheric aerosols; nanoscale pattern formation; development of novel experimental methods for characterization of nanoparticle, thin-film, surface and interface physics and chemistry, including nanoscale composition, reaction mechanisms, and nanomechanical properties; stochastic simulation methods for complex chemical reactions including transport, with special interest in the condensed phase; and scenario development for prospective lifecycle assessments for new energy technologies.

Within JCAP, Dr. Houle uses stochastic chemical kinetics simulation methods to characterize mesoscale transport processes studied in novel membrane architectures that can transport ions but block gases and organic CO2-reduction processes.  The simulations are used to interpret time-dependent measurements of membrane properties, with spatial and temporal resolution spanning nanometers and nanoseconds to real film thicknesses and relaxation on the timescale of minutes to hours.  By capturing uptake, swelling and deswelling, release, and non-Fickian effects, the models provide a detailed and realistic means of connecting membrane properties to the movement of neutral and charged species through them.


Recent Publications

Fabian, D. M. et al. Particle Suspension Reactors and Materials for Solar-Driven Water Splitting. Energy & Environmental Science, 2015, DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01434D (2015).

Sathre, R. et al. Life-cycle net energy assessment of large-scale hydrogen production via photoelectrochemical water splitting. Energy & Environmental Science 7, 3264-3278, DOI: 10.1039/c4ee01019a (2014).


Additional Information

Profile at LBNL:  http://commons.lbl.gov/display/csd/Frances+Houle/
Simulation Software:  Kinetiscope, a stochastic kinetics simulator. W. D. Hinsberg and F. A. Houle, 2015,www.hinsberg.net/kinetiscope