Using Precursor Conversion Kinetics to Control Nanocrystal Properties

We are developing libraries of precursor molecules that can be converted to semiconductor nanocrystals. The organic functional groups on the precursors influence the rate at which they convert to the semiconductor material, which in turn influences the crystallization process and therefore the properties (e.g. size and shape) of the nanocrystals.

Understanding the Role of Kinetics on Crystalline Phase of Nanocrystals

Many different factors can potentially influence the crystalline phase of nanocrystals including the thermodynamic stability of the various phases under the reaction conditions, the structure of the units that add to the growing crystals, and the rate at which these units are formed. We are interested in untangling this mystery and determining the role of kinetics in particular.

Probing How Supramolecular Structures Impact Metal Nanocrystal Synthesis

Gold and silver nanocrystals are often formed in aqueous reactions with a variety of reducing, stabilizing, and etching agents involved in the process. We are interested in understanding the role that the supramolecular structure of these agents plays in these syntheses.

Lab Automation: Using Robots To Do Chemistry and Incorporating This Into the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum

Lab automation is commonplace in biology labs but is only now becoming prevalent in chemistry labs, although pharmaceutical companies have relied on automation for specific synthetic tasks for years. We are developing methods to effectively use automation for materials chemistry and incorporate machine learning into these processes. We are also promoting the incorporation of lab automation into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum, focusing on both the advantages and the shortfalls of these techniques in chemical and materials synthesis.