(3bt) Nanostructured Functional Materials for (Bio)Sensing and Energy-Related Applications | AIChE

(3bt) Nanostructured Functional Materials for (Bio)Sensing and Energy-Related Applications


Jia, W. - Presenter, University of Connecticut

The development of nanostructured functional materials with unique properties is of great interest in current research of materials science and chemical engineering, and advances the improvement of many applications, especially chemosensors and biosensors aiming at the rapid and cost-effective detection of various targets with improved sensitivity and selectivity, and more efficient catalysts for higher energy conversion. Therefore, this research focuses on the fabrication of novel nanostructured materials, including noble metal functionalized nanofibers and metal oxide based nanostructures, and further explores their enhanced performances in sensing or energy-related applications. Specifically, on one hand, noble metals were deposited on the surface of electrospun nanofibrous template through appropriate physical, chemical, or electrochemical approach. The resultant composite nanomaterials, inheriting not only the excellent conductivity and superior catalytic ability of noble metal, but also the large surface area and the high porosity of electrospun nanofibers, have been successfully applied in both vapor/gas phase detection and liquid phase detection for various analytes with dramatically improved sensing performances. On the other hand, as promising substitutes for noble metals in sensing application, metal oxides with different nanostructures were facilely synthesized via direct thermal oxidation, hydrothermal reaction, and galvanic replacement reaction. The excellent electrocatalytic properties of the as-prepared nanostructured metal oxides were investigated and demonstrated in the detection of hydrogen peroxide which is the most widely used model compound.  The methodology for the fabrication of novel nanomaterials in this work can be extended to the development of other novel multifunctional nanomaterials for a wider range of applications.