Research

Plasmonic Photochemistry

Metallic nanoparticles act as magnifying loop amplifying light in their vicinity. Our research group specializes in harvesting this unique property to boost photochemical processes, such as the production of singlet oxygen. To achieve this goal, we engineer innovative metallic nanoparticle hybrid systems. We then use these novel nanomaterials to photo-inactivate bacteria.

Molecular Aggregation

Most of the technological breakthroughs that profoundly impact our society involve light, whether in solar energy, optoelectronic displays or for medical purposes. In these applications, new materials are intended to function within complex assemblages of molecules rather than as single entities. Therefore, molecular properties explored in dilute solutions might not translate to applications due to the forced proximity between molecules in a confined environment. The ability to predict these changes in functionality in going from solution to application is key to improving performance, accuracy and ultimately cost of these technologies. Our goal is to unravel key structural factors regulating optical and photochemical changes in confined environments.

Cellulose Nanocrystal (CNC)

Cellulose is the most abundant polymer on earth, it is the main building block of trees and plants. Nanocellulose are rod-like nanoparticles derived from cellulose. In the crystalline form, nanocellulose is organized in a structure of strongly ordered crystalline particles, which presents several key features such as high strength, electro-magnetic response and a large surface area. Our goal is to further modify CNC by engineering novel nanomaterials for various applications, adding value to the abundant biomass resource available in Alberta.

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