People » Florencio Eloy Hernández

Primary Area of Research:

Combining themes at the forefront of optics, spectroscopy, and physical chemistry, my research focuses in the application of state-of-the-art two-photon circular dichroism (TPCD) to understand:

  • The fundamental activity of chiral molecules and macromolecules in biological processes, mainly those involved in Alzheimer disease.
  • The properties of optically active asymmetric catalysts used in the pharmacological and flavor industry.
  • The design of novel metamaterials leading to the construction of perfect lenses and cloaking devices.

We are currently developing a one-of-a-kind Far-UV TPCD spectrometer with extended spectra capability that will surpass the spectral limitations of current chiral spectroscopic techniques, Synchrotron inclusive.

Secondary Area of Research:

After 10 years studying the physical-chemical and optical properties of nanomaterials and their interaction with tailored organic molecules, my secondary area of research focuses on:

  • The development of novel chemical, explosive, radiological, and biological sensors for environmental analysis, homeland security and the biomedical fields.
  • The employment of metal nanoparticles and Plasmonics to assist nonlinear absorption processes and control the decay rates of hybrid-systems with potential applications in bioimaging, photodynamic-therapy and optical data storage.

At present we are developing portable prototypes to sense mercury in the field and detect, in a truly noninvasive fashion, low glucose levels in diabetics.

  • 20014-2016: EAGER_IDBR_CMI: Development of a two-photon circular dichroism spectrometer with extreme capabilities in the far UV (FUV-TPCD)”, $225,010 (PI 100%)
  • 2012-2013: NSF-ECCS, “EAGER:Photo-Activated Current and Magnetization in Au-Nanorings (PACMAN)”, $80,000 (PI 40%)
  • 2010-2011 Teaching Incentive Program (TIP) Award presented by UCF
  • 2010 Chair of the American Chemical Society Orlando Section
  • 2009-2010 Research Incentive Award (RIA) presented by UCF
  • 2010-2012: DOE,  Field-deployable,nano-sensing approach for real-time detection of free mercury, speciation and quantification in surface stream waters and groundwater samples at the U.S. Department of Energy contaminated sites, $853,882 (Co-PI 50%)
  • January 2010: UCF, UCF Technology Fee – Computational Tools for Chemistry Students”, $140,000 (Co-PI)
  • 2009-2012: NSF-CHE, Chemical Instrumentation “Purchase and Development of a Cyber-Enabled Broadly Tunable kHz Femtosecond Laser System, $500,000(Co-PI 30%)
  • 2008-2012: NSF-Collaborative Research in Chemistry on Self-Organized Aggregates in Photonics (SOAP):”A Comprehensive Approach to Multiphoton Absorbing Supramolecules”, $1,800,000 (Co-PI 25%)
  • 2008-2010: DoD-IAI “LIBS-THz spectroscopy for improvised explosive devices (IED) detection”, $80,000 (PI 100%)
  • 2005-2006: Teaching Incentive Program (TIP) Award presented by UCF
  • 2004: American Chemical Society (Orlando Section) Outstanding Chemist Award


  1. Julie Donnelly, Florencio E. Hernandez, “Two-photon Absorption Spectroscopy on Curcumin in Solution: A State-of-the-Art Physical Chemistry Experiment”, J. Chem. Phys. Ed. (2016) 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00660
  2. Julie Donnelly, Carlos Diaz, Florencio E. Hernandez, “OCTET & BIOTEC: A Model of a Summer Intensive Camp Designed to Cultivate the Future Generation of Young Leaders in STEM”, Journal of Chemical Education 93, 619-625  (2016)
  3. Julie Donnelly, Yuly Vesga, Florencio E. Hernandez, “Enhanced Two-Photon Absorption and Fluorescence Upconversion in Thioflavin T Micelle-type Aggregates in Glycerol/Water Solution”, Chem. Phys. 477, 19-23 (2016)
  4. Yuly Vesga, Florencio E. Hernandez, “Study of the Effect of the Pulse-Width of the Excitation Source on the Two-Photon Absorption and Two-Photon Circular Dichroism Spectra of Biaryl Derivatives”, J. Phys. Phys. A 120, 6774-6779 (2016)


