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Gustaf H. Carlson School of Chemistry

Sergio Granados-Focil

Sergio Granados-Focil, Ph.D.

Synthetic Polymer Chemistry, Materials for Renewable Energy Alternatives

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Office: S225, Sackler Sciences Center
Phone: 508-793-7375

Curriculum Vitae
Research Lab Website



Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University, 2005
M.S. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 2001
B.S. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 2000

Current Research Interests

Synthetic Polymer Chemistry, Materials for Renewable Energy Alternatives

Our group focuses on better understanding the principles controlling charge transport within polymeric matrices and establishing a roadmap towards nano-structured, multifunctional materials with improved ionic conductivity or optoelectronic properties. Renewable energy alternatives, flexible optoelectronic devices and better energy storage are promising areas that will benefit from tailoring the materials properties via a precise control of their structure at the molecular and supramolecular scales. The interdisciplinary nature of this work allows students to acquire experience, not only in organic or polymer synthetic chemistry, but also in a wide variety of characterization techniques routinely used to study the materials they prepare. Furthermore, while striving to control and tailor the properties of these new compounds, they have the opportunity to closely collaborate with their peers from other disciplines working towards the same broad objective.

Specific research areas:

1.Ionic transport through polymeric matrices (Fuel cells, Lithium batteries and Dye sensitized solar cells). Development and widespread use of new alternative energy sources, such as high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells, lithium-ion batteries and dye sensitized solar cells, requires a better fundamental understanding of the nature of ion transport within polymeric matrices. Three substantial challenges face the extensive use of ion conducting membranes: The need to decouple mechanical properties from ionic conductivity, the low concentration of dissociated ions within most polymeric matrices and a relatively low mobility of the macromolecule enclosed ionic species. Our efforts focus on understanding the fundamental physico-chemical principles governing charge transport and on deriving structure-property relationships to help guide the design of new ion conducting components for water-free polymer electrolyte (PEM) fuel cells, lithium ion batteries and dye sensitized solar cells. This effort utilizes, tailorable, well-defined, model macromolecular systems as the underpinning for an integrated study of ion transport through polymer matrices.

2.Electronic conduction (Solar Cells, Flexible Electronics): We aim to develop improved semiconducting polymeric materials for optoelectronic applications, particularly photovoltaic systems, via careful control of the semiconducting phase nanostructure. These well-defined systems will be used to achieve a better understanding and characterization of charge separation and charge transport within semi-conducting polymeric matrices, essential requirements for the development of photovoltaic devices with increased energy conversion efficiency. The photovoltaic effort will be divided into design of polymer structures with tailored electronic properties (charge carrier mobility, band gap, etc.) and development of controlled nano-scale architectures to improve macroscopic charge separation.

Selected Publications:

# Clark University’s 5th year masters graduate student.
* Clark University’s undergraduate students.

Sokolov, A., Atahan-Evrenk,S., Mondal, R., Akkerman, H.B., Sanchez-Carrera, R.S., Granados-Focil, S., Schrier, J., Mannsfeld, S.C.B., Zoombelt, A.P., Bao, Z., and Aspuru-Guzik, A., From in silico to carbon to device: computational discovery and experimental characterization of a high hole mobility organic crystal. Nature Communications, 2011,n DOI:10.1038/ncomms1451 (available online Aug. 16, 2011

Kokol, A., Renna, A., Kumar., Granados-Focil, S. Synthesis and Characterizationof Triazolium lodide Ionic Liquid Electrolyte for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells. Journal of Macromolecular Science, part A, polymer chemistry, 2011, 48, in press.

Granados-Focil, S., Conway, J.R.#, Meng, y., Smith, L., Triazole functionalized sol-gel membranes, effect of crosslink density and heterocycle content on water free proton conduction and membrane mechanical properties, Journal of Macromolecular Science, part A, polymer chemistry, 2010, A47 12, 1197

Litt, M.; Granados-Focil, S.; Kang, J., Rigid Rod Polyelectrolytes with Frozen-In Free Volume: High Conductivity at Low RH. In Fuel Cell Chemistry and Operation, American Chemical Society: 2010; Vol. 1040, pp 49-63.

Akbey, U. Granados-Focil, S., Coughlin, E.B., Graf, R., Spiess, H.W., . 1H Solid-State NMR Investigation of Structure and Dynamics of Anhydrous Proton Conducting Triazole-Functionalized Siloxane Polymers. J.Phys. Chem. B., 2009, 113, 9151-9160.

Aspuru-Guzik, A.; Schrier, J.; Granados-Focil, S.; Coughlin, E. B. Air-stable, high hole mobility thieno-thiophene derivatives. PCT Int. Appl. 2009, 37pp.

Granados-Focil, S., Woudenberg, R.C., Yavuzcetin, O., Tuominen, M.T., Coughlin, E.B., Water-free proton conducting polysiloxanes: A study on the effect of heterocycle structure, Macromolecules, 2007, 40, 8708-8713.

Marwiset, S., Woudenberg, R.C., Granados-Focil, S., Yavuzcetin, O., Tuominen, M.T., Coughlin, E.B., Intrinsically conducting polymers and copolymers containing triazole moieties, Solid State Ionics, 2007, 178, 23-24, 1398-1403.

Litt, Morton H., Granados-Focil, Sergio, Novel PEM’s with high water retention. U.S. Pat.#20,050,239,994, (2005), 45 pp.