Jorge L. Colón

Jorge L. Colón


Office: FB-109
Phone: (787)402-2015
Laboratory: FB-105
Laboratory Phone: (787)764-0000 Ext. 3220



Ph.D. 1989 from Texas A&M University
Postdoc 1989-1990 from Texas A&M University
NSF Postdoc 1990-1992 from California Institute of Technology

Research Interests

Inorganic, bioinorganic, and nanomaterials chemistry; Layered inorganic compounds; Artificial photosynthesis and solar fuels; Amperometric biosensors; Drug delivery systems; Photophysics and photochemistry of luminescent metal complexes; Electrocatalysis of water splitting reactions.

Research Focus

We focus our research efforts on the use of layered inorganic nanomaterials in applications ranging from artificial photosynthesis and solar fuels, amperometric biosensors, vapochromic materials, and drug delivery systems. We make use of X-ray powder diffraction methods, UV-vis spectrophotometry, luminescence spectroscopy and lifetime measurements, X-ray photoelectron, NMR and IR spectroscopies, and electrochemical methods to characterize and study our materials.

As global warming and climate change dramatize the urgent need to switch to sustainable carbon-free energy sources we are pursuing an artificial photosynthesis project in which excited state electron donors are being intercalated in zirconium phosphate layered materials and reacted with suitable quenchers to provoke long-lived charge separation as a way to mimic the primary processes of photosynthesis and develop cheap, efficient, solar cells. The promise of low-cost and efficient dye-sensitized solar cells based on perovskite materials is impeded by their low stability; zirconium phosphate composites with perovskite might overcome this limitation. Solar catalysts for renewable fuels based on metals and molecular catalysts incorporated in or on zirconium phosphate are being studied through electrocatalytic studies.

Amperometric biosensors are being prepared by modifying electrodes with zirconium phosphates intercalated with electron mediators based on ruthenium, iron, and cobalt complexes for sensing substrates such as ethanol and lactate.

Platinum terpyridyl complexes intercalated in zirconium phosphate are the basis of our project aimed at developing vapochromic and vapoluminescent materials for detection of volatile organic compounds.

Biohybrid materials based on intercalated drugs such as cisplatin, doxorubicin, and insulin are being developed in a biomedicine project aimed at selectively delivering bioactive agents to intended biological targets using layered nanoparticles.

"Collaborations for several of these projects are currently in place with researchers at Texas A&M University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Nantes (France), and the University of Puerto Rico -Río Piedras, Mayagüez, and Medical Sciences campuses.  We are starting collaborations with researchers in Spain and Italy.  In addition, we are part of the Caribbean Brigade of the Solar Army, the outreach program of the NSF sponsored Center for Chemical Innovation-Solar Fuels in collaboration with Caltech.  The Caribbean Brigade has given workshops on solar energy to thousands of teachers and thousands of students in Puerto Rico since 2011.

Selected Recent Publications

1.    González-Villegas, J.; Kan, Y.; Bahkmutov, V.; García-Vargas, A.; Martínez, M.; Colón, J.L.; Clearfield, A. Poly(ethylene glicol)-modified zirconium phosphate nanoplatelets for improved doxorubicin delivery.  Inorg. Chim. Acta 2017, 468, 270-279.

2.    Sánchez, J.; Ramos-Garcés, M. V.; Narkeviciute, I.; Colón, J. L.; Jaramillo, T. F. Transition Metal-Modified Zirconium Phosphate Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Evolution Reaction. Catalysts 2017, 7, 132. doi:10.3390/catal7050132

3.    Bakhmutov, V. I., Kan, Y., Sheikh, J. A., González-Villegas, J., Colón, J. L., and Clearfield, A. Modification and Intercalation of Layered Zirconium Phosphates: A solid state NMR Monitoring. Mag. Reson. Chem. 2017, 55, 648-654. DOI: 10.1002/mrc.4568.

4.    Colón J. The Solar Army: Harry Gray’s Legacy to the Children of the World. Chem. Int. 2016, 38, 12-15.

5.    González, M. L.; Ortiz, M.; Hernández, C.; Cabán, J.; Rodríguez, A.; Colón, J. L.; Báez, A. Zirconium Phosphate Nanoplatelet Potential for Anticancer Drug Delivery Applications. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2016, 16, 117-129.

