The foundation of our research is the ability to design and synthesize of a wide range of nano and molecular scale structures with exquisite control of chemical composition, structural morphology and physical dimension, as well as the fundamental understanding of their chemical and physical properties. Since all functions, chemical or electronic, are originated from the interfaces of two different materials, we place a strong emphasis on the nanoscale integration of multiple materials with different compositions, structures or properties, from which we can explore fundamentally new properties and develop functional nanosystems with unprecedented performance to go beyond the limits of contemporary technologies.
To this end, we are using bottom-up, solution and vapor phase chemistry to synthesize a wide range of nanostructures including 0D nanoparticles, 1D nanowires and 2D nanosheets. We further explore physical assembly approaches for the van der Waals integration of highly disparate nanostructures to create a series of nanoscale interfaces for new functions. Essentially, we are building functional systems from atoms up.
- Chemical Synthesis. Complex nanoparticles, nanowires, and nanosheets are synthesized in a number of ways, including solution-based colloid chemistry approaches, chemical vapor phase deposition processes, and lithography based nanofabrication.
- Nanostructure Assembly. Organizing and controlling the position of nanoscale structures is a difficult task, due to the "sticky finger" conundrum, among other complications. Using van der Waals interactions and other self assembly techniques, we can integrate materials that are normally incompatible and control how the synthetic materials will form more complex functional systems.
- Fundamental Characterization. Nanoscale material integration can create new interfaces, new properties and new functions. Using a wide range of structural, chemical, electronic, optical and magnetic characterization approaches, we investigate the fundamentally new properties arising in these nanoscale hybrid systems.