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Catherine J. Page

Associate Professor — Inorganic Chemistry, Solid-State Chemistry & Materials Chemistry

Member, Materials Science Institute


B.A., Oberlin College, 1980. Ph.D., Cornell University, 1984 (M.J. Sienko). Honors and Awards: Oberlin College Holmes Award for Research, 1980; DuPont Teaching Award, 1982. At Oregon since 1986.

Research Interests:

Research in the Page laboratory is focused on the synthesis and characterization of new solid-state materials that have relevance to developing technologies. An integral component of our work, and the aspect that makes our efforts unique relative to most other synthetic groups, is the emphasis that we place on characterization of the resulting materials and evaluation of their properties in order to derive correlations between the synthetic route, structure and composition, and physical properties. Two areas of active research are described below.

Layer-by-Layer Synthesis of Inorganic-Organic Multilayer Thin Films

This technique allows the creation of novel chemical assemblies that incorporate both organic and inorganic characteristics to produce unique materials that cannot be prepared in bulk form. Three long-term goals in this area include (1) the development of new types of chemistry for the preparation of inorganic-organic multilayers, (2) the preparation of multilayer superstructures in which the chemistry and characteristics of one inorganic-organic layer can be alternated with a different type of inorganic-organic layer to prepare assemblies with controlled proximity of layers with different composition and properties, and (3) the incorporation of specific properties, such as nonlinear optical or magnetic properties into multilayers.

Towards the first and second goals, we have developed new chemical strategies for assembling inorganic-organic multilayers based on coordination chemistry. For example, multilayer films can be built up by alternate deposition of cobalt, chromium, or rhodium ions and diisocyanide, diamine or bipyridine ligands. We are preparing hybrid superstructures constructed with alternating metal diisocyanide or diamine layers and those of the previously known metal-phosphonate system, illustrated in the graphic. These hybrid materials offer the ability to incorporate a host of inorganic and organic functionalities, including organic components with nonlinear optical activity, magnetic metal ions and luminescent centers.

We are also exploiting the presence of NLO activity in these films to optimize the multilayer growth parameters, and to assess the kinetics of monolayer formation by monitoring second harmonic generation (one NLO property) as films are grown in situ.

Sol-Gel Synthesis

This method is particularly attractive among low-temperature synthetic routes for the preparation of multicomponent (complex) oxides. Using this synthetic method, metal alkoxide precursors are polymerized by hydrolysis to form inorganic networks which ultimately form a metal oxide gel. Gels can be fired at relatively low tempertures to yield crystalline metal oxides.

Previous work focused on the synthesis of high-temperature oxide superconductors (such as YBa2Cu3O7) using molecular precursors in an alkoxide-based sol-gel synthesis. More recently, we have begun a collaborative project with Prof. David Tyler's group investigating the use of sol-gel and other synthetic techniques to prepare transition metal oxides of interest as photocatalysts for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. Of particular interest is a class of niobium and tantalum oxides with perovskite-related structures. In addition to extensive characterization of the structure and composition of the materials, the catalytic efficiencies of the materials are evaluated in collaboration with Professor Tyler's group. The goal is to be able to correlate the materials' structures, compositions and electronic properties (e.g. the bandgaps) with the catalytic properties in order to optimize catalytic efficiencies and ultimately to understand the mechanism and species involved in the photocatalytic decomposition of water.

Selected Publications:

"Variation of Layer Spacing in Self-Assembled Hafnium 1,10 decanediylbis(phosphonate) Multilayers as Determined By Ellipsometry and Grazing Angle X-ray Diffraction"A.C. Zeppenfeld, S. L. Fiddler, W. K. Ham, B. J. Klopfenstein and C. J. Page, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 116, 9158-9165 (1994).

"Mapping the Elemental Distribution in Sol-Gel Derived Ceramics" C. S. Houk and C. J. Page Advanced Materials 8(2), 173 (1996). (Featured cover article)

"Self-Assembly of Thin Film Superstructures Based on Alternating Metal-Bisphosphonate and Cobalt-Diisocyanide Layers" M. A. Ansell, E. B. Cogan, G. A. Neff, R. von Roeschlaub and C. J. Page, Supramolecular Science 4(1-2), 21 (1997).

"Metal Bisphosphonate Multilayer Thin Films With Nonlinear Optical Activity" G. A. Neff, M. R. Helfrich, C. J. Page, Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Silicon 144-146, 53 (1999).

"Coordinate Covalent Cobalt-Diisocyanide Multilayer Thin Films Grown One Molecular Layer at a Time" M. A. Ansell, E. B. Cogan, C. J. Page, Langmuir 16(3), 1172 (2000).

"The Layer-By-Layer Growth of Acentric Multilayers of Zr and an Azobenzene Bisphosphonate: Structure, Composition and Second-Order Nonlinear Optical Properties" G. A. Neff, M. R. Helfrich, M. Clifton and C. J. Page, Chem. Mater. 12(8), 2363 (2000).

To Contact Dr. Page:
Phone: 541-346-4693
cpage@uoregon.edu