Nanomaterial Chemistry: The Building Blocks of Functional Nanoparticles
Nanoscale Material Development
Our research group is specialized in gold and silver nanoparticle synthesis and application development. Metal nanoparticles exhibit unique optical properties such as surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The SPR band of gold and silver nanoparticles extends from visible to near IR region. The extinction coefficient of metal nanoparticles is orders of magnitude higher than typical organic dye molecules. These unique optical properties make metal nanoparticles as promising materials for sensing, imaging, optical devices, nanoelectronics, catalysis, and many other important applications.
Monofunctional gold nanoparticles
Nanoparticle Necklace from chemical synthesis
Our group is the first to report the synthesis of monofunctional gold nanoparticles, nanoparticles with a single chemical functional group attached to the surface using a solid phase synthesis technique. The development of monofunctional gold nanoparticles opens many new opportunities in nanoparticle research. The property of bulky materials formed from nanoparticle building blocks is not only dependent on individual nanoparticles, but also determined by the nanoparticle aggregation and interparticle interactions. How to control the nanoparticles assemble into well-defined and reproducible bulky materials or devices is a major challenge and significant step in nanoparticle research field. With monofunctional nanoparticles, we can make sophisticated and asymmetrical nanoparticle assemblies such as nanoparticle wires, clusters, and nano-necklaces using very simple and traditional chemical reactions. These materials not only provide excellent opportunities to study nanoparticle interactions such as electron or energy transfer through nanoparticle arrays, but also serve as prototypes for nanodevice development. Currently we are studying the nonlinear optical properties, electron dynamics, and electron/ energy transfer properties of such chemically assembled nanoparticle/polymer hybrid materials. The nonlinear optical properties are investigated for laser protection and the electron/energy transfer properties are being studies for photovoltaic cell applications.
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Dr. Qun Huo
NanoScience Technology Center
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32826