John-David R. Rocha

Assistant Professor

Rocha NanoMaterials Spectroscopy Lab

Contact Information

OfficeGOS 3278

Office Hours

Instructor/student interactions for SPRING 2014: M/W 1:00 - 3:00 PM; Discussions regarding research/collaborations can be scheduled by e-mail or phonecall.

Mailing Address

School of Chemistry & Materials Science, College of Science
Rochester Institute of Technology
85 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623

B.S., University of North Texas, Denton, TX - 1995
M.S., University of North Texas, Denton, TX - 2002
Ph.D., Rice University, Houston, TX - 2008
Postdoctoral Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 2008 - 2010
Dr. Rocha recently joined the School of Chemistry & Materials Science at RIT as an Assistant Professor. His research focus is in the area of nanotechnology as a physical / analytical / materials chemist, more specifically, in the use of nanomaterials in energy, electronics, and biomedicine. He expects to utilize his expertise in the areas of carbon nanomaterials characterization to expand areas of fundamental understanding in carbon nanotubes and graphenes, keenly working to tie the acquired knowledge to the application needs of the chemical and engineering industries. In the future, Dr. Rocha plans to expand into other elemental nanomaterials, first as hybrids with carbon nanomaterials and then later as primary materials.
Before coming to RIT, Dr. Rocha was a Research Scientist at SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT, Norman, OK). While there, among other responsibilities, he was the Principal Investigator of a $1.1M joint collaboration between SWeNT and a major electronics corporation to develop semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) inks for thin film transistor applications. This work involved developing or introducing new methods for purifying/enriching SWCNTs in electronic character, diameter/chirality, and length. Additionally as a member of the SWeNT Research and Development team, Dr. Rocha worked to improve SWeNT metrology efforts in carbon nanotubes (single-walled and multi-walled) from synthesis to application for projects involving state, federal, and private funding.
As a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Dr. Rocha investigated the hydrogen sorption capacity of novel carbon-based nanomaterials using optical spectroscopic methods, and he also expanded studies of fundamental SWCNT photophysical properties and changes due to refined separation techniques. During his doctoral studies at Rice, he advanced the use of SWCNT fluorescence emission spectroscopy as an analytical characterization method through the design and assembly of a unique real-time fluorimetric analyzer for SWCNTs, now sold commercially as the NanoSpectralyzer (Applied NanoFluorescence, Houston, TX).
Rocha’s nearly 20 years in chemical research also includes work in gas-phase chemical kinetics of small molecules relevant to atmospheric and combustion chemistry and theoretical chemistry studies of organometallics. He is a member of the ACS Physical and Analytical divisions serving as a reviewer for the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and Analytical Chemistry. He also participates regularly in activities with the MRS, AAAS, and the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). Rocha received his Texas Secondary Education Teaching Certificate in Chemistry and taught high school Mathematics, Physical Science, and General Chemistry for five years in the large, urban school district of Dallas, TX, his hometown.

Job Responsibilities

Physical Chemistry:
Computational Chemistry (CHMP-753) - Fall 2013
Physical Chemistry II (CHMP-442) - Spring 2014
Quantum Chemistry (1014-442) - Winter 2122
Chemical Kinetics Laboratory (1014-447) - Spring 2123

Research Interests

-Use of optical spectroscopies (visible-IR absorption, fluorescence, Raman) to characterize carbon-based nanomaterials in renewable energy, optoelectronics, and biomedicine
-Purification, separation, and characterization of carbon-based nanomaterials
-Synthesis and characterization of novel carbon-inorganic, and inorganic nanomaterials

Selected Publications

18.   “Spectroscopic Identification of Hydrogen Spillover Species in Ruthenium-modified High Surface Area Carbons by Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy,” J. L. Blackburn, C. Engtrakul, J. B. Bult, K. Hurst, Y. Zhao, Q. Xu, P. A. Parilla, L. J. Simpson, J.-D. R. Rocha, M. R. Hudson, C. M. Brown, T. Gennett, J. Phys. Chem. C, 116(51), 26744, 2012, (DOI:10.1021/jp305235p).
17.     “Carbon Nanomaterials Commercialization,” D. Arthur, R. Prada Silvy, P. Wallis, Y. Tan, J.-D. R. Rocha, D. Resasco, R. Praino, W. Hurley, MRS Bulletin, 37(12), 1297, 2012.
16.     "Efficient Spectrofluorimetric Analysis of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Samples,” J.-D. R. Rocha, S. M. Bachilo, S. Ghosh, S. Arepalli, and R. B. Weisman, Anal. Chem., 83(19), 7431, 2011.
15.     “High-Performance Hydrogen Production and Oxidation Electrodes with Hydrogenase Supported on Metallic Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Networks,” D. Svedruzic, J. L. Blackburn, R. C. Tenent, J.-D. R. Rocha, T. B. Vinzant, M. J. Heben, and P. W. King, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 133(12), 4299, 2011.
13.     “Structure-Dependent Reactivity of Semiconducting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes with Benzene Diazonium Salts,” C. D. Doyle, J.-D. R. Rocha, R. B. Weisman, and J. M. Tour, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 130(21), 6795, 2008.
11.     “Stepwise Quenching of Exciton Fluorescence in Carbon Nanotubes by Single-Molecule Reactions,” L. Cognet, D. A. Tsyboulski, J.-D. R. Rocha, C. D. Doyle, J. M. Tour, and R. B. Weisman, Science, 316, 1465, 2007.
8.     “Characterization of Reaction Pathways on the Potential Energy Surfaces for H + SO2 and HS + O2,” A. Goumri, J.-D. R. Rocha, D. Laakso, C. E. Smith, and P. Marshall, J. Phys. Chem. A, 103(51), 11328, 1999.
1.     "Investigation of the Gas-Phase Kinetics of the Reaction K + SO2 + Ar," A. Goumri, D. Laakso, J.-D. R. Rocha, E. Francis, and P. Marshall, J. Phys. Chem., 97(20), 5295, 1993.