UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
The SciTech Building will foster innovative research neighborhoods around biology, chemistry, physics, and psychological sciences. This state-of-the-art facility will attract top researchers and accelerate interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships with scientific and research-related industries. One company in particular that the university is aiming to work with is 3M.
Due to the multidisplinary nature of the SciTech Building all UWRF students will utilize this building. It will not only be a place of learning and exploration, but a place of community and collaboration.
Below are a few of the areas that the SciTech Buidling will aid the Chemistry and Biotechnology department's faculty and students in their research efforts.
Quantum dots are useful in technological applications that gather or emit light, such as solar cells or LEDs. The Alvarado research group studies ways to make quantum dots that contain fewer heavy metals and are less toxic. We will be studying the quantum dots that we produce using the soon-to-arrive scanning electron microscope, which is being purchased through a grant funded by the National Science Foundation.
Many of the products that contribute to a better quality of life (pharmaceuticals, plastics, cosmetics, etc.) require organic synthesis in order to be made. Historically, chemical synthesis has been a significant contributor to the waste generated in several industries. The Haley lab seeks to ask the question, “do we really need solvent for these reactions, or can we find a different way that reduces waste?” To answer this question, we study fundamental organic transformations under solventless conditions. With our high-speed ball mill, we are building a portfolio of reactions that can make synthesis less wasteful and greener.
Herbal medicine is gaining popularity. Since herbal remedies typically contain many active components, they have advantages due to synergistic effects and the presence of compounds that can reduce side effects. The Kroutil laboratory is engaged in research examining how preparation method influences the activity and composition of several herbal medicines.
The Stoffregen research group uses quantum chemistry and statistical rate theory to construct atmospheric reaction mechanisms that allow for the prediction of how temperature variations affect the outcome of the atmospheric oxidation reactions. Our work makes use of a supercomputing cluster funded by the National Science Foundation to conduct the computations.
Chromatography is the primary tool for detecting minute quantities of chemicals in complex mixtures. The power of chromatography is that it, first, separates mixtures into their individual components, and, second, measures the amount of component present. Chromatography is employed in diverse fields, such as the food, agricultural, and pharmaceutical sectors. Recent work in the university's laboratory has addressed issues relating to the suspect quality of over-the-counter supplements.