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Staff information

Venky Prabhakaran

Chemical Engineer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: J7-10
Richland, WA 99352


Venkateshkumar (Venky) Prabhakaran received his B. Tech. in chemical and electrochemical engineering from the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI), India in 2009 and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2014. Following his postdoctoral appointment at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) (2014-2017), he became a research scientist in March, 2017. In 2017, he was awarded the EMSL M.T. Thomas Award for his outstanding postdoctoral work.

Venky's research interest lies at the confluence of molecular-level understanding of ionic interactions and nanoscale phenomena at electrochemical interfaces, and the rational design of efficient and sustainable electrochemical separation and energy storage systems. His research activities at PNNL includes: (i) molecular-level understanding of chemical transformations occurring at well-defined electrode-electrolyte interfaces prepared using ion soft-landing,(ii) development of in-situ and in-operando techniques for studying electrochemical processes at well-defined electrode-electrolyte interfaces prepared with soft-landed ions, and (iii) multimodal electrochemical imaging coupled with optical spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (iv) development of highly active and durable PGM-free ORR electrocatalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells.

Research Interests

  • Electrochemical Separations
  • Ion Soft Landing of Mass-Selected Ions
  • Electrode-electrolyte Interfacial Science
  • Electrochemical Imaging
  • Energy Storage and Conversion
  • Mass Spectrometry

PNNL Publications


  • Prabhakaran V., J.E. Romo, A. Bhattarai, K.S. George, Z.M. Norberg, D.S. Kalb, and E. Apra, et al. 2022. "Integrated Photoelectrochemical Energy Storage Cells Prepared by Benchtop Ion Soft Landing." Chemical Communications 58, no. 65:9060-9063. PNNL-SA-151277. doi:10.1039/D2CC02595G


  • Agarwal G., J. Howard, V. Prabhakaran, G.E. Johnson, V. Murugesan, K.T. Mueller, and L.A. Curtiss, et al. 2021. "Insights into Spontaneous Solid Electrolyte Interphase Formation at Magnesium Metal Anode Surface from Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics Simulations." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 13, no. 32:38816-38825. PNNL-SA-164872. doi:10.1021/acsami.1c07864
  • Hankins K.S., V. Prabhakaran, S. Wi, V. Shutthanandan, G.E. Johnson, S. Roy, and H. Wang, et al. 2021. "Role of Polysulfide Anions in Solid-Electrolyte Interphase Formation at the Lithium Metal Surface in Li-S Batteries." The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 12, no. 38:9360-9367. PNNL-SA-159986. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c01930
  • Modachur Sivakumar B., V. Prabhakaran, K. Duanmu, E.C. Thomsen, B. Berland, N. Gomez, and D.M. Reed, et al. 2021. "Long-Term Structural and Chemical Stability of Carbon Electrodes in Vanadium Redox Flow Battery." ACS Applied Energy Materials 4, no. 6:6074-6081. PNNL-SA-160926. doi:10.1021/acsaem.1c00912
  • Nguyen M., J. Zhang, V. Prabhakaran, S. Tan, E.T. Baxter, V. Shutthanandan, and G.E. Johnson, et al. 2021. "Graphene Oxide as Pb(II) Separations Medium : Has part of the story been overlooked?." JACS Au 1, no. 6:766-776. PNNL-SA-160655. doi:10.1021/jacsau.0c00075


  • Edgecomb J.M., X. Xie, Y. Shao, P.Z. El-Khoury, G.E. Johnson, and V. Prabhakaran. 2020. "Mapping localized peroxyl radical generation on a PEM fuel cell catalyst using integrated scanning electrochemical cell microspectroscopy." Frontiers in Chemistry 8. PNNL-SA-153799. doi:10.3389/fchem.2020.572563
  • Garimella V., A. Li, V. Prabhakaran, A.L. Hollerbach, and Y.M. Ibrahim. 2020. Ambient Ion Trapping and Separations for High Throughput Structurally Selective Material Deposition. PNNL-30549. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Ambient Ion Trapping and Separations for High Throughput Structurally Selective Material Deposition
  • Li A., G. Nagy, C.R. Conant, R.V. Norheim, J. Lee, C.M. Giberson, and A.L. Hollerbach, et al. 2020. "Ion Mobility Spectrometry with High Ion Utilization Efficiency Using Traveling Wave-Based Structures for Lossless Ion Manipulations." Analytical Chemistry 92, no. 22:14930-14938. PNNL-SA-166146. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.0c02100
  • Zhang J., E.T. Baxter, M. Nguyen, V. Prabhakaran, R.J. Rousseau, G.E. Johnson, and V. Glezakou. 2020. "Structure and Stability of the Ionic Liquid Clusters [EMIM]n[BF4]n+1- (n = 1 - 9): Implications for Electrochemical Separations." The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 11, no. 16:6844-6981. PNNL-SA-153510. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.0c01671


