College of Engineering,
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department,
Nano Research Area
- Nano-Materials & Engineering
- Nano-Energy & Environment
- Social & Education Nanoscience
Our research efforts focus on understanding interfaces between organic and inorganic materials and integrating meso-scale and nano-scale structure to enhance a material’s functionality. Understanding interfacial phenomena is central to nanoscience and nanomaterials because as feature sizes are reduced, interfaces begin to dominate a material’s performance. Optimizing the size and organization of nanoscale features provides an additional avenue to tune material properties.
Our expertise in nanomaterials synthesis across broad materials classes (inorganic thin films, self-assembled monolayers, polymer brushes, etc.) allows us to fabricate model systems applicable to numerous areas of scientific interest. We have impacted research in nanoscale heat transport, plasmonics, and ferroelectrics.
Current research efforts focus on renewable energy technologies using photoelectrochemistry to generate hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water. This work is in conjunction with the Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute, which is a multi-institutional research collaboration between NC State, UNC, Duke, and the Research Triangle Institute (RTI). Through this work, we are developing atomic layer deposition (ALD) strategies for applying < 1 nm coatings that improve the attachment of molecular dyes and catalysts to photoelectrodes intended for use in aqueous environments.