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. Yuly Vesga, Florencio E. Hernandez, “Two-photon absorption and two-photon circular dichroism of L-tryptophan in the near to far UV region”, Chem. Phys. Lett. Accepted (2017)
  2. Julie Donnelly, Florencio E. Hernandez, “Two-photon Absorption Spectroscopy on Curcumin in Solution: A State-of-the-Art Physical Chemistry Experiment”, J. Chem. Ed. 94, 101-104 (2017)
  3. Henry E. Williams, Carlos Diaz, Gabriel Padilla, Florencio E. Hernandez, Stephen M. Kuebler, “Order of Multi-Photon Excitation in the Photoresist SU-8”, J. Appl. Phys. 121, 223104 (2017)


  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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. Chem. A 120, 6774-6779 (2016)
  4. Stephanie Castillo, Warinya Chemnasiri, Julie Donnelly, Florencio E. Hernandez, “Determination of the Overall Antioxidant Strength of Teas Combining Metal Nanoparticles, Plasmonics, and Fluorescence: Designing New Experiments for Physical Chemistry Laboratory”, J. Nano Education 8, 1-13 (2016).


  1. 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”, J. Computer-Aided Molecular Design 29, 143-154 (2015)
  2. Carlos Diaz, Lorenzo Echevarria, Yuly Vesga, Irena Stara, Ivor Stary, Emmanuel Sager, Chengsuo Shen, Mehdi El Sayed Moussa, Nicolas Vanthuyne, Jeanne Crassous, Antonio 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)
  3. 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)


  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Zahra Dezhahang, Mohammad Reza Poopari, Florencio E. Hernandez, 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 PCCPhighlighted in the Journals Blog and Twitter.
  4. 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”, RSC Adv. 4, 60974-60986 (2014).


  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 molecules using a fragment-recombination approach ”, Chem. Phys. Lett. 568-569, 176-183 (2013)
  3. Lorenzo Echevarria, Florencio E. Hernandez, “Educational Light-Pod: Understanding the Fundamentals of Analog Transmission using Photo-Acoustic Modulation of Fluorescence”, J. Chem. Ed. 90, 900-903 (2013)
  4. A. Tiburcio-Moreno, L. Echevarria, Carlos Diaz, J. J. Alvarado Gil and Florencio E. Hernandez, “Polarization dependent two-photon absorption spectroscopy on a naturally occurring biomarker (Curcumin) in solution: A Theoretical-experimental study”, Chem. Phys. Lett. 583, 160-164 (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. Carlos Diaz, A. Frazer, A. Morales, Supriyo R., K. D. Belfield, Florencio E. HernándezStructural 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)
  2. Carlos Diaz, Na Lin, Carlos Toro, Remy Passier,  Antonio Rizzo, and Florencio E. Hernández, “The effect of the p-electron delocalization curvature on the two-photon circular dichroism of molecules with axial chirality”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 3, 1808−1813 (2012)*Invited online presentation:
  3. Warinya Chemnasiry and Florencio E. Hernández, “Gold nanorod-based mercury sensor using functionalized glass substrates”, Sensors and Actuators B 173, 322-328 (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-(+)-1,1’-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”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 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. Leonardo De Boni, Carlos Toro, Florencio E. Hernández , “Excited state absorption study in Hematoporphyrin IX”, The Journal of Fluorescence 20, 197 (2010)
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. 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)
  5. 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, 134508/1 (2010)
  6. 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)

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