Luca Research




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Our research lies at the interface of Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry with a strong analytical component.

Modern chemical synthesis employs a variety of reagents to interconvert chemical functionalities and to impart molecular complexity. Such reagents often involve high-energy oxidizing and reductive species that require special handling and precautions during use in the laboratory.

Our overarching goal is to develop a systematic understanding of the electrochemical  and photochemical generation of  in situ oxidizing and reducing entities and overall circumventing the need for such energetic reagents. In this fashion, we address knowledge gaps related to the development of scalable, environmentally benign redox processes and catalysts, while we tackle problems in a variety of research fields such as water quality and purification, polymer recycling, sustainable chemical synthesis as well as energy production and storage.

We use a variety of analytical tools for reaction monitoring to observe these transformations in real-time as they unfold, thus allowing us to get a high-level molecular picture of reaction progress during the catalysis.  We use these analyses to inform reaction optimization and unequivocally identify intermediates along the chemical pathway.