The Vela group is interested in the fabrication, characterization and properties of novel low dimensional materials. Our aim is to develop unique nanostructures, composites, and devices that are useful in solving important technological problems in energy conversion, catalysis, and biological imaging and tracking. Research in our group involves multidisciplinary projects and frequent collaborations with spectroscopic, computational, analytical, and biological groups. Our students acquire a broad set of skills in the synthesis and characterization of organic and inorganic molecular compounds, polymers, colloidal nanocrystals, and solid-state materials. Some of the techniques we use on a daily basis include inert atmosphere and vacuum manifolds, dry glove boxes, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, transmission and scanning electron microscopies, optical absorption and photoluminescence spectroscopies, dynamic light scattering, and thermal analysis.