Research and Teaching Interests

  • Physical Chemistry

Recent efforts have been centered on the synthesis of concentrated colloids consisting of spherical Ag particles and of rod-shaped CuO crystallites in hydrocarbons.

Research in our lab is centered on the development of new simple ways to generate nanometer-sized particles of metals and semiconductors, and on their uses in adaptive systems, fuel cells, diodes, as well as in thermal and photochemical catalysis.

The degradation of toxic chemicals present in air is also being investigated using semiconductors grafted to textiles. 

Presently we are investigating the properties of gels swollen with methanol/water mixtures, which exhibit a novel thermoadaptive behavior.  Au particles are stable in these gels at 25°C; they decay at high temperatures and reform when the gels are cooled back to room temperature.

Another area of interest is the transformation of pollutants into desirable chemicals initiated by illumination of semiconductor particles.

Another area of interest involves exploration of the photochemical properties of macromolecular blends containing sulphonated poly(ether etherketone), SPEEK, and poly(vinyl alcohol), PVA. Benzophenone (BP) groups of SPEEK undergo light-excitation to triplet states that abstract H-atoms from PVA yielding strongly reducing polymeric SPEEK• radicals.

Our current interest is focused on the ability of SPEEK/PVA films to serve as protective (self-decontaminating) barriers against toxins.


  • Photocatalytic Reduction of CFC 11 in an Aqueous Suspension of TiO2
  • Photoadaptive Textile Fibers
  • Formation of Gold Colloids in Polymer Gels and Glass Matrices
  • Formation of Metal Crystallites by Reaction of Au(III) with NADH
  • Mechanism for Ag Particle Growth in Photographic Emulsions
Past Affiliations

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Sciences and Mathematics, Auburn University

Research Fellow, Engineering Division
1987 - 1989

Post-Doctoral, Chemistry Division, Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy (past)
1985 - 1987

Biochemistry, Cellular Biochemistry, Molecular Biochemistry
PhD, Technical University of Berlin, Germany, Physical Chemistry, 1985
MS, University of Chile , 1981
chemical sciences
German, Spanish
American Chemical Society