Materials Technology Group - University of Houston
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Structural Materials

Dr. Robles's research in composites includes steels, ceramic, polymer, bio- and metal matrix composites re-enforced with various types of carbon nanostructures. He developed a methodology to synthesize in solid-state a new allotrope of carbon that act as an effective reinforcement for composites, having better properties than graphene for most structural applications, including tribology. He has been involved in the development of alloys and steels for automotive and railroad applications. His work on the railways includes the development of rail and wheel steels for heavy-haul applications as well as their testing on the field and laboratory conditions. In addition, he has developed methodologies to improve rail welding to improve fatigue resistance.

Materials for Renewable Energy

Dr. Robles is conducting research in the synthesis of new catalysts using the Co-Ti-O ternary system, which has demonstrated unusual activity under red and infra-red light sources. This system is effective not only as catalysts to degrade organics from water, but also for energy applications such as water splitting, and bacteria control. The synthesis of these materials is relatively simple having strong potential for industrialization particularly for the defense and the energy sectors. He has been deeply involved in materials for energy storage, such as batteries.

Transmission Electron Microscopy

An area of expertise that Dr. Robles has been exploring transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for over 20 years. He has a particular interest in aberration corrected-TEM, to characterize a wide range of materials for applications ranging from structural to energy and bio-materials. A great deal of work has been produced for energy-related materials with applications on batteries, catalysis, water splitting among other uses for energy.