PORTALES, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico University has received thousands in funding. The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the money over the course of three years.

The Department of Energy allocated $749,976 for the Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) to research the “use of carbonyl as an infrared reporter for probing the nature of charges in donor-acceptor type conjugated molecules.”

Three universities are a part of the project: ENMU, the University of New Mexico (UNM), and New Mexico State University (NMSU).

“I am proud that three New Mexico Universities are part of this endeavor as are the students, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as the post-docs,” said ENMU Principal Investigator Juchao Yan, “This DOE EPSCoR opportunity not only connects us and our own team together, but allows us to connect to and leverage several of the research infrastructures provided by the DOE at their laboratories free of charge, all for the advancement of science, technology, and engineering.”

The collaboration includes Dr. Juchao Yan, Dr. Sandra Biedron of UNM, and Dr. Mara Talipov of NMSU.

“The collaboration of the New Mexico Universities with these facilities and resources at the DOE labs is testament to the collaborative nature of the DOE since its incubation period that started 80 years ago,” said UNM Professor of Mechanical Engineering-Electrical-Computer Engineering Sandra Biedron, “Programs like the DOE EPSCoR reward collaborations and encourages the universities to work with the DOE laboratories and their resources for research and workforce training. It is an all-around winning program, including benefitting the EPSCoR states by bringing that information home. We are anxious to get the activities underway and contribute more to clean energy.”

The project will prepare and characterize a class of polymers that incorporate a carbonyl. A release from ENMU said this is an “infrared reporter group that is composed of a carbon atom double bonded to an oxygen atom.”

“Modern research projects require collective efforts of research teams with complementary expertise. This project uses a combination of experimental, computational, and theoretical approaches to create a new angle of tackling challenging problems for the development of better solar cells,” said Marat Talipov, “Interdisciplinary collaboration between the academic and national lab research teams builds an excellent environment for exciting research and for training of the next-generation STEM workforce.”

The studies are expected to create collaborations with members of the DOE labs, and it will utilize several facilities and additional research infrastructures at DOE labs. A few of the mentioned labs include Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.