Our Vision

Our goal is to bolster Hampton University faculty materials science research activities and serve as a catalyst to recruit and retain talented African American and female students who pursue research careers in materials science and engineering fields.

Research Thrusts

  • Photo-responsive Materials – This research collaboration between Hampton University Departments of Chemistry, Physics, and Electrical and Computer Engineering seeks to explore whether new photo-responsive / photo-switchable metallohydrogel materials can be designed and synthesized using arylazopyrazole-based ligands.
  • Opto-active Polymeric Biocomposite Materials – This research studies whether polymeric biocomposites can serve as tissue surrogates for a diverse range of tissue types and produce stimuli-responsive optical emissions. The goal is to produce opto-active polymeric biocomposites that are mechanically versatile, optically clear, biologically active, and stimuli responsive (opto-active).
  • Opto-electronic Materials – The expertise and strengths of Hampton University faculty in the Departments of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering are applied to investigate whether silicon and / or III-V materials along with mixed halide perovskites materials can serve as a optofluidic platform for photo-responsive and opto-active material-based response systems.


  1. Yuan, Y.; Tyson, C.; Szyniec, A.; Agro, S.; Tavakol, T.N.; Harmon, A.; Lampkins, D.; Pearson, L.; Dumas, J.E.; Taite, L.J. Bioactive Polyurethane–Poly(ethylene Glycol) Diacrylate Hydrogels for Applications in Tissue Engineering. Gels2024, 10, 108.
  2. Geter, J.; Ghebreyessus, K. “Lanthanide-Metal Ion Triggered Supramolecular Gelation of Visible-Light-Switchable Amino Acid Functionalized Arylazopyrazole Ligands” Proceedings of the Virginia Academy of Science, Virginia Journal of Science, 2023, 74, 29.
  3. Browning, M.; Jefferson, A.; Geter, J.; Ghebreyessus, K. “Metal Ion-Induced Formation of Metallogels by Visible-Light-Responsive Phenylalanine-Functionalized Arylazopyrazole Ligands” Photochem, 2023, 3, 427-441.
  4. Mirbagheri, G. and Uba, I. and Ghebreyessus, K. and Hommerich, U. and Fraden, S. and Stehnach, M. and Geddis, D. “Numerical analysis of the propagation modes of photo-switching PDMS-arylazopyrazole optical waveguide and thin-film spectroscopic characterization” Journal of nanophotonics , v.17 , 2023
  5. Mirbagheri, Golsa and Uba, Ikemefuna and Ghebreyessus, Kesete and Hömmerich, Uwe and Fraden, Seth and Stehnach, Michael and Geddis, Demetris “Numerical analysis of the propagation modes of photo-switching PDMS-arylazopyrazole optical waveguide and thin-film spectroscopic characterization” Proceedings of SPIE , 2023
  6. Brian Aufderheide and , Garrick E. Louis and , Otsebele E. Nare and , Andres F. Clarens “Diversifying STEM Higher Education through Online Collaborative Instruction: The Case of an Engineering Ethics Course between an MSI and PWI” Proceedings for the ASEE Southeastern Section Conference , 2023
  7. Brown, Ei Ei and Fleischman, Zackery D. and McKay, Jason and Merkle, Larry and Hommerich, Uwe and Palosz, Witold and Trivedi, Sudhir and Dubinskii, Mark “Ho 3+ doped low-phonon single crystals and chalcogenide glasses for mid-IR source application” Optical Materials Express , v.13 , 2023
  8. Brown and , Z. D. Fleischman and , J. McKay and , U. Hommerich and , W. Palosz and , S. Trivedi and , and M. Dubinskii “Spectroscopic Evaluation of Er: Ga2Ge5S13 Glass for Mid-IR Laser Applications” Optical materials express , v.Vol 12. , 2022
  9. Uba, Ikemefuna and Geddis, Demetris and Ghebreyessus, Kesete and Hömmerich, Uwe and Dumas, Jerald “A Study of Wave Confinement and Optical Force in Polydimethlysiloxane?Arylazopyrazole Composite for Photonic Applications” Polymers , v.14 , 2022
  10. Brown, Ei Ei and Fleischman, Zackery D. and McKay, Jason and Hommerich, Uwe and Kabir, Al Amin and Riggins, Jazmine and Trivedi, Sudhir and Dubinskii, Mark “Mid-IR spectroscopy of Er 3+ doped low-phonon CsCdCl 3 and CsPbCl 3 crystals” Journal of the Optical Society of America B , v.40 , 2022