  1. Daniele Padula, Inmaculada R. Lahoz, Carlos Díaz, Florencio E. Hernández, Lorenzo Di Bari, Antonio Rizzo, Fabrizio Santoro and M. Magdalena Cid, “A combined experimental-computational investigation to uncover the puzzling (Chiro)-optical response of pyridocyclophanes: One- and Two-photon Spectra”, Chemistry: A European Journal 21, 1-13 (2015)
  2. Carlos Diaz, Ligia Llovera, Lorenzo Echevarria, Florencio E. Hernández, “Assessment of the Tautomeric Population of Benzimidazole Derivatives in Solution: A Simple and Versatile Theoretical-Experimental Approach”, Accepted J. Computer-Aided Molecular Design 29, 143-154 (2015)
  3. Carlos Diaz, Lorenzo Echevarria, Yuly Vesga, Irena Stara, Ivor Stary, Emmanuel Sager, Chengsuo Shen, Mehdi El Sayed Moussa, Nicolas Vanthuyne, Jeanne Crassous, Antonia Rizzo, Florencio E. Hernández, “Two-Photon Absorption and Two-Photon Circular Dichroism of Hexahelicene Derivatives: A Study of the Effect of the Nature of Intramolecular Charge Transfer”, RSC Advances 5, 17429-17437 (2015)


  1. Yuly Vesga, Carlos Diaz, Florencio E. Hernández “Two-Photon Circular Dichroism of Molecular Structures Simulating L-Try, L-Phe and L-His residues in proteins with secondary structures, Royal Soc. of Chem. (2014), Accepted.
  2. Zahra Dezhahang, Mohammad Reza Poopari, Florencio E. Hernández, Carlos Diaz, “Diastereomeric Preference of a Triply Axial Chiral Binaphthyl Based Molecule: A Concentration Dependent Study by Chiroptical Spectroscopies”, PCCP 16, 12959-12567 (2014)- Recent Hot PCCP – highlighted in the Journals Blog and Twitter.
  3. Carlos Diaz, Lorenzo Echevarria, Antonio Rizzo, Florencio E. Hernández, “Two-photon circular dichroism of an axially dissymmetric disphosphine ligand with strong intramolecular charge transfer, J. Phys. Chem. A 118, 940-946 (2014).
  4. Yuly Vesga, Carlos Diaz, Mary Higgs, Florencio E. Hernández “Two-photon circular dichroism of molecular structures simulating L-tryptophan residues in proteins with secondary structures, Chem. Phys. Lett. 601, 6-12 (2014) – Editor’s Choice.


  1. Marcelo G. Vivas, Carlos Diaz, Lorenzo Echevarria, Cleber R. Mendonca, Florencio E. Hernández, Leonardo De Boni, “Two-Photon Circular-Linear Dichroism of Perylene in Solution: A Theoretical-experimental Study”, J. Phys. Chem B 117, 2742-2747 (2013)
  2. Carlos Diaz, Lorenzo Echevarria, Florencio E. Hernández, “Overcoming the existent computational challenges in the ab-initio calculations of the two-photon circular dichroism spectra of large molecule using a fragment-recombination approach”, Chem. Phys. Lett. 568-569, 176-183 (2013)
  3. Lorenzo Echevarria, Florencio E. Hernández, “Educational Light-Pod: Understanding the Fundamentals of Analog Transmission using Photo-Acoustic Modulation of Fluorescence”, J. Chem. Ed., (2013)
  4. Jose A. Tiburcio-Moreno, Lorenzo Echevarria, Carlos Diaz, J. J. Alvarado Gil and Florencio E. Hernández, “Two-photon absorption and two-photon circular-linear dichroism spectra of Curcumin-9 in solution: a Theoretical-experimental work”, Chem. Phys. Lett., DOI: 10.1016/j.cplett.2013.07.080 (2013)
  5.  Carlos Diaz, Lorenzo Echevarria, Florencio E. Hernández “Conformational study of an axially-chiral Salen ligand in solution using two-photon circular dichroism and the fragment-recombination approach ”, J. Phys. Chem A. 117, 8416-8426 (2013)


  1. Warinya Chemnasiry and Florencio E. Hernández, “Gold nanorod-based mercury sensor using functionalized glass substrates”, Sensors and Actuators B (2012) In press.
  2. Carlos Diaz, Na Lin, Carlos Toro, Remy Passier, Antonio Rizzo, and Florencio E. Hernández, “The effect of the electron delocalization curvature on the two-photon circular dichroism of molecules with axial chirality”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 3, 1808−1813 (2012) (
  3. Carlos Diaz, Andrew Frazer, Alma Morales, Supriyo Ray, Kevin D. Belfield, Florencio E. Hernández, “Structural identification of a novel axially-chiral binaphthyl fluorene based Salen ligand in solution using electronic circular dichroism: A Theoretical-experimental analysis”, J. Phys. Chem. A 166, 2453 (2012)


