Anderson Research Group

Investigating the Bottom-up Assembly of Nanomaterials

The incorporation of nanomaterials into a wide range of applications is motivated by the diverse properties (optical, electrical, magnetic, catalytic, etc.) of these nanoscale materials and their tunability by particle size, shape and composition. The goal of research in the Anderson lab is to build materials from the bottom-up by assembling molecules and atoms into complex nanomaterials. Current research explores surface chemistry for the fabrication of thin film metal-organic frameworks, as well as materials chemistry for diverse structural and compositional nanomaterials, specifically thermoelectric materials.

Students engaged in this research learn materials chemistry methodologies for the fabrication of nanoparticles and thin films, utilizing solution-phase solid-state synthesis and metal-organic coordination chemistry. For characterization of material composition and particle assembly, students will routinely use powder x-ray diffraction spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy. Students will gain experience in the interdisciplinary field of nanoscience — from the chemistry involved in material fabrication, to the physics involved in the forces directing assembly, to the engineering involved in designing hierarchical architectures.

This type of research is necessary to integrate nanomaterials into complex architectures that interface with the outside world for applications in the fields of energy, computing and medicine.