Nanoparticles by Design Unit (Mukhles Sowwan)

Nanotechnology is a revolution with endless possibilities. It has the potential of numerous applications in various technologies. However, one of the issues that has plagued the development of these technologies has been the inability to produce nanoparticles with tailored characteristics to be utilized to their full potential.

The Nanoparticles by Design Unit is composed of a multinational team of researchers from all over the world, with diverse scientific backgrounds, ranging from materials science through physics to chemistry and biology, under the supervision of Prof. Mukhles Sowwan. Our research focuses on the design of nanoparticles for particular applications such as  smart gas sensors, label-free biosensors, hydrogen storage, etc. We combine heterogeneous gas phase synthesis, mass filtration, and controlled deposition techniques to tune the size, shape, chemical composition, microstructure, and degree of crystallinity of the nanoparticles in order to optimize their chemical and physical properties for the development of nanoparticle-based advanced technologies.

Latest News & Highlights

16/05/2019 - We often state that one of the main goals of the NbD Unit is "to define and boost the research field of Cluster Beam Deposition, both experimental and theoretical". Another contribution was added today with the publication to Elsevier's Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering of "Atomistic modeling of the nucleation and growth of pure and hybrid nanoparticles by cluster beam deposition", by Panos Grammatikopoulos. In this invited short review, Panos underlines the need for computational modeling of nanoparticle growth in the gas phase, due to the importance of kinetics effects, and explains how the computational model should reflect the actual experimental setup.

14/05/2019 - As of today, the dedicated website of our upcoming workshop, "Advances in Cluster Beam Deposition" is online. The aim of this workshop, which is going to be the first in a series of meetings where we will bring together some of the key players in the nanoparticles community, is to highlight the latest advancements in clusters science and technology. We are looking forward to hosting you in Okinawa in October, and spending a week sharing knowledge and ideas on nanoparticle fabrication, characterization, application, and simulation. We will be updating the workshop website regularly until October with more details and interesting information; stay posted!

02/05/2019 - Today, our latest article, "Site-specific wetting of iron nanocubes by gold atoms in gas-phase synthesis" appeared online in the "Early View" section of Wiley's Advanced Science. In this article, we decompose gas-phase synthesis into elementary steps: single-element primary particle formation by independent sputtering (with size-variation due to differences in nucleation rate), subsequent coalescence and growth by adatom decoration, and finally elemental demixing accompanied by site-specific decoration. The resultant segregated Fe-Au nanocubes demonstrate distinct chemical ordering from those we reported previously, where Fe-Au nanoalloys were sputtered from a composite target. This way, we emphasize the effect of the experimental setup and growth kinetics. Congratulations, Jerome and everyone!