Petroleum Research Fund will support research with nanotechnology and solar energy applications
Tina Huang, assistant professor of chemistry, has received an American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund Summer Research Fellowship to perform research on composite materials which may have alternative energy uses.
Huang was approached by Slava V. Rotkin, assistant professor of physics at Lehigh University, about a possible collaboration concerning carbon nanotubes, which they both work with. This collaboration brings together two areas of Huang’s research interests, polymer thin films and carbon nanotubes.
Over the summer, Huang will be constructing composite material which combines polymers and carbon nanotubes. She will study this material by using various analytical techniques, such as atomic force microscopy and electrochemistry. Huang and Rotkin are interested in these composite materials because they may be applied to solar energy applications.
“The results from this research will provide experimental data and parameters which Dr. Rotkin will use to construct theoretical models,” says Huang. “Since the composite material of polymer and carbon nanotube may be applied to solar energy applications, this type of research is particularly relevant today because the need to find alternative energy resources.”
The fellowship will provide Huang with a stipend for the summer and will give funds for purchasing research material. Huang will have at least one EXCEL Scholar working with her on the project in her lab this summer.
Several students have worked with Huang on similar research. Marquis Scholar Sandra Rodriguez ’08 (Mendham, N.J.), who is majoring in biochemistry, is currently working on her honors thesis with Huang. She is studying the toxicity of carbon nanotubes on cyanobacteria, a model biological system. She will be presenting her work at the Spring 2008 American Chemical Society National Meeting (April 6-10) at New Orleans, La.
Two students are also working with Huang on independent studies. Marc Lisi ’08 (Orange, Conn.), who is majoring in biochemistry, is working on projects related to carbon nanotubes, while QiJie Lao ’08 (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who is also majoring in biochemistry, is researching electrochemical ways to construct polymer thin films. Huang is also working on collaborations with Yvonne Gindt, assistant professor of chemistry.
Huang currently incorporates the analytical methods that she uses in her research into her courses and laboratory exercises. She stresses the importance of her students getting hands-on experience.
- Exceptional Faculty
- EXCEL/Undergraduate Research