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McNair Scholar 2014A. Akintomiwa Akinlabi

A. Akintomiwa Akinlabi is a senior at Carleton College, Northfield, majoring in Chemistry. His research interest includes the synthesis of nanoparticles using hydrothermal means and the use of nanoparticles in solar cells. Mr. Akinlabi plans on getting his Ph.D. in Material Chemistry.

A. Akintomiwa Akinlabi photo
My dream is to receive a Ph.D. in Chemistry and strive for world peace. I want to be involved in global conflict resolution efforts and I want to travel and take photographs of different places I visit.

Research project

Hydrothermal Synthesis of the Spinel Compound CuCo2S4

Abstract: Transition metal chalcogenide nanocrystals are promising materials for solar cells and super capacitor electrodes. Copper cobalt (II) sulfide (CuCo2S4) has been successfully synthesized using a hydrothermal approach, which is a less toxic and less expensive synthetic process than typically used to produce metal sulfides. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS), ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to characterize product materials. The most important reaction variables were temperature, the molar ratio of the metal cations to the sulfur source (thiourea), and whether ethylenediamine was added to the reaction mixture. For example, synthesis at room temperature yielded a partially crystallized product while synthesis at 250 °C yielded a crystalline one. Adding ethylenediamine resulted in a slightly smaller mean particle size but superior purity as compared to syntheses without the added ethylenediamine. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. R. Lee Penn is currently an associate professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Penn attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison where she received her Ph. D. in Materials Science in 1998. Dr. Penn’s research interest includes studying the links between chemical reactivity and particle properties like particle size, shape, and microstructure. In addition, her group studies the magnetism of natural and synthetic nanoparticles. Dr. Penn’s research group has published in multiple research journals, and she has presented at conferences worldwide.