Oana Luca
Assistant Professor


Ph.D: Yale University, Inorganic and Physical Organic Chemistry 2013

Postdoctoral Experience: California Institute of Technology (Staff Scientist), The Scripps Research Institute (CA)

Areas of Expertise

Catalysis Science, Electrochemical Synthesis, Energy Conversion and Storage, Green Chemistry

Awards and Honors

AAAS Program for Excellence in Science

Yale University Scientific Teaching Fellow

Our research lies at the interface of Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry.

Modern chemical synthesis employs a variety of reagents to interconvert chemical functionalities and to impart molecular complexity. Such reagents often involve high-energy oxidizing and reductive species that require special handling and precautions during use in the laboratory.

Our overarching goal is to develop a systematic understanding of the electrochemical  and photochemical generation of  in situ oxidizing and reducing entities and overall circumventing the need for such energetic reagents. In this fashion, we address knowledge gaps related to the development of scalable, environmentally benign redox processes and catalysts, while we tackle problems in a variety of research fields such as water quality and purification, sustainable chemical synthesis as well as energy production and storage.

We use a variety of analytical tools for reaction monitoring such as calorimetry, NMR, GC-FT-IR, Online Mass Spectrometry, and UV-Vis to observe these transformations in real-time as they unfold, thus allowing us to get a high-level molecular picture of reaction progress during catalytic turnover.  We use these analyses to inform reaction optimization and identify intermediates along these complex chemical pathways.

Undergraduates and graduate students interested in learning more about the group should contact Oana at oana.luca@colorado.edu.

Postdoc applications should be directed to oana.luca@colorado.edu in .pdf format including a cover letter, a current CV with a list of publications and the contact information of at least 3 professional references.