Research

Dylan Bleier has three years of research experience and will graduate next spring with four.

Solar Hydrogen Production, 9/15-5/16

Dylan is doing his senior research project on coupled chromophore-semiconductor-catalyst systems for generating hydrogen by using sunlight to split water.  His work in the lab focuses on the hydrogen reduction reaction (HRR) using a sacrificial electron donor (SEC) in place of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER).   Optimizing efficient electron transfer between the chemical components both deepens our understanding of the fundamental science and may improve the viability of a solar hydrogen economy.   This involves characterizing novel organic dyes for solar hydrogen generation using femtosecond optical pulse-probe spectroscopy, time-resolved luminescence, cyclic voltammetry, use of a solar simulator that measures gas evolution, and measurement of dye-semiconductor-catalyst binding using infrared spectroscopy.

Organic Photovoltaics, C. J. Collison Lab, RIT, 6-8/15

Dylan characterized spin-cast squaraine:fullerene bulk-heterojunction photovoltaic active layers with UV-Vis-NIR absorbance spectroscopy, DSC, DTA/TGA, TEM, & XRD.  He learned how to make research cells and use a solar solar simulator to test their performance and calculate efficiency.  Dylan Bleier also gave a talk at the RIT Undergraduate Symposium.  He is currently writing a paper to be submitted for publication this winter.

Quantum Dot Photovoltaics, T. D. Krauss Lab, University of Rochester, 9-12/14

Dylan synthesized colloidal lead selenide nanocrystals (PbSe NCs) for photovoltaics using a one-pot hot-injection nucleation-growth method.  He characterized NCs via UV-Vis-NIR absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy and calculated photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY); used TEM to observe NC size and superlattice packing.  Dylan attempted epitaxial growth of strontium selenide shells on PbSe NC cores and compared PLQY of reaction aliquots.

Social Behavior and Neurobiology, D. P. McCobb Lab, Cornell University, 12/13-5/14

Dylan studied the reactions of mice and crayfish to a variety of social and non-social stresses through behavioral analysis and recordings of heart rate variability obtained via radiotelemetric electrocardiography.

Atmospheric Chemistry, M. J. Elrod Lab, Oberlin College, 1/12-4/13

Dylan Bleier identified atmospherically relevant reaction products of alpha-pinene oxide in acidic aqueous media and studied kinetics of isomerization, ether-forming, and de/hydration reactions via ‘H and 13C NMR spectroscopy.  Dylan published a paper which allows for a better theoretical understanding and more detailed quantitative modeling of monoterpene-derived atmospheric secondary organic aerosol, which is implicated in pollution and climate change.

Structural Biomaterials, A. Vera Lab, e2e Materials, Inc., 6-9/11

Dylan prepared various proprietary formulations of an ecologically friendly, low VOC-emitting fiberboard.  He tested samples for screw-retention, modulus of elasticity, Young’s modulus, and mold & water resistance.

Photoredox Catalysis Research; C. R. J. Stephenson Lab; Boston U; 6-9/10

Dylan worked on the synthesis and fluorescence quenching of iridium and ruthenium metal-organic complexes for photoredox catalysis, which is an environmentally friendly, economically practical, “operationally simple and mild” means of accessing free radicals crucial to many organic syntheses.

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© 2015 Dylan B. Bleier.  Header photo borrowed from Daniel G. Nocera.
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