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

18-21/06/2018 - Reunion! This week, the Cluster-Surface Interaction Workshop 2018 was held in Trondheim, Norway. The CSI Workshop is the principle venue for discussion in the area of cluster-beam deposition on surfaces, including the properties and performance of materials and devices prepared by this method, and associated theoretical modelling. Mukhles Sowwan and Panos Grammatikopoulos attended and gave invited talks on "Nanoparticles by design for nanotechnology & biomedical applications" and "Atomistic simulation of trimetallic nanoparticle growth by cluster beam deposition", respectively. However, they were not the only ones to represent the unit, as NbD alumni Maria Benelmekki and Jerome Vernieres also attended the workshop, presenting work performed at OIST. Despite the rather cold Norwegian summer weather, it was a warm reunion with past colleagues and friends; we wish you both the best with your current endeavours and careers!

20/06/2018 - Today, the "Technology Startup Acceleration Summit" was held at OIST, connecting researchers and venture capitalists with a focus on establishing university startups. Zaki Ziadi participated in the event, representing the NbD unit and presenting the unit's "Smart Gas Sensing Platform for Mobile Devices" proof of concept project.

06/06/2018 - "Being inclusive gives research groups a competitive edge. It also happens to be the right thing to do". This is the subtitle and main conclusion of a news feature just released online in Nature, featuring, among others, the NbD unit at OIST. The article is titled "These labs are remarkably diverse - here's why they're winning at science", and discusses diversity in scientific research groups around the world with a focus on its effect on the productivity and visibility of their work. With its trademark "small United Nations" composition which literally includes people from all continents around the world save for Antarctica (to this date, that is; if you're from Antarctica and are interested in nanoparticles, do apply!), the NbD unit is a perfect example of such a diverse and inclusive environment. As Mukhles Sowwan puts it in the article, discussing about the researchers in the unit, “they complement each other, and, in the end, they will learn from each other how to always be looking in new directions and at the details”.