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Physical and Chemical Properties of Nanowires

Aston Laboratory

Nanowires are made from all kinds of pure and mixed materials for an array of new and future applications where so-called "one-dimensional" shapes are needed to shrink functions such as in microelectronics, video displays, solar panels, and chemical sensors.
The collective actives in the lab revolve around making and characterizing nanowire structures and behavior under various conditions.

One general goal of our efforts is to build nanowires into reusable microfluidic devices for quick and cheap detection of ground water contaminates, for nucleic acid quantification and sequencing, and for possible extension to other aqueous applications.

One main working hypothesis is that nanowire-based sensors have a significant edge over other kinds of sensor platforms due to increased specific surface area, ease of functionalization, and level of physical-chemical stability. Specific objectives include nanowire synthesis of a variety of pure and composite materials (ceramics, metals, polymers, and biomolecules), chemical, physical, mechanical, and electrical structure-property characterization of nanowire materials and their effect on fluid flow and chemical detection sensitivity in microchannels of our sensor designs.
We foresee chemical sensor technology as an integral factor across disciplines and application areas, including its role in water quality management, quantitative DNA/RNA identification, biomass production, carbon sequestration, climate change technology, and extending to gaseous and other biological sensors.