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: