Author: Emily Borges

UConn Chemist Wins Patent for Tunable Metal Oxide Synthesis Method

Altug Poyraz, left, a graduate student, with Steven Suib, distinguished professor and director of chemistry on Jan. 9, 2014. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

UConn chemistry professor Steven Suib has been granted a US patent (9,908,103) for a new method developed with his former student, Altug S. Poyraz, now an inorganic chemistry professor at Kennesaw State University. The technology is capable of synthesizing and customizing a type of compound that has unique catalytic and electronic properties.

Suib and Poyraz have patented their process for synthesizing thermally stable mesoporous transitional metal oxides. Their process also allows them to control the size of the mesopores and nano-sized crystalline walls.

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Award Announcements

Two University of Connecticut Chemistry professors recently received Research Excellence Program (REP) awards. Dr. Eugene Pinkhassik recently received the award for his proposal, “Catch and Release of Nucleic Acids with Porous Nanocapsules.” Dr. Yao Lin was awarded for his proposal, “Mechanics of Processive Enzymes that Degrade Crystalline Polymers and Its Implications in Designing Macromolecular Machines.” Congratulations!

Early College Experience at UConn Chemistry

Last week UConn opened its doors to 34 high school students from Berlin High School and Orville H. Platt High School (Meriden, CT) for a day of science lectures, demonstrations and hands on laboratory activities. The trip was coordinated by the Early College Experience office and Dr. Fatma Selampinar, with science activities hosted by Dr. RougeDr. Quardokus and their students (Molly W., Cynthia G., Veronica H., Alyssa H., Saketh G. and Halle Barber, UConn ‘20). In the morning, the students had a chance to visualize atoms and learn about the forces they exert on other nearby atoms. Later in the afternoon, they had a chance to visualize DNA, interpret a gel and learn that DNA can be used as a nanomaterial, not just a genetic code. To wrap up the day the students were taken on a tour of the Mass Spectrometry Facility, with an educational demo by Lei Wang. A fun day of science and outreach ranging from materials to chemical biology was had by all!

Undergraduate Student Awards


Presented to the top graduating senior.

Vincent Pistritto



Presented to a student who displays an aptitude for a career in Analytical Chemistry.

Lacie Dube



Recognizing achievements by an undergraduate in organic chemistry pursuing a career in chemistry.

Vincent Pistritto

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Chemistry Students Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

The following students in Chemistry have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa this year. Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest and most widely recognized honors society, celebrating achievement in the liberal arts and sciences. Congratulations to:

Halle Barber

Nicole Gomez

Mark Johnson

Aaron Cesar Lopes

Jessica Elena Ortegon

Ayushi Sanjay Pathak

Zachary Daniel Stempel

Taryn Briana Wisniewski

Joe Allen Zavorskas Jr.