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Wayne E. Jones, Jr.
Professor, Inorganic and Materials Chemistry and Department Chairman

Contact Information
Department of Chemistry
State University of New York at Binghamton
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000

e-mail : wjones@binghamton.edu
Phone : (607) 777 2421   |   Office:  Science II 609
Fax :    (607) 777 4478



Professional Background

Research Interests

Our research group’s interests involve the study of photo-induced electron and energy transfer processes in inorganic and polymer systems. By combining novel synthetic strategies with modern electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques, we gain a better understanding of fundamental processes which occur in all of chemistry including electron transfer, energy transfer, excited state reactivity, and materials design at a molecular level. The focus of our efforts is the design and study of molecular wires and devices. These nanomaterials provide a foundation for fundamental investigations as well as opportunities for new applied technologies. The projects briefly outlined below fall into three areas under the theme of molecular wires and are or have been supported by grants from NIH, NSF, SRC, NIST, NNSA, ONR, New York State Center for Advanced Technology (IEEC), and industrial partners.

The first targeted area of interest involves application of electronic and photonic polymers to specific devices such as sensors. We have prepared a series of fluorescent polymer chemosensor materials which take advantage of electronic communication along the conjugated polymer molecular wire to provide enhanced detection of nanomolar quantities of transition metals in solution. Initially supported by the National Institutes of Health, we are preparing more reversible and water sensitive versions of this exciting new class of materials. Of particular interest is the non-linear quenching response in these polymers, which make them significantly more sensitive than monomeric sensors. We have developed a unique mathematical model that incorporates both static quenching and dynamic energy transfer. Fitting of the fluorescence quenching data allows distinction between Dexter and Forster energy transfer mechanisms. The synthetic strategy allows for variations in the receptor, receptor loading, and polymer backbone conjugation. Recent work has involved design of more selective receptors based on hemi-labile ligands. This also involves detailed photophysical investigations of a series of transition metal complexes based on this flexible Lewis basic ligand. We have also developed a new class of conjugated polymers that “turn-on” their fluorescence in the presence of specific analytes. This work was recently published in JACS and a proposal is pending at NIH to continue this work.

The second area of emphasis involves the design of conducting molecular wires which continues to be a fascinating target of chemistry, physics, and materials science. We have been exploring the use of self assembled monolayers to modify the behavior of in situ deposited conducting polymer films. We have demonstrated for the first time that closely packed transition metal complexes enhance the intermolecular interactions of conducting polymers during the in situ deposition process. The result is electrically conductivities that are 1 to 2 orders of magnitude greater than typical in situ or spin coating preparations. This effect correlates well to the size and extent of conjugation in the ligand of the complex.

The final area of emphasis focuses on applying a non-mechanical electrostatic polymer processing procedure to prepare nanofibrous materials with diameters of < 100 nm. Nanofibers have been prepared ranging from conducting polymers, polymer blends, and layered composite materials of metals, metal oxides, and conducting polymers. Recently, we have demonstrated the use of the TUbes by Fiber Templates (TUFT) approach to create nanotubes of metals, graphitic carbon, conducting polymers, and metal oxides. Characterization by SEM, TEM, XRD, and FTIR show uniform tubes with 50-1000 nm inner diameter and wall diameters of 30 - 300 nm. With the support of grants from SRC and NIST, we have examined the thermal conductivity of these materials in addition to the electrical conductivity. We have developed a calibration method for Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM) in order to directly characterize the thermal conductivity of nanomaterials. Building on theoretical work by groups at the California Institute of Technology and Columbia, we have used SThM to show that metallic nanotubes and composites of these tubes with polymers have thermal conductivities which exceed bulk values by as much as an order of magnitude when the wall thickness is below 100 nm.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Jones’ teaching interests are based on the philosophy that a curriculum must provide students with relevant, active learning environments, which foster the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills. These skills are crucial both for the scientific researcher when solving chemical problems and for the general population that is increasingly faced with choices on technology, the environment, and the natural world. In chemistry, this can be achieved by combining high quality research with interactive classroom discussions of contemporary scientific problems and theories.

As Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching, Dr. Jones' teaching interests concentrate on the effective use and evaluation of technology in the classroom. These teaching interests involve long-term curriculum development in chemistry including more expanded use of technology in introductory chemical education, use of interactive multi-media materials for self-directed learning, and the design of new advanced undergraduate laboratories based on the guided inquiry approach. As PI or Co-PI on several grants from NSF, he has worked with different teams of faculty and graduate students have implemented new advanced laboratories in Inorganic and Materials chemistry, introduced scanning probe microscopies including AFM and STM into the undergraduate curriculum, and created learning activities to introduce nanotechnology to an interdisciplinary group of courses in chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering.

Curriculum Vitae (pdf, 228Kb)

Selected Publications


© Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
Updated 06-03-2015