Hal Van Ryswyk, PhD, John Stauffer Professor of Chemistry, researches analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, surface science and sold-state materials science.
Current research in the Van Ryswyk group centers around dye-sensitized solar cells utilizing porphyrin dyes on nanostructured zinc oxide. His lab uses zinc oxide nanoparticles, nanorods and nanotubes as the photoanode in combination with a range of zinc porphyrins to better understand the interactions of dye and photoanode in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs).
The goal is to create low-cost photovoltaics that can be produced easily for large-area applications.
Van Ryswyk also researches lead levels in soil from vehicle emissions. Lead in soil from vehicle emissions is a leading cause of childhood lead poisoning in Southern California. Van Ryswyk co-developed a service-learning module for the general chemistry course at HMC wherein first-year students work with local fifth- and sixth-grade students to determine lead levels in soil throughout the community. The students utilize statistical sampling methods, GPS mapping, microwave-assisted digestion and atomic absorption analysis in a preliminary study of soil at the Bernard Field Station adjacent to old U.S. Route 66 in Claremont.
Van Ryswyk and his student researchers work with Vista del Valle, Oakmont, Mountain View and Sumner elementary schools in the Claremont Unified School District.