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I made my first magnetic nanoparticles during my grad school in 2006 and have been fascinated by them ever since. They are so tiny and yet they can do so much.  There are hundreds upon hundreds of ways by which you can functionalize them to perform various tasks.  

The central theme of my research is finding a nanoparticle-based solutions to prevalent problems.  In particular, water and air quality testing through spectroscopy.  Eventually, we can formulate multifunctional nanoparticles for water remediation.

Nanoparticle Synthesis

The main technique of detection that I usually employ is Raman spectroscopy.  As an analysis tool, Raman spectroscopy is non-destructive and provides information bout the composition and structure of the material. It is highly selective since each  molecular species has its own unique fingerprint. The spectrum resulting from the measurement is information rich. The intensity of the peaks, Raman shift, bandshape broadening and changes in lineshape all contribute to providing a clear picture of the sample.

Raman Spectroscopy

Surface - Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

SERS is a truly nanoscience phenomenon since it requires a metallic nanostructure to be present for the enhancement effect to manifest.  There are three main components of a SERS set-up: the analyte molecule, the exciting radiation and the metallic substrate
containing nanoparticles.  It is an advanced Raman technique to alleviate the inherently weak Raman signals of most materials, especially at low concentrations.

Open Projects

Multifunctional Gold – Graphene Nanostructure

The key step to achieving the giant optical ampli fication lies on finding a suitable nanoparticle system that supports the effect. Thus, preparation of SERS substrates remains a very active research area. Au/Ag-G hybrids could have extraordinary coupled properties when in proximity with one another rather than individually. Au-G and Ag-G are viable and powerful sensing platforms.

Novel Nanoparticle Synthesis Techniques

We continue to find ways to improve existing technique or find entirely new ones in fabricating materials. Green synthesis an bio-mediated techniques will be explored to come up with useful nanostructures that are cost-effective at the same time environment - friendly.

Magnetic Accumulation for SERS and water remediation

Combining the detection capabilities of metallic nanoparticles and the mechanical control and accumulation of magnetic nanoparticle.  This could identify bacterial species, metal compounds, toxic dyes and other water contaminants as well as collect them using external magnetic field.

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If you are interested in working on these tiny wonders or have some ideas, big or small, feel free to contact me.

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