Professor Mabrouk has three distinct areas of research interest: fundamental molecular biophysical studies of heme proteins, the synthesis and characterization of conducting polymers using novel “Green” chemistry methods, and chemical education research focused on the pedagogy of undergraduate research.
Research in the first area focus on the development of a molecular level understanding of how heme proteins and enzymes work through their spectroscopic (UV-vis, CD, RR and NMR) and electrochemical study in nonaqueous media including organic solvents and ionic liquids.
Efforts in the area of materials science are currently centered on the development of a suite of novel, environmentally benign methods for synthesizing conducting polymers. One method involves the direct electrochemical synthesis of conducting polymers in supercritical fluids such as carbon dioxide. Another method involves the electrochemical synthesis of these materials from neat redox liquids. These Green methods have a number of advantages over existing methods including the production of conducting polymer films on a wide range of electrode substrates with conductivities higher than that resulting from traditional methods and with distinct morphological characteristics.
Work in chemical education centers on the development and study of the Web-Guide to Research for Undergraduates (WebGURU), an interactive web-based tool intended to assist undergraduates navigate the hurdles of an undergraduate research experience. WebGURU provides a wide range of resources to undergraduates including information on all the technical aspects of undergraduate research including lab safety, record keeping, experimental design, data analysis, technical writing, oral presentations, intellectual property, etc., a fully searchable international database of undergraduate research opportunities, as well as scholarships, fellowships, presentation and publication opportunities.