Academic Programs Chemistry • Faculty
Fluoride Content in Permian Basin water tables
Fluoride is known to increase tooth strength and inhibit tooth decay (1.0 ppm). Hence, many municipalities add fluoride to native water supplies. When fluoride concentration in water is elevated too high (2-3 ppm) discoloration of teeth can occur. If fluoride concentration is excessive (5-6 ppm) illness can occur, or death (7 ppm). The US-EPA limit on fluoride in drinking water is 4.0 ppm.
The Permian Basin (Texas) has an innate fluoride content in the native water tables, but this content can vary widely depending on location. Midland, Texas municipality has a fluoride content of 1.4 ppm. The fluoride content in the water table at some Permian Basin locations has been measured at between 3-4 ppm.The Anderson Group's research involvers several features:
- Map fluoride concentrations in native water tables in the Permian Basin.
- Analyze seasonal variation in fluoride concentration(s)
- Analyze related variations in fluoride concentration(s) (i.e. variations with rainfall)
Dr. Pat Nandakumar
FSB Room 204
Layered Spinal High Capacity Cathode Material in Lithium ion batteries
Sythesis lithium free MnNiO layered spinel cathode materials through co-precipitation and reverse micelle methods. Later Litium is added to the metal oxides and calcined at 900 C for 8 hours. The samples are characterized through XRD, SEM-EDX, ICP-AES, Impedance Spectroscopy and Charge-discharge studies.
The LiMnNiO cathode materials are modified by adding smaller amounts of Ga dopants and the effect of doping is studied. The discharge capacity is expected to increase due to the stabilization of the disordered structure and increase in the lithium mobility thereafter. During 2012 summer research in ORNL, DR. Pat Nandakumar and her student Jasmine Flores studied the Ga doped Lithium manganese oxide spinel materials.
Silver Doped Superionic conducting electrolyte material
Solid state batteries are widely used where leak proof conditions are required. These batteries should possess long life in the applications of pacemakers as replacing them often is not a possibility. The silver based superionic conducting electrolyte materials are synthesized through melt quench and sol-gel process and their properties are compared. The electrolyte materials are characterized through XRD, FTIR, Impedance spectroscopy and charge-discharge profile.
Nitrogen doped Zinc oxide materials for solar cell application
The zinc oxides are doped with Nitrogen through solvothermal and UV method. The solution mixture is stirred under UV for several hours and dried in the oven. The Nitrogen doped Zinc oxide powders are characterized through XRD, FTIR, UV-Vis Diffuse reflectance, and SEM-EDX techniques. The band gap measurements are done through UV-Vis measurements and the samples showed definite shift in the absorption frequency.
I'm an Ambassador of National Chemistry Week (NCW). I organize MCW events every year during second week of Oct. Last year we did demonstrations in Midland Mall. They want us again this year!. Also participate on other division science promoting events like Science Extravaganza. It's fun!
There are a lot of opportunities out there to do research, Come signup with a Faculty and see what research means here at MC.
Dr. Tom ReadyFSB Room 201
The Ready research group is investigating several disparate ares in materials science
Synthesis in new Fluorescent DNA probes
Fluorescent probes are currently used to visualize DNA, RNA, and proteins under the microscope. This allows for monitoring the location of these entities within and without cells, and in some cases, real-time monitoring of the movement of these molecules. Current fluorescent probes use a single mode of binding to DNA (or other molecules), either binding to the "outside" of the molecule via charge-charge attraction, or binding to the interior of the molecule via intercalation. Our group is interested in the synthesis of novel fluorescent probes that can potentially bind to DNA via both types of interactions. Potentially, this will lead to learning some new aspects about the mechanics of these molecules.
Synthesis of new anti-biotic drugs
Our group is interested in molecules that can traverse the cell membrane of bacteria, and attaching these molecules to existing drugs. The idea is that the carrier molecules will "drag" the drug into the bacterial cell, increasing its concentration inside the cell. Ostensibly, with more drug inside the bacteria cell, it will take less administered drug to kill the bacteria. Our challenge is to synthesis these new drugs, then test them in a head-to-head competition with the established drug for killing bacteria.
Optical Detection of Sulfides - with application toward the Detection of H2S Gas
Dihydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a poisonous gas that sometimes accompanies oil and natural gas production from oil wells. Although fatalities and injuries from H2S around oil wells is rare, effective detection of this gas is crucial because it can be lethal in a short time period (minutes). Our research group is starting a new project on the development of a prototype device for the optical detection of sulfides using a fluorescent indicator. Because H2S is so dangerous, we will use a stimulant (thiophenol) as a test analkyte instead of H2S. This project also has an Engineering component to it as our group will need to construct an air intake that accurately measures air flow.
Dr. Julio ValladaresFSB Room 205
Photoactivity of Doped TiO2
Titanium dioxide is a well characterized photo-active material. However, the absorption range is discrete and in the UV wavelengths which limits its overall quantum yield and applicability to some industrial applications.
This Valladares group research involves doping TiO2 with transition metals to shift its absorption wavelength range into the visible region. The effectiveness of the doped TiO2 is checked via the degradation of organic compounds in contact with the phot-irradiated doped TiO2.
This research has pertinent applications in both water purification/remediation and the development of new materials for solar cells to generate electricity.
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