Our research group is broadly interested in exploring interfacial chemistry at the nanoscale. The new chemical and physical properties that arise when materials are confined at the nanoscale has led to an intense interest in harnessing these new properties. How does the surface chemistry of nanoparticles influence the stability, fate, and interactions in simple or complex environments? Specifically, we focus on the interfacial chemistry of gold nanoparticles, ranging from the energetics of small molecule and polymer interactions with nanoparticles to the environmental fate and consequence of nanoparticles. My research group, comprised solely of undergraduate students, is one that values the intersection of multiple different fields and is highlighted by my ongoing collaborative projects. When nanoparticles are placed into complex mixtures the chemical and physical properties of the core, in many cases, become a convenient way to monitor the interactions rather than being the driver of those interactions. Therefore our work is focused on carefully measuring and quantifying the surface chemistry of gold nanoparticles.
Some student written descriptions of their summer research experiences are in the links below