Total Synthesis Toolkit for Constructing Ternary Hybrid Nanoparticles

Project: Research project

Project Details


In this project funded by the Macromolecular, Supramolecular, and Nanochemistry Program of the Chemistry Division, Raymond E. Schaak of the Pennsylvania State University will study the formation of nanoparticles (particles on the scale of a few billionths of a meter) that contain three distinct material components in contact. Such nanoparticles offer important and unique properties for applications in energy, optics, medicine, and catalysis. However, these nanoparticles can be difficult to make in a way that is both predictable and controllable. This project will reveal important new insights into how three-component nanoparticles form, as well as generate new chemical tools for making them in a way that meets specific design criteria for their target applications. A diverse group of students will participate in this project, and the research results will also feed into the development of new laboratory and classroom learning modules.

Hybrid inorganic nanoparticles that incorporate multiple distinct materials into a single particle offer multi-functionality and synergistic properties that underpin emerging applications in solar energy conversion, nanophotonics, biomedicine, and catalysis. Most examples of hybrid nanoparticles involve two-component systems, or heterodimers. Heterotrimers, which are three-component hybrid nanoparticles, offer greater complexity and functional diversity, as well as unique materials characteristics that are required by these applications. However, different materials configurations within a heterotrimer system (A-B-C vs. C-A-B) can lead to different properties, and therefore precise control over the relative locations of each material component is required. This project will provide significant new knowledge and understanding about the formation, stability, and chemical reactivity of hybrid nanoparticles. These results are anticipated to enable the predictable synthesis of nanoparticle heterotrimers with precisely controlled configurations and spatial arrangements. This project will provide multi-disciplinary training for both undergraduate and graduate students, and also serve as a platform for the new laboratory and classroom learning modules.

Effective start/end date9/1/148/31/18


  • National Science Foundation: $420,000.00


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