Aaron Petronico
Aaron Petronico, Ph.D.,
Polymer Science & Materials Chemistry

Dr. Petronico is a materials chemist who leverages structure-function relationships to address challenges related to energy storage, industrial catalysis, and commercial polymers. His primary focus is electrochemical systems such as lithium ion batteries and integrated photovoltaic devices such as electrochromic windows. More broadly, Dr. Petronico applies his scientific training to failure analysis of polymer-based products, including consumer electronics, medical equipment, natural and synthetic rubber products, industrial piping, and consumer plastics.

He has experience in the synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of traditional lithium-ion battery materials, as well as novel chemistries such as ceramic solid electrolytes, solid polymer electrolytes, gel electrolytes and organic electrode materials. He is also well versed in standardized and customized testing using a variety of electrochemical techniques including galvanostatic cycling, chronoamperometry, impedance spectroscopy, and voltammetry. Additionally, he has experience with materials characterization techniques including scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography and gas chromatography. Building on this expertise, Dr. Petronico has been part of numerous teams dedicated to elucidating the root cause of battery failures, improving the safety of various consumer electronic products and understanding the failure modes of a variety commercial polymeric materials, including environmental stress cracking, tearing, wear, and weathering.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Petronico investigated various aspects of organic molecules and polymers. His work in with high-performance battery materials resulted in polymer organic cathodes with record breaking capacities as well as novel electrolyte systems derived from persistently porous molecules. In another program, he developed a novel organometallic catalyst for selective alkane amination. Dr. Petronico also contributed to fundamental understanding of enzyme selectivity through the measurement of the gas phase acidity and proton affinity of DNA analogues.


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2018
  • B.A., Chemistry, Rutgers University, 2012


Aaron Petronico, Kimberly L. Bassett, Bruno G. Nicolau, Andrew A. Gewirth,
Ralph G. Nuzzo. Towards a Four-Electron Redox Quinone Polymer for High Capacity Lithium Ion Storage Adv. Energy Mater. 2017, 1700960

Aaron Petronico, Timothy P Moneypenny, Jeffery S. Moore, Andrew A. Gewirth, Ralph G. Nuzzo.
Solid-Liquid Lithium Electrolyte Nanocomposites Derived From Porous Molecular Cages. J Am. Chem. Soc. 2018 140 (24), pp 7504–7509

Bruno G. Nicolau, Aaron L. Petronico et al. Controlling Interfacial Properties of Lithium-ion Battery Cathodes with Alkylphosphonate Self-Assembled Monolayers Adv. Mater. Interfaces. 2018 1701292

Zheng Yan, Mengdi Han, Yan Shi, Adina Badea, Yiyuan Yang, Ashish Kulkarni, Erik Hanson, Mikhail E Kandel, Xiewen Wen, Fan Zhang, Yiyue Luo, Qing Lin, Hang Zhang, Xiaogang Guo, Yuming Huang, Kewang Nan, Shuai Jia, Aaron W Oraham, Molly B Mevis, Jaeman Lim, Xuelin Guo, Mingye Gao, Woomi Ryu, Ki Jun Yu, Bruno G Nicolau, Aaron Petronico, Stanislav S Rubakhin, Jun Lou, Pulickel M Ajayan, Katsuyo Thornton, Gabriel Popescu, Daining Fang, Jonathan V Sweedler, Paul V Braun, Haixia Zhang, Ralph G Nuzzo, Yonggang Huang, Yihui Zhang, John A Rogers Three-dimensional mesostructures as high-temperature growth templates, electronic cellular scaffolds, and self-propelled microrobots, 2017, 114 (45) E9455-E9464

Shauna M. Paradine, Jennifer R, Griffin, Jinpeng Zhao, Aaron L. Petronico, Shannon M. Miller, Christina White. A Manganese catalyst for highly reactive yet chemo selective intramolecular C (sp3)-H Amination. Nature Chemistry, 7, 987-994 (2015)

Michelson, A. Z., Aaron Petronico, Jeehuin Lee. 2-Pyridone and Derivatives: Gas Phase Acidity, Proton Affinity, Tautomer Preference and Leaving Group Ability J. Org. Chem., 2012, 77, 1623


US Patent 9,770,771: General Catalyst for CH functionalization, September 2017 (M Christina White, Shauna M Paradine, Jennifer R Griffin, Jinpeng Zhao, Aaron L Petronico)


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2018
  • B.A., Chemistry, Rutgers University, 2012