Clays are intriguing materials which play active roles in
supporting life forms and controlling environmental chemistry in
soils. Our research spans several exciting research areas.
First clays can be used for charge storaged devices and/or to systematically deliver charge to localized domains. Second, clays make a useful support matrix for sensor technology.
They are cheap, robust, and easily formed in layers. We are currently
investigating placing clay films on electroactive planar waveguide surfaces to support the presence of the electrochemically switchable
optical signal of [Ru(bpy)3]2+.
The optical output of this compound can be affected by the presence
of a variety of compounds or can be used to probe specific regions
of the clay film.
Second, clay has different domains of variable charge which interact
differentially with proteins. In some case the presence of the clay
serves to enhance the electron transfer rate between the protein
and the electrode. We are currently studying several different myoglobin and hemoglobin clay composites.
The experimental technics used range from clay-modifidied
electrodes to thin supported clay films with computational