I am a CSSAS EFRC student studying the synthesis of hierarchical inorganic materials by designing programmable macromolecular building blocks like proteins, polymers. These programmable building blocks allow us to control optical and electronic properties of hierarchical inorganic materials, which can be used for applications in plasmonics and quantum optics. We are using different techniques like dark-field microscopy (DFM) and electron microscopy (EM) to understand the dynamic interactions between inorganic nanoparticles and building blocks to build ordered materials. We are tracking thousands of nanoparticles on the submicron scale in real time by using DFM and will soon use hyperspectral DFM. DFM create thousands of images which contain the fundamental information about these dynamic interactions. Also, we are examining the effect of external factors like pH, temperature and ionic strength on these dynamic interactions. These factors allow us to understand and control the synthesis parameters of hierarchical materials.
Advisor: David Ginger — Chemistry