  1. Na Lin, Fabrizio Santoro, Xian Zhao, Carlos Toro, Leonardo De Boni, Florencio E. Hernández, Antonio Rizzo, “Computational Challenges in Simulating and Analyzing Experimental Linear and Nonlinear Circular Dichroism Spectra. R-(+)-1,1Õ-bi(2-Naphtol) as a Prototype Case”, J. Phys. Chem. B 115, 811 (2011)
  2. Carlos Toro, Rémy Passier, Carlos Diaz, Tero Tuuttila, Kari Rissanen, Juhani Huuskonen, Florencio E. Hernández, “Unveiling electronic transitions in three novel chiral azo-compounds using linear and nonlinear circular dichroism: A theoretical-experimental study “, J. Phys. Chem. A 115, 1186 (2011)
  3. Belfield, Kevin; Bondar, Mykhailo; Hernandez, Florencio; Przhonska, Olga; Wang, X. H.; Yao, S., “A superfluorescent fluorenyl probe with efficient two-photon absorption”, J. Phys. Chem. A 13, 4303 (2011)
  4. Florencio E. Hernandez and Antonio Rizzo, “Two-photon polarization dependent spectroscopy in chirality: A novel experimental-theoretical approach to study optically active systems”, Molecules 16, 3315 (2011)


  1. Carlos Toro, Leonardo De Boni, Na Lin, Fabrizio Santoro, Antonio Rizzo, Florencio E. Hernández, “Two-Photon Absorption Circular-Linear Dichroism on Axial Enantiomers”, Chirality 22, E202 (2010)
  2. Rémy Passier, James P. Ritchie, Carlo Toro, Carlos Diaz,Artëm E. Masunov,Kevin D. Belfield and Florencio E. Hernandez, “Thermally controlled preferential molecular aggregation state in a thiacarbocyanine dye”, J. Chem. Phys. 133, 134508 (2010)
  3. Leonardo De Boni, Carlos Toro, Florencio E. Hernández , “Excited state absorption study in Hematoporphyrin IX”, The Journal of Fluorescence 20, 197 (2010)
  4. Leonardo De Boni, Carlos Toro, Sérgio C. Zilio, Cleber R. Mendonca, Florencio E. Hernandez, “Azo-group dihedral angle torsion dependence on temperature: A theorerical-experimental study”, Chem. Phys. Lett. 487, 226 (2010)
  5. Carlos Toro, Leonardo De Boni, Na Lin, Fabrizio Santoro, Antonio Rizzo, Florencio E. Hernández , “Two-Photon Absorption Circular Dichroism: “A new twist of nonlinear spectroscopy”, Chemistry: A European Journal 16, 3504 (2010)
  6. Belfield, Kevin; Andrade, Carolina; Yanez, Ciceron; Bondar, Mykhailo; Hernandez, Florencio; Przhonska, Olga “New Two-photon Absorbing Probe with Efficient Superfluorescent Properties”, J. Phys.  Chem. A 114, 14087 (2010)


  1. Belfield, Kevin; Bondar, Mykhailo; Hernandez, Florencio; Masunov, Artem; Mikhailov, Ivan; Morales, Alma; Przhonska, Olga; Yao, Sheng, “Two-photon absorption properties of new fluorene-based singlet oxygen photosensitizers”, Journal of Physical Chemistry C 13, 4706 (2009)
  2. Belfield, Kevin; Bondar, Mykhailo; Yanez, Ciceron; Hernandez, Florencio; Przhonska, Olga, “One- and two-photon stimulated emission depletion of a sulfonyl-containing fluorene derivative”, J. Phys. Chem. C 113, 7101 (2009)
  3. Carlos Toro, Leonardo De Boni, Sheng Yao, Artem Masunov, Kevin D. Belfield,Florencio E. Hernández , “Linear and nonlinear optical characterization of a monomeric symmetric squaraine-based dye in solution”, The Journal of Chemical Physics 130, 214504 (2009)
  4. Kevin D. Belfield, Mykhailo V. Bondar, Ciceron O. Yanez, Florencio E. Hernandez, Olga Przhonska, ““Two-photon absorption and lasing properties of new fluorene derivatives”, Journal of Materials Chemistry 19, 7498 (2009)