6.    Colón, J. Puerto Rico’s Future at Stake. Science 2015, 349, 1145.

7.    Colón, J. L. Science for Haiti: International Collaborations to Advance Haitian Science and Science Education Capacity and Innovation. In Jobs, Collaborations, and Women Leaders in the Global Chemistry Enterprise; Chen, H. N.; Wu, M. L.; Miller, B. D. Eds.; ACS Symposium Series Vol. 1195, American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2015.

8.    Casañas-Montes, B.; Díaz, A.; Barbosa, C.; Ramos, C.; Collazo, C.; Meléndez, E.; Queffelec, C.; Fayon, F.; Clearfield, A.; Bujoli, B.; Colón, J. L. Molybdocene dichloride intercalation into zirconium phosphate nanoparticles. J. Organomet. Chem. 2015, 791, 34-40.

9.    Colón, J. L.; Casañas, B. Drug Carriers Based on Zirconium Phosphate Nanoparticles. In Tailored Organic-Inorganic Materials; Brunet, E.; Colón, J. L.; Clearfield, A., Eds.; Wiley: Hoboken, 2015 pp 395-437.

10.  Díaz, A.; Pérez, R. J.; David, A.; González, M. L.; Báez, A.; Kinnibrugh, T. B.; Zhang, P.; Clearfield, A.; Colón, J. L. Direct Intercalation of Cisplatin into Zirconium Phosphate Nanoplatelets for Potential Cancer Nanotherapy. Nanoscale 2013, 5, 11456-11463.

11. Colón, J. Science for Haiti: A Call for a Response from the International Chemistry Community. Chem. Int. 2012, 34(4), 10-13.

12. Rivera, E.; Barbosa, C.; Torres, R.; Rivera, H.; Fachini, E. R.; Green, T. W.; Connick, W. B.; Colón, J. L. Luminescence Rigidochromism and Redox Chemistry of Pyrazolate-Bridged Binuclear Platinum(II) Diimine Complex Intercalated into Zirconium Phosphate Layers. Inorg. Chem. 2012, 51, 2777-2784.

13. Santiago-Berríos, M. B.; Declet-Flores, C.; David, A.; Borrero, S.; Vélez, M. M.; Díaz-Díaz, A.; Guadalupe, A. R.; Colón, J. L. Direct Intercalation of Bis-2,2’,2”,6-terpyridyl Cobalt (III) into Zirconium Phosphate Layers for Biosensing Applications. , Langmuir 2012, 28, 4447-4452.

14. Díaz, A.; Saxena, V.; González, J; David, A.; Casañas, B.; Batteas, J. D.; Colón, J. L.; Clearfield, A.; Hussain, M. D. Zirconium phosphate nano-platelets: a novel platform for drug delivery in cancer therapy. Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 1754-1756.

15. Rivera, E. J.; Barbosa, C.; Torres, R.; Grove, L.; Taylor, S.; Connick, W. B.; Clearfield, A.; Colón, J. L. Vapochromic and Vapoluminescence Response of Materials based on Platinum(II) Complexes intercalated into Layered Zirconium Phosphate. J. Mater. Chem. 2011, 21, 15899-15902.

16. Díaz; A.; David, A.; Pérez, R.; González, M. L.; Báez, A.; Wark, S. E.; Zhang, P.; Clearfield, A.; Colón, J. L. Nanoencapsulation of Insulin into Zirconium Phosphate for Oral Delivery Applications. Biomacromolecules 2010, 11, 2465-2470.

17. Martí, A. A.; Colón, J. L. Photophysical characterization of the Interactions among Tris(2-2’-bipyridyl)ruthenium(II) Complexes Ion-Exchanged within Zirconium Phosphate. Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49, 7298-7303.

18.  Santiago, M. B.; Daniel, G. A.; David, A.; Casañas, B.; Hernández, G.; Guadalupe, A. R.; Colón, J. L. Effect of enzyme and cofactor immobilization on the response of ethanol amperometric biosensors modified with layered zirconium phosphate. Electroanalysis 2010, 22, 1097-1105.

Books coauthored

Tailored Organic-Inorganic Materials, Brunet, E.; Colón, J. L.; Clearfield, A. Eds., Wiley: Hoboken, 2015.

El proyecto de explotación minera en Puerto Rico (1962-1968): Nacimiento de la conciencia ambiental moderna, Colón, J. L.; Córdova Iturregui, F; Córdova Iturregui, J. Ediciones Huracán: Río Piedras, 2014.