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A Chemist’s Approach to Exploring Rare-Earth Chalcogenide Materials for Photoelectrochemical and Photocatalytic Applications

November 09, 2018 | 11:00 a.m
NH 203 | Seminar Flyer

Seminar Speaker

Robin T. Macaluso, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas at Arlington


Transition metal chalcogenide semiconductors are well-established in applications such as solar cells, fuel cells, and hydrogen generation. However, these materials are still fraught with stability problems. As a chemist, we are interested in exploring new and fundamentally unique materials with potential applications in the photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic applications. At UTA, the Macaluso research group has recently established a research program in rare-earth based chalcogenides, where we explore electronic transitions that involve f-bands as opposed to the transition metal d-bands in classic transition metal chalcogenide semiconductors. In this presentation, our work on Ca(La1-X CeX)2S4 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) will be discussed, with an emphasis on synthesis and structural characterization utilizing synchrotron and neutron scattering. We utilized synthesis routes without toxic and corrosive gases, uncovered structural transitions and measured photoelectrochemical behavior of rare earth-derived of Ca(La1-X CeX)2S4 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1).


Robin Macaluso joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) as Associate Professor in January 2015. She was previously at the University of Northern Colorado where she was Associate Professor (2012-2014) and Assistant Professor (2006-2011). Prior to her independent career, she was a postdoctoral associate in the Materials Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory where she worked in the Emerging Materials and Neutron & X-Ray Scattering Groups. Dr. Macaluso graduated with her PhD from Louisiana State University in 2004.
In her three years at UTA, Robin Macaluso has established a research program in rare-earth chalcogenide materials, where she focuses on exploratory synthesis and structural characterization utilizing synchrotron and neutron scattering techniques. Of particular interest are rare-earth chalcogenide materials that have potential in photoelectrochemical or photocatalytic applications. She also maintains research interests in exploratory synthesis of rare-earth intermetallic compounds for the investigation of exotic magnetism and superconductivity. Robin Macaluso is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER and American Chemical Society New Directions awards.