Mario A. Alpuche

Assistant Professor

Analytical, Physical, and Materials Chemistry

B.S. (Licenciatura, 1999) Autonomous University of Yucatan; Ph.D. (2005), Mississippi State University (David Wipf); Postdoctoral Fellow (2005-2007), The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Electrochemistry (Allen J. Bard), and (2007-2009) The Ohio State University (Yiying Wu).

E-mail: malpuche [at]
Phone: 775-784-4523
FAX: 775-784-6804
Office: CB 124

Mario A. Alpuche

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Research Interests

The development and application of electrochemical methods are the focus or our research. We are interested in using these methods to solve problems in analytical chemistry, energy conversion and corrosion.

Renewable energy sources can be utilized with electrochemical devices such as fuel cells, batteries and dye-sensitized solar cells. We are interested in studying the fundamental properties of materials used for these applications to explain observed trends in electrocatalytic activity; we aim at using this knowledge to design new materials for more efficient devices.

We apply electrochemical principles to study the thermodynamics and kinetics of electron transfer reactions to correlate these with structure and other properties of materials. We are interested in developing new methods for the analysis of nanostructures, films and bulk materials for their potential use in energy conversion, such as semiconductors for harvesting solar energy and electrocatalysts for fuel cells (see Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Schematic of a fuel cell showing the detail of the electrocatalyst.

Analytical methods based on electrochemical principles are also of interest to us. Our goal is to develop electroanalytical methods to detect specific analytical targets out of complex mixtures (pH-meters and glucose sensors are examples of widely used, highly selective electrochemical devices). An additional benefit of electroanalytical methods is the possibility of miniaturization without necessarily sacrificing selectivity or sensitivity. The goal is to develop protocols to reproducibly prepare and characterize electrochemical sensors with diameters in the order of nanometers.


Dr. Alpucheā€™s research efforts are currently supported by a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), from the Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry (MSN) program in the NSF Division of Chemistry, award No. 1255387.

Selected Publications

Fernando A., Parajuli, S. and Alpuche-Aviles, M., Observation of Individual Semiconducting Nanoparticle Collisions by Stochastic Photoelectrochemical Currents. Journal of the American Chemical Society, ASAP,

Panitat, H.; Alpuche-Aviles, M.; Yiying, W. J. Electrocatalytic Activity of Graphene Multilayers toward I-/I3- J. Phys. Chem. C 2010, 114, 15857-15861.

Alpuche-Aviles, M. A.; Wu, Y. Photoelectrochemistry studies of the band structure of Zn2SnO4 prepared by the hydrothermal method. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2009, 131, 3216-3224.

Rodriguez Lopez, J.; Alpuche-Aviles, M. A.; Bard, A. J. Interrogation of surfaces for the quantification of adsorbed species on electrodes: Oxygen on gold and platinum in neutral media. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2008, 130, 16985-16995.

Nepomnyashchii, A.; Alpuche-Aviles, M. A.; Pan, S.; Zhan, D.; Fan, F.-R.; Bard, A. J. Cyclic voltammetry studies of Cd2+ and Zn2+ complexation with hydroxyl terminated polyamidoamine generation 2 dendrimer at a mercury microelectrode. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2008, 621, 286-296.

Minguzzi, A.; Alpuche-Aviles, M.A.; Rodriguez Lopez, J.; Rondinini, S.; Bard, A.J. Screening of oxygen evolution electrocatalysts by scanning electrochemical microscopy using a tip shielding approach. Analytical Chemistry 2008, 80, 4055-4064.

Alpuche-Aviles, M.A.; Baur, J.E.; Wipf, D.O. Imaging of metal ion dissolution and electrodeposition by anodic stripping voltammetry-scanning electrochemical microscopy. Analytical Chemistry 2008, 80, 3612-3621.

Kiani, A.; Alpuche-Aviles, M.A.; Eggers, P.; Jones, M.; Gooding, J.J.; Paddon-Row, M.N.; Bard, A.J. Scanning electrochemical microscopy. 59. Effect of defects and structure on electron transfer through self-assembled monolayers. Langmuir 2008, 24, 2841-2849.

Rodriguez Lopez, J.; Alpuche-Avilés, M.A.; Bard, A.J. Selective insulation with polytetrafluoroethylene of substrate electrodes for electrochemical background reduction in scanning electrochemical microscopy. Analytical Chemistry 2008, 80, 1813-1818.

Luis Díaz-Ballote, L.; Alpuche-Avilés, M.A.; Wipf, D.O. Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry - scanning electrochemical microscopy. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2007, 604, 17-25.

Veleva, L.; Alpuche-Aviles, M.A.; Graves-Brook, M.K.; Wipf, D.O. Voltammetry and surface analysis of AISI 316 stainless steel in chloride-containing simulated concrete pore environment. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2005, 578, 45-53.