Research Projects

We use organic and inorganic synthesis to prepare new chemical building blocks for assembly into nanoscale structures and other functional materials. Our motivations for this work are to (i) discover new methods for assembly of materials and nanostructures and (ii) understand how the structures of these materials influence their properties. Our group develops new methods for assembling nanostructures by using chemical functionality to guide self-assembly. We then use spectroscopy and other surface characterization to probe the structure/property (S/P) relationships in the resulting materials. For example, we aim to understand how nanostructure influences the electron transport properties in our assemblies as many interesting applications (e.g. sensors, nanoelectronic devices, solar cells, etc.) rely upon controlling electron transfer in materials.

Currently, we are working on four projects:

Precisely engineered, functionalized metal nanoparticles are finding use as optical materials, components of sensors, catalyst precursors and a host of other applications. However, the...

Although the properties of individual nanoparticles are interesting in their own right, even more interesting properties emerge when nanoparticles are interfaced with each other or with other...

In 2002, we discovered a new class of bicyclic, chelating ligand that bound the f-block ions millions of times better than their acyclic analogs. During last few years, we studied the coordination...

As nanotechnology moves away from demonstration to application, greener approaches to producing these materials will be essential to protecting the environment and providing benefits to society....