Nanotechnology research has been directed mostly to the design and synthesis of (a) materials with passive nanostructures (e.g. coatings, nanoparticles of organics, metals and ceramics) and (b) active devices with nanostructured materials (e.g. transistors, amplifiers, sensors, actuators etc). Little is known, however, about how well the unique properties of nanostructured materials are reproduced during their large scale synthesis, and how such manufacturing can be designed and carried out. A key goal here is to fundamentally understand synthesis of surface-functionalized, nanostructured, multicomponent particles by flame aerosol reactors (a proven scalable technology for simple ceramic oxide nanopowders). That way technology for making such sophisticated materials would be developed systematically for their efficient manufacture so that active devices containing them can be made economically. Our focus is on understanding aerosol formation of layered solid or fractal-like nanostructures by developing quantitative process models and systematic comparison to experimental data. This understanding will be used to guide synthesis of challenging nanoparticle compositions and process scale-up with close attention to safe product handling and health effects. The ultimate goal of this research is to address the next frontier of this field, namely the assembling of high performance active devices made with such functionalized or layered nanoparticles. Here these devices include but not limited to (a) actuators containing layered single superparamagnetic nanoparticles and (b) ultraselective and highly sensitive sensors made with highly conductive but disperse nanoelectrode layers for detection of trace organic vapors in the human breath for early diagnosis of serious illnesses.
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/nanotechnology/nano-materials
- /engineering and technology/materials engineering/ceramics
- /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electronic engineering/sensors
Call for proposal
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