AFRL Space Scholars Program

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Victoria Rubio

Ph.D. student Victoria Rubio (Spokoyny lab) has been selected for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) 2024 Space Scholars Program to work on the synthesis and characterization of polymer films imbedded with luminescent boranes.

Rubio is a third-year year graduate student in Professor Alex Spokoyny’s lab working on synthetic main group chemistry. She explores the impact of bulky, electron withdrawing carboranes on Lewis acidic antimony and arsenic centers. This summer, she will work with mentor Dr. Thomas Peng at New Mexico’s Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to push the boundaries of solar cell efficiency in functional, space-operable photovoltaic devices with the use of downshifting boron cluster molecules. At the AFRL, Rubio will be working at the interface of chemical synthesis and photophysics to achieve these goals.

The AFRL Space Scholars Program is a highly competitive venue geared towards providing students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) an opportunity to experience research in an Air Force laboratory and to work on projects directly related to promoting national security.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,