Our research group makes nanomaterials and nanodevices with new and superior properties. Our motivation is to address global challenges in energy-related technologies, sensing, and medical imaging and treatment. The main focus or our research is on organic and hybrid materials made by bio-inspired assembly. We use surfactant and lipid bilayers as scaffolds to create nanometer-thin membranes with uniform nanopores that can be used for building nanoreactors, nanosensors, advanced separation systems, and smart nanocontainers.

Bioinspired directed assembly of nanomaterials and nanodevices
Our group developed a surfactant-templated method for the synthesis of nanometer-thin polymer materials with programmed-size uniform nanopores and controlled chemical environment. These materials offer a unique combination of robustness, programmed permeability, and ultra-fast mass transfer through nanopores. Porous nanocapsules with tunable dimensions can be created in large scale from inexpensive materials. We are using porous nanocapsules as a platform technology to create nanoreactors and nanosensors. We are exploring nanocapsules and functionalized vesicles as smart containers for delivery of drugs and imaging agents.

Our experience with nanomaterials, nano devices, and soft assemblies has led to successful projects pursuing diverse application:
• Catch and release of molecules with porous hollow nanocapsules
• Nansensors
• Nanoreactors
• Targeted delivery of drugs and imaging agents

Professional development of group members
Our research group has an excellent placement record for group members. Past graduate students and postdocs hold academic and industrial positions, and many former undergraduate students were accepted in highly ranked graduate programs and medical schools. Members of our interdisciplinary team learn diverse modern techniques, travel to national research facilities, and benefit from frequent interactions with multiple collaborators. We strive for maintaining the culture of learning, mutual support, and excitement about research. Each project discussed below has opportunities for contribution at every experience level. All group members will develop a competitive skill set for their future career.