Research Areas

The University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus (UPRRP), Universidad Ana G. Méndez Cupey Campus and Gurabo Campus, all located in Puerto Rico and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), and the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) have teamed up in this educational and innovative collaborative materials research effort.  The purpose of this collaborative team is to bring together and develop a diverse and talented scientific interdisciplinary community with expertise in operando  synchrotron X-ray techniques to enhance energy storage and conversion devices. For this reason, three interdisciplinary research groups (IRGs) have been designed to address the use of unique, yet complementary, strategies related to energy conversion and storage and synchrotron based techniques:

Nanostructured electrocatalytic materials: To develop a fundamental understanding of the processes that govern reactivity at the interface of alkaline fuel cells by combining efforts in materials chemistry and fundamental electrochemistry along with operando X-ray techniques.


Leader: C. Cabrera.

Participants: L. Cunci, J. Colón, M. Santiago.

CHESS and Cornell University Collaborators: H. D. Abruña, J. D. Brock, K. D. Finkelstein, R. Huang, L. Kourkoutis, and D. M. Smilgies.

Nanostructured materials for dye sensitized solar cells: Establish a fundamental understanding of structural changes of DSSCs under operando conditions, by X-ray absorption studies.


Leader: M. Santiago.

Participants: C. Cabrera, V. López-Mejías, J. Colón, L. Fuentes-Claudio, R. Palai.

CHESS and Cornell University Collaborators: H. D. Abruña, J. D. Brock, T. Hanrath, R. Huang, K. D. Finkelstein, R. Huang, D. Kourkoutis, and D. M. Smilgies.

Porous nanostructured materials for energy storage: Develop a state-of-the-art protocol for electrolyte nano-confinement effects, electrode structural changes upon intercalation, and for the interfacial electrochemical energy transfer mechanism in composite electrode materials.


Leader: R. Palai.

Participants: C. Cabrera, L. Cunci.

CHESS and Cornell University Collaborators: H. D. Abruña, J. D. Brock, L. Kourkoutis, and D. M. Smilgies.