Lab: TW 405
Lab Phone: (414) 288-2074
Left: Summer 2010: group members Cleopas Machingauta, Dr. Allen Chaparadza, Stephen Majoni, Ning Wang, and Darlington Mlambo in our new lab.
Layered metal hydroxides such as copper hydroxy acetate shown at the left (copper = blue, oxygen = red, carbon = green, hydrogens not shown), can be modified by use of different metals in the metal hydroxide layer and exchange of the interior anions to provide nanodimensional materials with tunable physical and chemical properties. We study the kinetics of anion exchange in materials such as these to explore the relationship between structure (metal hydroxide layer composition and anion identity) on the fundamental reactivity. Our group us currently exploring the use of isothermal isoconversional (model free) approaches to characterizing the exchange kinetics).
Materials with interlayer cations are also of interest; a-zirconium phosphate provides us with the opportunity to exchange cations at the protonated phosphate group. The resulting materials are of interest for environmental remediation applications.
Layered metal hydroxides are modified by adding long organic interlayer anions and dispersed into polymers. The thermal stability and fire properties of the resulting (nano)composites are characterized. The goal is to develop effective, environmentally benign fire retardant formulations using our materials, perhaps in combination with conventional additives.
Polymer-coated acoustic wave devices are used to detect analytes in aqueous solution. A long-term goal of this project is to develop new coatings, based on nanomaterials, for hybrid sensors with enhanced sensitivity and/or selectivity in detection of target analytes.
Experimental studies of uptake of pollutants by nanomaterials (as well as simple, “green” materials derived from natural sources) are also in progress, along with computational studies of simple model systems.