Our research interests lie at the interface of nanotechnology, analytical spectroscopy, catalysis, and interfacial chemistry. We take advantage of a variety of spectroscopic, computational, and synthetic techniques to create and understand materials that impact energy, human health, and photonics.

Sustainable Energy

We will investigate how metallic nanoparticles can renewably generate fuels and chemicals, both by hydrogen generation and carbon dioxide recycling. We will develop novel catalyst materials and investigate photocatalytic and electrocatalytic mechanisms. In particular, we will focus on understanding the chemical and physical processes that underly plasmonic photocatalysis and direct electrocatalysis.

Biomolecular-Nanoscale Interactions

We will design and investigate the properties of short peptide fragments when they are bound to nanoparticles. Questions of interest focus on how the properties of the peptides change when they are confined to the nanoparticle surface in addition to how these materials can be design to respond to biological environments. Applications include metabolite sensing and the construction of hierarchical materials.

Photonics and Plasmonics

We will design optical materials with functional units that span from the atomic to the macroscopic. These materials will integrate motifs with a robust optical response with those with unique chemical functionality. Much of our focus will be on the interplay between these chemical processes and efficient absorption throughout the UV, visible, and near-infrared. Applications include pollutant photodegradation and enhanced photocatalysis.