Profile photo

Wyatt E. Tenhaeff

  • Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2009

Office Location
4403 Wegmans Hall
(585) 275-5080
(585) 273-1348
Web Address

Selected Honors & Awards

NSF Career Award 2019
Alvin M. Weinberg Fellowship, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2009-2011)
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2005-2008)
MIT Presidential T. Haslam Fellowship (2004-2005)


ChE 272: ChE Process Control
ChE 476: Polymer Chemistry

Recent Publications

Huo, N.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "High Refractive Index Polymer Thin Films by Charge-Transfer Complexation,' Macromolecules, 2023. DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.2c02535.

Zhao, Y.; Huo, N.; Ye, S.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "Elastic broadband antireflection coatings for flexible optics using multi-layered polymer thin films," Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2023. DOI: 10.1039/d3tc00104k.

Huo, N.; Ye, S.; Ouderkirk, A.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "Porous Polymer Films with Tunable Pore Size and Morphology by Vapor Deposition." ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2022. DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.2c01032

Manly, A.J.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "Mechanically and thermally robust microporous copolymer separators for lithium ion batteries," Electrochemical Acta, 2023, 425, 140705.  DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2022.140705

Manly, A.J.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "One-step fabrication of robust lithium ion battery separators by polymerization-induced phase separation, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2022DOI: 10.1039/d1ta10730e

Li, Z.; Hu, F.; Huo, N.; Tenhaeff, W., "A Flexible Thin Film Lithium Battery with a Chemical Vapor Deposited Organic Complex Cathode," Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2022. DOI: 1039/d1ta10867k.

Zhao, Y.N.; Huo, N.; Ye, S.; Boromand, A.; Ouderkirk, A.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "Stretchable, Transparent, Permeation Barrier Layer for Flexible Optics," Advanced Optical Materials, 2021. DOI: 10.1002/adom.202100334. Publication

Li, Z.; Zhao, Y.N.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "Determining the Absolute Anodic Stability Threshold of Polymer Electrolytes: A Capacity-Based Electrochemical Method," Chemistry of Materials, 2021, 33, 6, 1927-1934. DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c04248. Publication

Ioanniti, M.M.; Hu, F.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "Energy-Dense Li Metal Anodes Enabled by Thin Film Eelectrolytes" Journal  of Vacuum Science & Technology, 2020, 38, 6. DOI:10.1116/6.0000430

Hu, F.; Li, Z.; Wang, S.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "Mirror-Like Electrodeposition of Lithium Metal under a Low-Resistance Artificial Solid Electrolyte Interphase Layer," ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2020, 12, 35, 39674-39684. Publication

Patel, A.; Wilcox, K.;  Li, Z., George, I.; Juneja, R.; Lollar, C.; Lazar, S.; Grunlan, J.; Tenhaeff, W.E.; Lutkenhaus, J.L., "High Modulus, Thermally Stable, and Self-Extinguishing Aramid Nanofiber Separators," ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces2020, 12, 23, 25756-25766. Publication

Zhao, Y.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "Thermally and Oxidatively Stable Polymer Electrolyte for Batteries Enabled by Phthalate Plasticization," ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2020, 2, 80-90. Publication

Shen, B.H.; Wang, S.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "Ultrathin Conformal Polycyclosiloxane Films to Improve Silicon Cycling Stability," Science Advances,2019, 5, 7, eaaw4856. Publication

Gao, Y.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "Synthesis and Characterization of Thin Film Polyelectrolytes for Soild-State Lithium Microbatteries," Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, 2019, 37, 5, 051401. Publication

Li, Z.; Zhao, Y.N.; Tenhaeff, W.E., "5V Stable Nitrile-Bearing Polymer Electroyte with Aliphatic Segment as Internal Plasticizer," ACS Applied Energy Materials, 2019, 2, 5, 3264-3273. Publication

Shen, B.H.; Armstrong, B.L.; Doucet, M.; Heroux, L.; Browning, J.F.; Agamalian, M.; Tenhaeff, W.E.;Veith, G.M., "Shear Thickening Electrolyte Built from Sterically Stabilized Colloidal Particles,"ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2018, 10, 11, 9424-9434. Publication

Shen, B.H.; Veith, G.M.; Tenhaeff, W. E., "Silicon Surface Tethered Polymer as Artificial Solid Electrolyte Interface,"Scientific Reports, 2018, 8, 11549. Publication

Research Overview

Our research emphasizes the development of novel thin film materials and structures for several applications.  Electrochemical energy storage in reversible lithium ion and lithium metal batteries is a primary interest.  We are developing approaches to improve the stability (e.g. cycle life) and power performance in lithium batteries. For lithium metal batteries, for example, we are studying the stabilization of lithium metal anodes for safe, reversible cycling where the formation of dendritic morphologies is suppressed. In lithium ion batteries, thin coating layers and/or surface modifications are used to dramatically alter reaction kinetics. We have expertise in many thin film synthesis techniques-both vacuum and solution based. In particular, we exploit the exceptional compositional control and conformality of initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) for the synthesis of polymeric thin films. The fundamentals of this technique are studies such that new capabilities can be developed.

We are also interested in redox flow batteries for grid level energy storage applications.  We are utilizing our expertise in solid electrolyte characterization to develop new flow battery concepts.  Replacing the porous membrane separating the two charge storage solutions with a liquid-impermeable solid electrolyte provides new opportunities that we are exploring.

Research Interests

  • Electrochemical Energy Storage
  • Solid State Lithium Batteries and Solid Electrolytes
  • Polymer Thin Films, Interfaces and Thin Film Synthesis & Characterization
  • Vacuum Deposition Techniques