  • Prabhakaran V., Z. Lang, A. Clotet, J.M. Poblet, G.E. Johnson, and J. Laskin. 2019. "Controlling the Activity and Stability of Electrochemical Interfaces Using Atom-by-Atom Metal Substitution of Redox Species." ACS Nano 13, no. 1:458-466. PNNL-SA-132145. doi:10.1021/acsnano.8b06813
  • Wang X., V. Prabhakaran, Y. He, Y. Shao, and G. Wu. 2019. "Iron-Free Cathode Catalysts for Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells: Cobalt Catalysts and the Peroxide Mitigation Approach." Advanced Materials 31, no. 31:Article Number 1805126. PNNL-SA-141392. doi:10.1002/adma.201805126


  • Johnson G.E., V. Prabhakaran, N.D. Browning, B.L. Mehdi, J. Laskin, P.A. Kottke, and A.G. Fedorov. 2018. "DRILL Interface Makes Ion Soft Landing Broadly Accessible for Energy Science and Applications." Batteries and Supercaps 1, no. 3:97-101. PNNL-SA-133831. doi:10.1002/batt.201800042
  • Laskin J., G.E. Johnson, J. Warneke, and V. Prabhakaran. 2018. "From Isolated Ions to Multilayer Functional Materials Using Ion Soft Landing." Angewandte Chemie International Edition 57, no. 50:16270-16284. PNNL-SA-130953. doi:10.1002/anie.201712296
  • Su P., V. Prabhakaran, G.E. Johnson, and J. Laskin. 2018. "In situ Infrared Spectroelectrochemistry for Understanding Structural Transformations of Precisely Defined Ions at Electrochemical Interfaces." Analytical Chemistry 90, no. 18:10935-10942. PNNL-SA-137370. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.8b02440
  • Yin R., V. Prabhakaran, and J. Laskin. 2018. "Quantitative Extraction and Mass Spectrometry Analysis at a Single-Cell Level." Analytical Chemistry 90, no. 13:7937-7945. PNNL-SA-137460. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.8b00551


  • Estevez L., V. Prabhakaran, A.L. Garcia, Y. Shin, J. Tao, A.M. Schwarz, and J.T. Darsell, et al. 2017. "Hierarchically Porous Graphitic Carbon with Simultaneously High Surface Area and Colossal Pore Volume Engineered via Ice Templating." ACS Nano 11, no. 11:11047-11066. PNNL-SA-126443. doi:10.1021/acsnano.7b05085


  • Laskin J., G.E. Johnson, and V. Prabhakaran. 2016. "Soft Landing of Complex Ions for Studies in Catalysis and Energy Storage." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 120, no. 41:23305-23322. PNNL-SA-119040. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b06497
  • Prabhakaran V., B.L. Mehdi, J.J. Ditto, M.H. Engelhard, B. Wang, K.D. Gunaratne, and D.C. Johnson, et al. 2016. "Rational Design of Efficient Electrode-Electrolyte Interfaces for Solid-State Energy Storage Using Ion Soft-Landing." Nature Communications 7. PNNL-SA-113159. doi:10.1038/ncomms11399
  • Prabhakaran V., G.E. Johnson, B. Wang, and J. Laskin. 2016. "In situ solid-state electrochemistry of mass selected ions at well-defined electrode-electrolyte interfaces." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 113, no. 47:13324-13329. PNNL-SA-118405. doi:10.1073/pnas.1608730113


  • Gunaratne K.D., V. Prabhakaran, G.E. Johnson, and J. Laskin. 2015. "Gas-Phase Fragmentation Pathways of Mixed-Addenda Keggin Anions: PMo12-nWnO403- (n = 0-12)." Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 26, no. 6:1027-1035. PNNL-SA-106983. doi:10.1007/s13361-015-1090-5
  • Gunaratne K.D., V. Prabhakaran, Y.M. Ibrahim, R.V. Norheim, G.E. Johnson, and J. Laskin. 2015. "Design and Performance of a High-Flux Electrospray Ionization Source for Ion Soft-Landing." Analyst 140, no. 9:2957-2963. PNNL-SA-108077. doi:10.1039/C5AN00220F


  • Gunaratne K.D., G.E. Johnson, A. Andersen, D. Du, W. Zhang, V. Prabhakaran, and Y. Lin, et al. 2014. "Controlling the Charge State and Redox Properties of Supported Polyoxometalates via Soft Landing of Mass Selected Ions." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 118, no. 48:27611-27622. PNNL-SA-104962. doi:10.1021/jp505050m

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