Multifunctional Nanocarbons and Nanocomposites Lab

Welcome to our Webpage! The group is headed by Prof. Sanju Gupta.

Research Overview

We are an experimental condensed-matter materials physics and briefly, experimental biophysics group with leading activities on multifunctional and hybrid nanomaterials and nancomposites comprising advanced carbons, conducting polymers and transition metal oxides for a range of technologies including electrochemical energy storage devices and nano-bio interfaces motivated by the demand for improved or entirely new functional materials. Graphene, the 2D system notoriously hard-to-handle nanomaterial that could turn out to be the material of the new millennium, holds great promise to the point where the material itself and their derivatives could, in the future, help to drive down the economy of electrochemical energy storage devices as potential electrochemical electrodes for super-/ultracapacitors, among others. Our current research involves synthesis, processing, characterization, and application of novel advanced multifunction carbon materials and nanocomposites, for emerging nanotechnologies specifically, alternative energy devices and nano-bio interactions. We are planning to investigate the dynamical electrochemical processes at the solid/liquid interface by inelastic light scattering to probe their surface/interface charge transfer dynamics and to gain an insight into the associated structural changes as well as fine tuning the energy gap and continue to explore other characterization tools such as scanning electrochemical microscopy at micro- and nanoscale. A major focus of our research would be on improving the performance of electrochemical electrodes by design and synthesis of novel strategies for advanced graphene-based hybrid systems and advanced characterization. We are also studying carbon nanotubes, in their combination with graphene-based materials, and ultra dispersed nanodiamond forming three-dimensional hybrid networks as novel multifunctional materials and their radiation resilience. In regard to the former, other works include electrochemical synthesis via anodic oxidation and characterization of conducting polymer nanostructures relevant to forming nanocomposites with graphene derivatives such as graphene oxide and carbon nanotubes. Raman spectroscopy of van der Waals solids built from 2D layers of dichalcogenides (MoS2, WS2), h-BN forming heterostructures and superlattices with graphene is studied to develop new electronic devices (and photovoltaics targeted their photophysical properties). Our research involves science and engineering aspects of many novel advanced low-dimensional carbons and analogues. To achieve above mentioned goals, we use a range of analytical characterization techniques (SEM, XRD, RS, AFM, HRTEM, I-V, and Electrochemical), either in-house or through collaborations, to probe their surface as well as average bulk structure and property in order to establish microscopic structure-processing-property correlations. When it seems appropriate, I plan to participate in technology transition to benefit society, such as through intellectual property and possibly formation of a LLC.

Research Targets
 graphene(s) and derivatives

graphene-based functional hybrids nanomaterials novel synthetic approaches
electrochemical electrodes as supercapacitors and batteries

probing dynamic electrochemical processes (interfacial aspects)

conducting polymer nanostructures and nanocomposites with nanotubes

 materials physics and chemistry of carbon-based systems

nanocomposites (functional/structural)
nanobio interactions (surface and interfaces) - ET kinetics

Currently advising (Graduate, Undergraduate and Gatton Academy high school students)

[Seeking self-motivated UG and graduate students]

Eli Heintzman (UG, Junior), Carson Price (UG, Sophomore), Jared Walden (EE UG, Freshman)

Ben McDonald (UG, Freshman),

Mayme Van Meveren (Graduate MS, HHS),

Alumni: Harry Heyworth (Gatton Academy Sr.), Aline Irihamye (Gatton Academy Sr.)

For more details, please see our research page. UNDER CONSTRUCTION!