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Current Research Projects in the Dinolfo Laboratory




LIGHT Harvesting Materials for Solar Cell Applications

  • We are developing new surface modification techniques that will allow us to efficiently and flexibly attach multilayers of molecular dye materials to semiconductor and metallic surfaces. We are using Layer-By-Layer assembly techniques to couple different dyes together in alternating molecular layers to create a highly chromophoric material that is capable of absorbing light across a wide spectral bandwidth. These ultrathin film composites will be incorporated into various solar cell devices, such as Dye-sensititized Semiconductor Solar Cells (DSSCs) and Organic Photovoltaics (OPVs).

  • Graduate and Undergraduate students working on this project will learn various synthetic and physical characterization techniques, including but not limited to; inorganic and organic dye synthesis, Self-Assembled Monolayer (SAM) formation, surface and solution electrochemistry, UV-Vis and IR absorption spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), surface patterning via soft-lithography, etc.




  • Multi Electron, Multi Proton Redox Catalysts Based on Transition Metal Coordination Compounds

  • Multi-electron, multi-proton redox transformations are ubiquitous in Nature. Understanding their energetic and mechanistic characteristics are important for the design of synthetic catalysts capable of these complex chemical transformations. We are working to synthesize new transition metal based coordination compounds that are capable of controlling these catalytic aspects. The new multinuclear catalysts we are synthesizing will have specific coordination environments and well defined co-factors for proton management. Currently we are working on catalysts that mimic the water oxidation reactivity of the Oxygen Evolving Complex in Photosystem II.

  • Graduate and Undergraduate students working on this project will learn the basics of transition metal ligand design, coordination chemistry, electrochemistry and molecular modeling.




  • Supramolecular Coordination Complexes with Sophisticated Redox and Electron Transfer Chemistry

  • This project will develop new complex supramolecular coordination based compounds that display sophisticated redox activity and electron transfer processes. These systems will be designed with interconnecting ligands that will modulate the direction and rates of electron transfer within the complex. The primary goals of this project will be to design multi-centered systems with sophisticated redox activity that can undergo concerted multi-electron transfer reactions. These systems will be designed for eventual incorporation into nano-scale devices such as multi-electron electro-catalysts, solar-energy conversions, memory storage, molecular electronics and switches, etc.

  • Graduate and undergraduate students working on this project will learn the basics of transition metal ligand design, coordination chemistry, electrochemistry and spectroelectrochemistry, UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and molecular modeling.







  •   Last updated Feb 27, 2009.