Blake Ocampo
Chemistry • Biochemistry

Blake is a Chemistry and Biochemistry double major. He splits his time as a Peer Supervisor at the Office of Financial Aid at CU Boulder, a Learning Mentor in SASC, and a research lab on campus under Dr. Tarek Sammakia. In his free time, he loves to hike, play videogames, and relax. His research revolves around organic synthetic chemistry to make molecules that can help increase the efficiency of solar cells. This is done through a process known as singlet fission, which has the potential to increase solar cell efficiency by almost 50%. Blake will be pursuing a PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to further his knowledge of chemistry for applications and improvements in the industrial process.

Molecules capable of engaging in singlet fission serve as a potential method for increasing solar cell efficiency; however, most molecules are limited in scope and variability. This project aims to synthesize molecules known as isoindoles for use in singlet fission studies as they are easily adaptable and have not been studied through this lens before. After designing a route from the retrosynthesis of 1,3-diphenylisoindole, an eight-step pathway was designed to synthesize it. The first five steps were then completed and optimized for further reactions. The success of these first five steps have shown the feasibility of this route for forming the isoindole and once completed, will provide a path to various electronic perturbations to comprehensively study singlet fission character and solar cell applications.

Faculty Research Mentor:

Dr. Tarek Sammakia, Professor
Department of Chemistry