  1. Leonardo De Boni, Carlos Toro, and Florencio E. Hernández, “Pump polarization-state preservation of white-light supercontinuum generation”, Optics Express. 16, 957 (2008)
  2. Leonardo De Boni, Carlos Toro, Artëm E. Masunov, and Florencio E. Hernández, “Untangling the Excited States of DR1 in Solution: An Experimental and Theoretical Study”, J. Phys. Chem. A 112, 3886 (2008)
  3. Carlos Toro, Arthur Thibert, Leonardo De Boni, Artem Masunov, and Florencio E. Hernández, “Unexpected Fluorescence Emission of Disperse Red 1 in Solution at Room Temperature”, J. Phys. Chem. B 112, 929 (2008)
  4. Kevin D. Belfield, Mykhailo V. Bondar, Florencio E. Hernandez, Olga V. Przhonska,  “Linear and nonlinear photophysical characterization and optical power limiting of fluorenylperylene diimide-based derivatives”, J. Phys. Chem. C 112, 5618  (2008)
  5. Carlos Toro, Leonardo De Boni, Sheng Yao, Kevin D. Belfield and Florencio E. Hernández, “Photophysical characterization of a highly conjugated bipyridyl-based dye synthesized by a unique two-step approach”, J. Phys. Chem. B 112, 12185 (2008)
  6. Leonardo De Boni, Carlos Toro, Erin Leigh Wood, Florencio E. Hernández, “Optical Saturable Absorption in Gold Nanoparticles”, Plasmonics 3, 171 (2008)
  7. Leonardo De Boni, Carlos Toro, Florencio E. Hernández, “Synchronized double L-scan technique for the simultaneous measurement of polarization dependence two-photon absorption in chiral molecules”, Optics Letters 33, 2958 (2008)


  1. Horacio Carias, Manuel Marquez, Florencio E. Hernández, “A Wet Chemistry Method for the Construction of Silver Nanocapacitors”, J. Nanoscience and Nanotehcnology 7, 1-4 (2007)
  2. L. Petit, J. Griffin, N. Carlie, V. Jubera, M. García, F. E. Hernández, K. Richardson, “Luminescence properties of Eu3+ or Dy3+/ Au co-doped SiO2 nanoparticles”, Mat. Lett. 61, 2879 (2007)
  3. S. J. Andrasik, K. D. Belfield, M. V. Bondar, F. E. Hernandez, A. R. Morales, O. V. Przhonska, S. Yao, “One- and Two-photon Singlet Oxygen Generation with New Fluorene –based Photosensitizers”, Chem. Phys. Chem. 8, 399 (2007)
  4. Ion Cohanoschi, Sheng Yao, Kevin D. Belfield, Florencio E. Hernández, “Effect of the concentration of organic dyes on their surface plasmon enhanced effective two-photon absorption cross-section”. J. Appl. Phys. 101, 86112 (2007)
  5. Ion Cohanoschi, Carlos Toro, Athur Thibert, Shengli Zou, Florencio E. Hernández, “Surface Plasmon Fluorescence Enhancement on Gold Nanoparticles film Suspended at a Liquid-Liquid Interfaces”, Plasmonics 2, 89 (2007)
  6. D. S. Corrêa, L. De Boni, L. Misoguti, and C. R. Mendonça, Ion Cohanoschi and F. E. Hernandez, “Z-scan theoretical analysis for three, four and five-photon absorption”, Opt. Comm. 277, 440 (2007)
  7. Kevin D. Belfield, Mykhailo V. Bondar, Florencio E. Hernandez, Olga V. Przhonska, Sheng Yao, “Two-Photon Absorption Cross-Section Determination for Fluorene Derivatives: Analysis of the Methodology and Elucidation of the Origin of the Absorption Processes”, J. Phys. Chem. B 111, 12723 (2007)


