The overarching theme of the work in my group is structure/function relationships at the surfaces and interfaces of materials. Over the past several years, these studies have focused on nanoscale materials and devices for molecular/organic electronics, quantum dot and metal nanoparticle assemblies for optoelectronics and chemical sensing and the tribological properties of nanoscale contacts. Much of this work involves establishing a fundamental (molecular level) understanding of the underlying chemistry and physics of the systems in question to affordrational approaches for improving current technologies and developing new ones. We utilize both top-down and bottom-up fabrication approaches, combined with self-organizing molecular systems to control and manipulate materials on the nanoscale.

In much of our work, we take advantage of self-assembly for the design of robust structures, which can be manipulated and controlled through the engineering of specific inter-molecular forces and chemical interactions with surfaces. This includes designing confined molecular assemblies for molecular electronics, organic/semiconductor heterojunctions for organic electronics, nanopatterned quantum dot arrays for chemical sensing, as controlling friction at the molecular level to enable micromachine designs. The range of projects provide the students with a strong multidisciplinary background affording opportunities for training in chemistry, physical and analytical methods, nanotechnology, and materials science. Students will also be exposed to a diverse set of research environments through collaborative interactions with several national laboratory facilities.