Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Faculty
James L. Gole
College of Sciences
School of Physics
NanoTECH Research Area Affiliations
The Gole Research Group is concerned with the synthesis and characterization of nanostructures and the nature of their incorporation into porous media. Porous interfaces (primarily silicon) are transformed within the framework of nanotechnology using a variety of nanostructures to create highly efficient sensors, interactive support surfaces, active battery electrodes, and novel nanophotocatalytic microreactor arrays. Silica (nanospheres, nanowire arrays, and nanotubes), tin oxide (ground state and metastable nanowires, ribbons, and nanotubes), and doped titania and zirconia-based nanostructures are used to create highly active frameworks. Novel, “active” silica nanosphere powders whose unique oxidation states create uniquely active support surfaces, within themselves have been found to catalyze hydroxylation reactions. Further, they have also been used to form large surface area selective Cu/SiO2 catalysts. New nanoscale exclusive techniques have been developed for the rapid formation of TiO2-xNx nanophotocatalysts operative in the visible wavelength region to be used in conjunction with porous silicon hybrid nanopore coated micropores to form novel and efficient solar pumped sensors and microreactors. A ready seeding of these titania-based nanostructures with metals, metal ions, and their compounds, including ligated transition metal ion complexes, facilitates unique phase transformation. Novel ZrOx nanoshells and hollow nanospherical forms have been synthesized and their applications to fuel cell, hydrogen storage, and thermoelectric power generation are under study.
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