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Structure and Dynamics of Applied Nanomaterials (SDAN) Group

Our Research

The main focus of our program is on understanding the relationships between microscopic and macroscopic properties of materials of low dimensionality, with the goal to explain their functions. Information we obtain is used to uncover mechanisms of work of vastly different nanoscale materials such as catalysts, electrocatalysts, solid oxide fuel cells, batteries, supercapacitors, phase change materials, and pyroelectrics. We are also developing a “reverse approach” that incorporates the data on macroscopic performance of such materials into their characterization scheme. We also include developments of new experimental and data analysis methodologies that rely on the use of combined techniques in operando, i.e., during a process in which a nanoscale material does useful work.

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Recent projects (from left to right): Development of multimodal characterization methods (example – an operando microreactor approach), machine learning-assisted analysis of X-ray absorption spectra (example – characterization of Pt nanoparticles) and mechanistic studies of nanomaterials (example – mechanism of synthesis of ZnSe nanowires, nanorods and quantum dots).