Jeffrey G. Winiarz studied Chemistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo (B.S., 1997; Ph.D., 2003). He did post-doctoral studies the Laser and Optics Research Center at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs (2003-2004) and was a Visiting Scholar at the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson (2004-2005). He joined the Department of Chemistry at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (MS&T) in 2005 where he currently holds the position of Associate Professor.
Our research focuses on the development of various types of polymeric photonic materials and devices, with emphasis on photorefractive composites. The commercial practicality of these materials is currently restricted by their slow response time and limited spectral sensitivity. We are addressing these issues through a novel approach involving the photosensitization of these materials by way of the inclusion of surface-passivated semiconductor nanocrystals. Inorganic nanocrystals posses several advantages over their organic counterparts in that, through the use of relatively narrow band gap semiconductor materials, the spectral properties of the photosensitizing species can be extended to the technologically important wavelengths in the near infrared region. Moreover, due to the highly efficient charge-generating properties associated with semiconductor materials, it is anticipated that these novel inorganic-organic hybrid nanocomposites can be fashioned such that their speed and sensitivity exceeds those associated with traditional all-organic composites.
photorefractive materials, holography, optical materials, nanomaterials, photoconductive composites
nonlinear optics, liquid crystals, anti-reflective thin films