DR. JORGE L. COLÓN
- Ph.D. Texas A&M University, 1989
- Postdoctoral Research Associate: Texas A&M University 1989-1990
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow: California Institute of Technology, 1990-1992
We focus our research efforts on the use of layered inorganic nanomaterials in applications ranging from artificial photosynthesis and solar fuels, electrocatalysts for the water splitting reaction, amperometric biosensors, vapochromic materials, and drug delivery systems. We make use of X-ray powder diffraction methods, UV-vis spectrophotometry, luminescence spectroscopy and lifetime measurements, X-ray photoelectron, NMR and IR spectroscopies, and electrochemical methods to characterize and study our materials. We are pursuing an artificial photosynthesis project in which excited state electron donors are being intercalated in zirconium phosphate layered materials and reacted with suitable quenchers to provoke long-lived charge separation as a way to mimic the primary processes of photosynthesis and develop cheap, efficient, solar cells. The promise of low-cost and efficient dye-sensitized solar cells based on perovskite materials is impeded by their low stability; zirconium phosphate composites with perovskite might overcome this limitation. Solar catalysts for renewable fuels based on metals and molecular catalysts incorporated in or on zirconium phosphate are being studied through electrocatalytic studies.