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Synthesis and Optically-induced Assembly of Colloidal Nanomaterials

Primary Investigators:
Justus Ndukaife
 
Brief Description of Project:
The Ndukaife Research group conducts research at the interface between nanophotonics and microfluidics to develop new lab-on-a-chip devices for trapping, manipulation, sorting and sensing of nanometric objects. This project involves synthesizing and exploring the optical and thermal properties of colloidal nanomaterials including amorphous silicon and silver nanocubes, and their use for designing metasurfaces for lab-on-a-chip device applications. Silicon colloids and silver nanocubes are known to exhibit strong light scattering and produce distinct colors depending on their size, owing to their strong Mie-type and plasmonic resonance respectively. In addition, they also strongly absorb light and hence can serve as nanoscale sources of heat providing the means to engineer heat distribution.

This project will involve the synthesis of these nanomaterials and their assembly using new techniques being developed in the PI's lab.

Desired Qualifications:
This project is best suited for a student interested in chemistry or optics. Students should have completed at least general chemistry with a corresponding lab course.
 
Nature of Supervision:
The student will work closely with Prof. Ndukaife and graduate students.
 
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
Week 1 & 2: Journal paper review
Week 3: Chemical safety training
Week 4-5: Chemical synthesis of the colloidal materials
Week 6-7: Optical characterization of the materials
Week 8-9: Experiments on optical trapping and assembly of the colloids
Week 10: Final report 

Number of Open Slots: 2
 
Contact Information:
Name: Justus Ndukaife
Department: Electrical Engineering
Email: justus.ndukaife@vanderbilt.edu