  1. K. D. Belfield, M.Bondar, F. E. Hernandez, , O. Przkonska, S. Yao, “Two-photon absorption of a supramolecular psuedoisocyanine-J-aggregate assembly”, Chemical Physics 320, 118-134 (2006)
  2. Matt Rex, Florencio E. Hernandez, and Andres Campiglia, “Pushing the limits of mercury sensor with gold nanorods”, Anal. Chem. 78, 445-451 (2006)
  3. Ion Cohanoschi, Carlos, Toro, Florencio E. Hernández, “The impact of ??conjugation length on three-photon absorption cross-section of fluorine derivatives” J. Chem. Phys. 124, 194707 (2006)
  4. Sheng Yao, Katherine J. Schafer-Hales, Ion Cohanoschi  and Florencio E. Hernández, Kevin D. Belfield, “A Water Soluble Diaminostilbene Derivative as a Two-Photon Fluorescent Probe ” Synlett. 12, 1863-1866 (2006)
  5. Claudia C. Corredor, Kevin D. Belfield, Mykhailo V. Bondar, Olga V. Przhonska,Florencio E. Hernandez, Oleksiy D. Kachkovsky, “One and Two-Photon Photochromism of 3,4-Bis-(2,4,5-trimethyl-thiophen-3-yl)furan-2,5-dione” Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry. 184, 177 (2006)
  6. Ion Cohanoschi, Marisol García, Carlos Toro, Kevin D. Belfield, Florencio E. Hernández, “Three-Photon Absorption of a New Series of Halogenated Fluorene Derivatives” Chem. Phys. Lett. 430, 133-138 (2006)
  7. Ion Cohanoschi, Carlos Toro, Kevin D. Belfield, Florencio E. Hernández, “Solvent effects on the three-photon absorption cross-section of a highly conjugated fluorene derivative” J. Chem. Phys. 125, 161102 (2006)
  8. Kevin D. Belfield, Mykhailo V. Bondar, Claudia C. Corredor, Florencio E. Hernandez, Olga V. Przhonska, Sheng Yao, “Two-photon photochromism of a diarylethene derivative enhanced by Förster’s resonance energy transfer from two-photon absorbing fluorenes” Chem. Phys. Chem. 7, 2514 (2006)


  1. Ion Cohanoschi,Kevin D. Belfield, Florencio E. Hernández, “Three-Photon Absorption Enhancement in Symmetrical Charge Transfer Pull-Pull Fluorene Derivatives”, Chem. Phys.Lett. 406, 462-466 (2005)
  2. Florencio E. Hernández,Shenjiang Yu, Marisol García, Andrés D. Campiglia, “Fluorescence lifetime Enhancement of Organic Chromophores Attached to Gold Nanoparticle”, J. Phys. Chem. B 109, 9499-9504 (2005)
  3. Carlos Zapata-Rodriguez, Florencio E. Hernández, “Focal squeeze in axicons”, Opt. Comm. 254, 3-9 (2005)
  4. Ion Cohanoschi, Florencio E. Hernández, “Surface Plasmon Enhancement of Two- and Three-Photon Absorption of Hoechst 33258 dye in Activated Gold Colloid Solution”, J. Phys. Chem. B 109, 14504 (2005)
  5. Cohanoschi, A. Barbot,K. D. Belfield, S. Yao, F. E. Hernández, “Mega Three-Photon Absorption Cross-section Enhancement in Pseudoisocyanine J-Aggregates”, J. Chem. Phys. 123, 231104 (2005)
  6. Kevin D. Belfield, Mykhailo V. Bondar, I. Cohanoschi, Florencio E. Hernandez, Oleksiy D. Kachkovsky, Olga V. Przhonska, Sheng Yao, “ Excited-state absorption and anisotropy properties of two-photon absorbing fluorene derivatives”, Appl. Opt. 44, 7232-7238 (2005)
  7. Kevin D. Belfield, Claudia C. Corredor, Alma R. Morales, Sheng Yao, Marie A. Dessources, and Florencio E. Hernandez, “Synthesis and characterization of new fluorene-based singlet oxygen sensitizers”, J. Fluorescence 16, 105-110 (2005)
  8. Ion Cohanoschi, Lorenzo Echeverría, Florencio E. Hernández, “Three-Photon Absorption Measurements in Hematoporphyrin IX: “Ground-breaking Opportunities in Deep Photodynamic Therapy” Chem. Phys. Lett. 419, 33-36 (2005)


  1. Florencio E. Hernández, Kevin D. Belfield, Ion Cohanoschi, “Symmetrical charge transfer enhances three-photon absorption in Fluorene Derivatives”, Chem. Phys. Lett.391, 22-26 (2004)
  2. Kevin D. Belfield, Florencio E. Hernandez, Ion Cohanoschi, Mykhailo V. Bondar, Eric W. Van Stryland, Two-photons and Beyond: 2, 3, and 4 Photon Absorption in Conjugated Fluorenes, Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering 91, 346-347 (2004)
  3. Florencio E. Hernández, Kevin D. Belfield, Ion Cohanoschi, Mihaela Balu and Katherine. J. Schafer, “Three and Four-Photon Absorption of a Multiphoton Absorbing Fluorescent Probe”, Appl. Opt. 43, 5394-5398 (2004)
  4. K.D. Belfield, M.V. Bondar, F.E. Hernandez,A.R. Morales, O.V. Przhonska, and K.J. Schafer, “Nonlinear transmission and Excited-state absorption in fluorene derivatives”, Appl. Opt. 43, 6339-6343 (2004)


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