Mark Swihart, PhD

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Professor

Specialty/Research Focus

Synthesis and application of nanoparticles; application of chemical engineering science (chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, transport phenomena) to understand and improve processes by which these materials are prepared.

Research Summary

In recent years, the Swihart group has developed new methods of preparing photoluminescent silicon nanoparticles and of modifying their surfaces for potential applications in optoelectronics (LEDs, solar cells), bioimaging and bioassays. We have developed new detailed models of the kinetics of silicon nanoparticle nucleation and aerosol dynamics simulations of silicon nanoparticle formation. In collaboration with others, we have recently developed solution phase approaches to synthesizing a variety of anisotropic semiconductor nanocrystals (rods, crosses, tetrapods, etc.) and hybrid nanoparticles containing epitaxially oriented domains of different inorganic materials. We have also developed methods of producing gold and silver nanoshells on polystyrene beads. We continue to develop and apply new aerosol (gas-phase) methods of nanoparticle synthesis, including laser-driven, flame-based, and spray pyrolysis processes.