FRI Chemistry Stream


coordination chemistry, inorganic chemistry, luminescence, lanthanides, materials science, X-ray crystallography

our research

Our Research

The Luminators stream is focused on the investigation of luminescent metal complexes which have the potential for useful technological applications such as probes in biological systems, light emitting diodes (LED’s) and photovoltaic devices (solar cells). We study the relationship between photophysical properties and their coordination structures for these unique compounds using UV/Vis/fluorescence spectroscopy and  X-ray crystallography.

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Student Researcher

Our Strategy

Students learn useful laboratory techniques to synthesize inorganic metal complexes and identify their structures using a variety of methods. Our researchers grow crystals, determine structure by single crystal X-ray diffraction, use UV/Vis/fluorescence spectroscopy to determine light emitting properties, learn the basic principles of X-ray crystallography, and use a new single-crystal X-ray diffractometer to collect data under close supervision.

The skills learned are transferable to advanced science classes at UT and for students who plan to pursue higher education or careers in industry. We also focus on the development of leadership and project management skills that are highly beneficial to future employers. 

Luminators researchers focus on:

  • laboratory techniques in chemical synthesis & molecular characterization
  • X-ray crystallography & UV/Vis/fluorescence/spectroscopy
  • scientific communication, critical thinking & data analysis

Our Impact

We develop and explore new classes of luminescent lanthanide-based nano-sized molecules with highly unusual chemical and physical properties. Our compounds have considerable potential for applications in photovoltaic devices (solar cells, which would relieve our emerging local, national, and global energy crisis), fluoroimmuno-assays, laser systems, bioprobes, and optical amplification.

Our Team

Profile image of Lauren DePue

Lauren DePue

  • Associate Professor of Practice
  • Director of Freshman Research Initiative
  • Freshman Research Initiative
  • College of Natural Sciences
Profile image of Emily Que

Emily Que

  • Associate Professor
  • Joseph J. & Jeanne M. Lagowski Regents Professorship in Inorganic Chemistry
  • Chemistry


Course Credit
Research Outcomes