Nanoscale Chemistry

Our research commitments are to advance the fundamental understanding of the self-assembly processes in nature and to exploit these processes to design and synthesize hierarchical nanostructures with novel physical and chemical properties. Our highly interdisciplinary research is supported by the excellent facilities and collaborative environment of the University of Nebraska system.  Our research focuses on three important areas of nanoscale chemistry:

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DESIGN AND SYNTHESIS

The design and synthesis of novel nanomaterials by abstracting the efficient designs from nature

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NANOTECHNOLOGY STUDY

The study of biological macromolecules at the nanoscale using methods of nanotechnology

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NEW DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

The development of new analytical devices via biomimetical approach with nanomaterials

Group Members

Barry Chin Li Cheung

Barry Chin Li Cheung

Principal Investigator

Education
Ph.D. Harvard University

Research Interests
My research group focuses on the study of nanomaterials chemistry. We are studying the synthesis mechanisms of new materials and their physical and chemical properties with a specific context. The different types of materials we have studied include: Bio-inspired materials, defect engineered catalysts, thermal neutron converter coatings, thermal electric materials and low dimensional rare-earth nanostructures.

Anuja Bhalkikar

Anuja Bhalkikar

Graduate Student

Education
B.S. & Masters – University of Pune

Research Interests
Reusing abundant, waste chemicals to synthesize value-added products is an important topic in green chemistry. Currently, my research focuses on the design and synthesis of ceria nanocatalysts of different facets and their applications for carbon dioxide conversion reactions. I am also interested in discovering the associated reaction mechanisms and studying the kinetics of these reactions.

Avinash Both

Avinash Both

Graduate Student

Education
M.Sc. National Institute of Science Education and Research, India

Research Interests
Doping metal oxides with metal and/or non-metal ions is a versatile method to modulate the catalytic properties of metal oxides. My research focuses on developing various lanthanide-doped cerium oxide nanostructures and studying their catalytic activities towards various chemical reactions using carbon dioxide as the carbon feed stock. I aim to apply chemical kinetics to unravel the underlying mechanisms in these reactions.

Tamra Fisher

Tamra Fisher

Graduate Student

Education
B.S. Campbell University

Research Interests
Cerium oxide’s unique catalytic activity to redox reactions stems from its large intrinsic oxygen storage and release capacity associated with oxygen vacancy defects (OVDs). Currently, I am working to determine the defects-activity relationship of ceria catalysts for the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) with hydrogen peroxide. I am also interested in investigating the effect of precious metal catalyst decoration on defect induced catalysis.

Rachel Tritt

Rachel Tritt

Undergraduate Student

Education
Lafayette College

Research Interests
Photocatalysis provides an effective means to use energy for speeding up reactions. My research focuses on investigating the kinetics of photocatalyzed reactions using reducible oxide nanoparticles. I compare the activities of these oxides by measuring their apparent activation energy values of the studied reactions. Currently, I am studying the use of photocatalysis to generate reactive oxygen species.