Research Overview

Nanoparticles have unique magnetic, chemical, electronic, and optical properties. These properties arise because of the increasing proportion of surface atoms, which in metallic nanoparticles have the capacity to donate electrons, and because of quantum mechanical effects.

We optimize the properties of particles deposited in the gas phase for a particular application by simulation, control of deposition parameters, and functionalization. Particle characterization is performed utilizing the world class facilities of  the  Nanoparticles by Design Unit and OIST, which include environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), physical property measurement system (PPMS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), x-ray diffraction (XRD), fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, and a Class 10,000 clean-room. Simultaneously, we perform computer simulations by various methods such as molecular dynamics (MD), Monte Carlo (MC) or density functional theory (DFT) to elucidate the underlying physical mechanisms that determine the physical and chemical properties of our nanoparticles.



Our research is divided into two basic areas:

  1. Basic science
    1. Nucleation and growth kinetics of nanoparticles
    2. Coalescence of nanoparticles
    3. Phase segregation and oxidation in nanoparticles
    4. Nanoparticle-support interaction
    5. Nanoparticle structure-property relationship
  2. Optimization of nanoparticles for specific applications
    1. Energy storage (Li-ion batteries, hydrogen storage)
    2. Gas-sensing
    3. Biosensing

Simultaneously, we are working towards the commercialization of our research findings: we have currently two ongoing proof-of-concept projects:

  1. Smart gas sensors for the internet of things
  2. Next generation label free biosensors