Functional Nanoparticles

The design and synthesis of functional nanoparticles has the potential to lead to novel materials with improved properties. To date, we have investigated conductive, metallic, biobased, or paramagnetic nanoparticles for a wide variety of applications. We have used paramagnetic particles within a porous medium to reveal particle transport mechanisms which is relevant to a wide variety of field applications. We have also used nanoparticles in bio applications and have obtained the first evidence of extracellular electron transport to nanoparticles from anaerobic microbial degradation of crude oil, a crucial step towards the grand challenge of producing zero carbon energy carriers from petroleum reservoirs. Furthermore, we have shown the ability to tune the location of conductive nanoparticles within polymer films, resulting in hydrocarbon sensors that have the potential to improve leak detection in a cost-effective way.

Here is some research we are currently working on:

  • Polymer and nanoparticle composite films that are formed at a liquid-liquid interface. These films can tailored in their synthesis for a variety of applications including sensors, oil separations, fuel cell components and antimicrobial uses. 
  • Developing new porous electrodes using graphene-based materials that are able to perform efficiently at a wide range of current densities, enhancing the economic viability of redox flow batteries. 
  • Development of novel bacteria/nanoparticle composites for sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. 

Development innovative nanoparticle targeted treatments for antibiotic resistant human pathogens.