Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering,
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.
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.