  11. Ghebreyessus, Kesete and Ndip, Edmund M. and Waddell, Michelle K. and Asojo, Oluwatoyin A. and Njoki, Peter N. “Cultivating Success through Undergraduate Research Experience in a Historically Black College and University” Journal of Chemical Education , v.99 , 2022
  12. Aufderheide, Brian and Nare, Otsebele E. “An Engineering Ethics and Safety Course Integrated with Professional Skills” ASEE-SE Annual Meeting , 2022
  13. Hommerich, J. Barnett “Comparative steady-state and time-resolved emission spectroscopy of Mn doped CsPbCl3 perovskites nanoparticles and bulk single crystals for photonic applications” SPIE Proceedings , Optical Components and Materials , v.11682 , 2021
  14. Ghebreyessus, Kesete and Uba, Ikemefuna and Geddis, Demetris and Hömmerich, Uwe “Solid-state photoswitching in arylazopyrazole-embedded polydimethylsiloxane composite thin films” Journal of Solid State Chemistry , v.303 , 2021
  15. Dumas, J and Ero-Tolliver, I “Preliminary Study: Assessing the Impact of Remote Pre-College STEM Instruction on the Engineering Identity of Freshmen Students at an HBCU” American Society for Engineering Education Southeastern Section Conference Proceedings , 2021
  16. Uba, Ikemefuna and Ghebreyessus, Kesete and Geddis, Demetris and Hommerich, Uwe “Tunable Optoelectronic Properties of Polydimethylsiloxane-Arylazopyrazole Flexible Composite” IEEE Southeastcon , 2021
  17. Dua, Rupak and Rashad, Zuri and Spears, Joy and Dunn, Grace and Maxwell, Micaela “Applications of 3D-Printed PEEK via Fused Filament Fabrication: A Systematic Review” Polymers , v.13 , 2021
  18. Dua, Rupak and Jones, Hugh and Noble, Philip C. “Evaluation of bone formation on orthopedic implant surfaces using an ex-vivo bone bioreactor system” Scientific Reports , v.11 , 2021
  19. Smith, Kalynda C. “The role of the HBCU pipeline in diversifying the STEM workforce: Training the next generation of drug delivery researchers.” Advanced drug delivery reviews , v.176 , 2021
  20. Yi, Meihui and Guo, Jiaqi and He, Hongjian and Tan, Weiyi and Harmon, Nya and Ghebreyessus, Kesete and Xu, Bing “Phosphobisaromatic motifs enable rapid enzymatic self-assembly and hydrogelation of short peptides” Soft Matter , v.17 , 2021
  21. Brown, Z. D. “Comparative study of rare-earth doped low-phonon fluoride and chloride crystals for mid-IR laser potential” Proceedings SPIE 11723, Laser Technology for Defense and Security XVII , v.11723 , 2021
  22. Brown, Z. D. “Mid-IR Emission Characteristics of Low-Phonon Erbium doped Ternary Chloride-based Single Crystals” Proc. SPIE 11682, Optical Components and Materials., v.11682 , 2021
  23. D. Merkle, Z. Fleischman “Enhanced Mid-Infrared Emission of Pr3+ ions in solids through a ?3-for-1? excitation process-quantified” Optics express , v.29 , 2021
  24. Geddis, Demetris and Aufderheide, Brian and Colquhoun, Herman “Work in Progress: Project and Design-Based Introductory Engineering Course using Arduino Kits” ASEE Annual Conference , 2020–35679
  25. Hommerich, S. Uba “Visible emission properties of melt-gown Dy-doped CsPbCl3 and KPb2Cl5 crystals,” Optical materials express , v.10 , 2020
  26. Sallee, Ashanti and Ghebreyessus, Kesete “Photoresponsive Zn 2+ -specific metallohydrogels coassembled from imidazole containing phenylalanine and arylazopyrazole derivatives” Dalton Transactions , v.49 , 2020
  27. Njoki, Peter N. and Rhoades, Anais E. and Barnes, Joy I. “Microwave-Assisted synthesis of Anisotropic copper?silver nanoparticles” Materials Chemistry and Physics , v.241 , 2020 https://10.1016/j.matchemphys.2019.122348
  28. Hommerich, D. Hart “Materials development and mid-infrared emission properties of Dy-doped TlPb2Br5 and CsPbCl3” Proc. SPIE 11276, Optical Components and Materials XVII , v.11276 , 2020
  29. Feng, Zhaoqianqi and Wang, Huaimin and Yi, Meihui and Lo, Chieh?Yun and Sallee, Ashanti and Hsieh, Jer?Tsong and Xu, Bing “Instructed?assembly of small peptides inhibits drug?resistant prostate cancer cells” Peptide Science , v.112 , 2019
  30. Ghebreyessus, K. and Sallee, A. “Photo-Responsive Metallo-gels” PROCEEDINGS OF THE 97TH ANNUAL MEETING , v.70 , 2019