Li Receives Funding to Explore Nanoparticle Assembly for Optical and Electronic Applications

Chris Li
Dr. Christopher Li

Professor Christopher Li has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for his project "Self and Programmable Assembly of Nanoparticles with Multicompartment Polymer Brushes."

The budget for the three-year project is $298,661 (CBET-1438240).

Nanometer-sized particles are arguably the most important building blocks for future advanced functional materials. To transfer their fascinating optical, electronic and magnetic properties from nano- to macro- scales, these nanoparticles need to be assembled into desired structures for targeted applications.

Nanosandwich formed by polymer single crystal directed nanoparticle assembly.

Most of the reported studies of nanoparticle assembly use spherical nanoparticles uniformly coated with surfactants and/or polymers. Assembly of these particles leads to phases with simple symmetries. If “patches” with distinct chemical properties can be introduced to a nanoparticle, the corresponding ensemble structures can be much more complex, with properties that can be better tailored for specific applications. This proposed work aims to investigate a novel method to synthesize such particles, and to explore their self-assembled structures for optical and electronic applications.