Carlos R. Cabrera


University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus

Picture of Carlos Cabrera


Cabrera is a Professor at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. Cabrera's main research area is on the development of nanocatalysts for clean energy technology such as Fuel Cell Systems. This energy system is of importance for the development of environmentally friendly energy conversion and storage based on alcohols. Fuel Cells are becoming a promising clean energy system for vehicles, portable devices, and power generators. This area of research is part of the Institute for Functional Nanomaterials (IFN). Through the institute, Cabrera will develop catalytic nanomaterials for fuel cell testbeds and prototypes that will be evaluated at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The creation of the IFN is creating a unique opportunity for the further development of Cabrera's nanotechnology research since new state-of-the-art instrumentations and unique partnerships with Nanotechnology Centers will be established. These centers are located at Purdue University, University of Massachusetts, Northwestern University, Cornell University and the Argonne National Laboratory.

Cabrera, from Naranjito, Puerto Rico, is a product of the public educational system. In 1982 he obtained a B.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus and continued towards a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Cornell University and a Postdoctoral Research Associate position at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1989, Cabrera joined the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus as an Assistant Professor. In the last 18 years, his energy and nanotechnology related research has been done with undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral research associates. In 2000, Cabrera worked at the NASA Glenn Research Center in the Electrochemistry with Fuel Cells and Li Battery Systems. Currently, he is the Director of the Center for Nanoscale Materials, which is sponsored by NASA. Through the years, the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, NASA, and the National Science Foundation have funded his research.

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Atomic form microscopy (AFM) image of carbon nanotubes chemically attached to platinum electrodes surfaces for Fuel Cell Applications.

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Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of PtRu nanocatalyst prepared in Cabrera's research laboratory. The nanoparticles (black dots) are in the 5 nanometer (5 x 10^-9 meter) in diameter size.


Cluster II: Functional Nanostructures at the Interface


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  1. C. R. Cabrera, L. F. Fonseca, K. H. Griebenow, A. J. Hernández, and R. S. Katiyar. NASA URC: Center for Advanced Nanoscale Materials , National Aeronautics and Space Administration, URC, 5 years, October 2008, Multiple PIs, Approved, $6,500,000.
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