Shaping the Synthesis and Assembly of Metal Nanostructures
Inorganic crystals with nanoscale dimensions are emerging as important building blocks for multifunctional device fabrication. The properties of metal nanocrystals depend on physical parameters that include crystallite size, shape, composition, and architecture and tremendous achievements have been made regarding the colloidal synthesis of structurally well-defined nanocrystals. Even with these advances, fundamental questions about nanocrystal formation remain and many materials have yet to be synthesized as high-quality nanoscale samples.
Our research aims to demonstrate new synthetic strategies to nanomaterials and study both their emergent properties and the processes that account for their formation.
Spraying the Way to Shape- and Architecturally-Controlled Nanomaterials
As the utility of nanomaterials is further demonstrated, it will be necessary to develop scalable routes to such materials and address the critical need for nanomanufacturing methods. Aerosol methods are an industrial favorite for the continuous production and processing of compositionally complex inorganic solids. However, only recently have aerosol methods been applied to the synthesis of shape and architecturally-controlled nanomaterials.
Our research aims to achieve structurally well-defined nanomaterials by integrating new chemical methods into ultrasonic spray pyrolysis, an aerosol synthetic technique that uses ultrasound for nebulization.
Our synthetic results are correlated with the decomposition behavior of the selected precursors to provide insight into structure formation and guide the rational design of new nanostructures. These methods are currently being applied to the synthesis of shape-controlled nanocrystals for photocatalytic applications and nanoporous microspheres for utility in affinity chromatography.