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Award Abstract #1309510

Molecular Programming: Bottom-Up Fabrication of Multi-Element Compounds with Precisely-Defined Structure and Composition

Division Of Materials Research
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Initial Amendment Date: May 21, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: April 22, 2015
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Award Number: 1309510
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Award Instrument: Continuing grant
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Program Manager: birgit schwenzer
DMR Division Of Materials Research
MPS Direct For Mathematical & Physical Scien
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Start Date: June 1, 2013
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End Date: May 31, 2016 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $365,650.00
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Investigator(s): Javier Vela vela@iastate.edu (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Iowa State University
1138 Pearson
AMES, IA 50011-2207 (515)294-5225
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Program Reference Code(s): 7237, 9150, 9161, AMPP
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Program Element Code(s): 1762


With the support from the Solid State and Materials Chemistry program of the Division of Materials Research, Prof. Javier Vela and his group at Iowa State University investigate new "bottom-up" chemical reactivity approaches to control the composition, microstructure and properties of multi-element solid-state compounds. The specific aims of this project are to tune the reactivity of cationic molecular precursors for precise incorporation of transition metal dopants into Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) and to tune the reactivity of phosphide molecular precursors for controlling the composition and degree of phase segregation in metal phosphosulfides.

By enabling the fabrication of complex functional materials, this project has potential broad impacts on other research areas such as renewable energy generation, conversion and storage, magnetic data storage, and catalysis. The educational portion of this project builds on a successful collaboration with Prof. Hua-Jun Fan and his students at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), a Historically Black University, and seeks to broaden participation by recruiting and training a diverse scientific workforce. Prof. Fan, a computational chemist, uses computations to guide the development of molecular precursors. The Vela group hosts one PVAMU undergraduate student for eight-to-ten weeks each summer for the three-year duration of the project. Through this project, PVAMU students learn about the synthesis and characterization of solid-state materials.


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Lin, C.-C.; Guo, Y.; Vela, J.*. "?Microstructure Effects on the Water Oxidation Activity of Co3O4-Porous Silica Nanocomposites.?," ACS Catal., v.5, 2015, p. 1037. 

Dilsaver, P. S.; Reichert, M. D.; Hallmark, B. L.; Thompson, M. J.; Vela, J.*. "?Cu2ZnSnS4-Au Hetero-Structures: Toward Greener Chalcogenide Photocatalysts.?," J. Phys. Chem. C, v.118, 2014, p. 21226. 

Thompson, M. J.; Ruberu, T. P. A.; Blakeney, K. J.; Torres, K. V.; Dilsaver, P. S.; Vela, J.*. "?Axial Composition Gradients and Phase Segregation Regulate the Aspect Ratio of Cu2ZnSnS4 Nanorods.?," J. Phys. Chem. Lett., v.4, 2013, p. 3918. 


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