Welcome to the Nanomaterials and Surface Science
Laboratory located in 317 and 212 White Hall, home of the
Chemical Engineering Department. This laboratory is focused
on making and studying various nanomaterials and thin films.
Significant expertise has been developed in the creation of
self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) as well as the growth and
use of graphite nanofibers (GNFs).
SAMs have many practical applications including
inhibiting corrosion and oxidation and facilitating or
preventing wetting. Due to the synthetic flexibility of SAM
building blocks and the ease of preparing monolayers, SAMs
have enabled the straightforward formation of tailored
organic interfaces for studying biocompatibility,
immobilization of proteins, friction, and electron transfer.
We have developed synthetic techniques, including the use of
supercritical carbon dioxide, for making SAMs with improved
and tailored properties.
GNFs are easy to manufacture and cheaper than their
closely related carbon nanotubes (CNTs). We can control the
orientation of the graphene sheets to generate fibers with
ribbon, platelet, or herringbone configurations and are
currently studying these fibers as catalysts for
synthetically important reactions and for additives for
improving thermal conductivity in a variety of materials
including phase change materials and polymers.