Ruben received his Bachelor's degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015, where he worked on the fabrication and characterization of DNA-functionalized graphene and carbon nanotube biosensors for early cancer detection applications. Ruben joined the PME in autumn of 2015. He is primarily advised by Dr. Seth Darling at Argonne National Laboratory, and conducts much of his experimental work in the Nealey group.
Ruben researches the basic science of sequential infiltration synthesis (SIS), a materials growth technique that enables inorganic metals and metal oxides to be grown within polymer structures. He applies the basic science of SIS to problems in water treatment and purification. Specifically, Ruben uses SIS to transform block-copolymer self-assembled films into metal oxide nanomeshes with highly regular pore sizes. This metal oxide nanomesh platform can be finely tuned in terms of pore size (5-50 nm) and metal oxide surface chemistry. These filtration devices are used to probe the relationship between pore structure and pore surface chemistry in separations.
Xia, Z., Yang, H., Chen, Z., Waldman, R., Zhao, Y., Zhang, C., Patel, S., & Darling, S. (2019). Porphyrin Covalent Organic Framework (POF)‐Based Interface Engineering for Solar Steam Generation. Advanced Materials Interfaces, 6(11), https://doi.org/10.1002/admi.201900254