Current Research Projects


Topotactic strategies

Topotactic strategies. In solid-state chemistry, compounds are often synthesized by reacting elements or binaries at high temperatures for extended periods. This approach, however, can limit the control of specific structural features to only those obtainable within the bounds of a specific structure type (e.g., spinel). A major goal of our group is to develop low-temperature synthetic strategies to direct the construction of extended one-, two-, and three-dimensional features in nonmolecular solids. Topochemical methods such as ion exchange and intercalation/ deintercalation are effective for the manipulation of structure. By systematically utilizing these techniques, novel features can be formed within existing compounds.
Porous Template
Porous Template Modification. Porous membranes are routinely used for the fabrication of simple nanowires, nanotubes, superlattice wires, etc. In addition to making these structures, our group works to modify the templates so as to control structure features at the nano- and meso-scale. Some examples here include porous wires, metal sphere arrays, colloidal crystal wires, and square microcapsules. Also, we have made patterned metal nanowire arrays from lithographically patterned membranes.

Nanopeapod assemblies. We have developed methods that allow the capture of nanoparticles in nanoscrolls, creating new nanopeapod structures. This chemistry lends itself to the capture of a variety of nanoparticles and shows evidence for both size and shape selectivity. Scale up of this process could be important to the manufacturing of bulk nanomaterials and sequestration methods could be important to minimizing environmental impact of toxic nanomaterials.