Federico Rabuffetti

Federico Rabuffetti

Associate Professor


313-577-8822 (fax)


Chem 181



Federico Rabuffetti

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

Inorganic, Materials, Solid-State Chemistry, Luminescence



Our research interests focus on the discovery and understanding of functional solid-state materials and nanomaterials employed in optical energy conversion technologies such as biosensing, lighting, and materials manufacturing. Our goals are to synthesize new classes of functional materials and nanomaterials, to understand compositional control of structure-luminescence relationships, and to enlarge the toolkit of synthetic and spectroscopic techniques that enable such understanding.

We seek to achieve precise control over the stoichiometry, morphology, structure, and functionality of the materials we synthesize. Synthetic approaches employed in our group include, but are not restricted to, colloidal synthesis, solvothermal synthesis, thermal evaporation, and high-temperature solid state reactions. Once in hand, these materials are characterized using multiple and complementary analytical techniques to achieve a comprehensive description of composition-structure-function relationships. This information is critical to develop materials by design as it enables understanding of the effect of chemical composition on the behavior of functional chemical units. Characterization techniques include elemental analysis (ICP), thermogravimetric and calorimetric analysis (TGA/DSC), powder and neutron X-ray diffraction (Rietveld analysis), X-ray total scattering (pair distribution function analysis), X-ray absorption (XANES/EXAFS), electron microscopy (SEM/TEM), vibrational spectroscopy (Raman/IR), and UV-vis diffuse reflectance, and fluorescence spectroscopy (steady-state and time-resolved). Structural studies are an integral part of our research and systematically guide synthetic efforts. 



  • Ph.D. Chemistry, Northwestern University 2010
  • M.Sc. Chemistry, Universidad de la Republica (Uruguay) 2004
  • B. Sc. Chemistry, Universidad de la Republica (Uruguay) 2001

Selected publications

Perera, S.S.;* Munasinghe, H.N.;* Yatooma, E.N; and Rabuffetti, F.A. (*equal contribution) “Microwave-Assisted Solid-State Synthesis of NaRE(MO4)2 Phosphors (RE = La, Pr, Eu, Dy; M = Mo, W)”. Dalton Transactions 2020, 49, 7914-7919.

Amarasinghe, D.K. and Rabuffetti, F.A. “Bandshift Luminescence Thermometry Using Mn4+:Na4Mg(WO4)3 Phosphors”. Chemistry of Materials 2019, 31, 10197-10204.

Szlag, R.G.; Suescun, L.; Dhanapala, B.D.; and Rabuffetti, F.A. “Rubidium-Alkaline-Earth Trifluoroacetate Hybrids as Self-Fluorinating Single-Source Precursors to Mixed-Metal Fluorides”. Inorganic Chemistry 2019, 58, 3041–3049. 

Perera, S.S.; Dissanayake, K.T.; and Rabuffetti, F.A. “Alkaline-Earth Fluorohalide Nanocrystals for Upconversion Thermometry”. Journal of Luminescence 2019, 207, 416–423.

Yee, T.A.; Suescun, L.; and Rabuffetti, F.A. “Bond Valence Parameters for Alkali- and Alkaline-Earth–Oxygen Pairs: Derivation and Application to Metal–Organic Compounds”. Journal of Solid State Chemistry 2019, 270, 242–246.

Dissanayake, K.T. and Rabuffetti, F.A. “Multicolor Emission in Chemically and Structurally Tunable Er:Yb:SrFX (X = Cl, Br) Upconverting Nanocrystals”. Chemistry of Materials 2018, 30, 2453–2462.

Dhanapala, D.B.; Munasinghe, H.N; Suescun, L.; and Rabuffetti, F.A. “Bimetallic Trifluoroacetates as Single-Source Precursors for Fluoroperovskites”. Inorganic Chemistry 2017, 56, 13311–13320.

Perera, S.S.;§ Amarasinghe, D.K.;§ Dissanayake, K.T.; and Rabuffetti, F.A. (§equal contribution). “Average and Local Crystal Structure of β-Er:Yb:NaYF4 Upconverting Nanocrystals Probed by X-ray Total Scattering”. Chemistry of Materials 2017, 29, 6289–6297.


Currently teaching

  • CHM 1230 General Chemistry Laboratory, W2021
  • CHM 3020 Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry, W2021




Courses taught

  • CHM 1220/1225 General Chemistry I
  • CHM 3020 Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHM 6060/7060 Materials Chemistry and Engineering