Professor Robinson wins $1.5 million from NSF to create scalable nanomanufacturing
Assistant Professor Richard Robinson has won a $1.5 million grant to lead an NSF Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team (NIRT) to develop methods to scalable nanoparticle synthesis through the Scalable Nanomanufacturing program.
Colloidal nanomaterials are at the forefront of nanomaterial technologies. The properties of nanoparticles, also commonly referred to as quantum dots, can be tuned by changing their size, shape, and composition. Breakthroughs in wet-chemistry have permitted scientists to create novel nanoparticles with electrical, optical, thermal, and magnetic properties that can be tailored for application needs. However, scalable methods to manufacture nanoparticles and nanoparticles-devices are not yet established.
To resolve roadblocks impeding progress Professor Robinson’s research project aims to develop the first large-scale, solution-phase synthesis of high-quality nanoparticles, and demonstrate their integration into devices. This work will represent a step-change in the approach to realize nanoparticle-based technologies by manufacturable approaches. Prof. Robinson has teamed with Professor Tobias Hanrath of the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department for the project. The key is the use of a reactive precursor that had previously only been available for aqueous-phase synthesis and a synthesis method that does not rely on the conventional “hot-injection”. The PIs will first demonstrate the scale-up technique through production of metal sulfides. To demonstrate device integration the project will integrate the large-scale particles into battery electrodes and solar photovoltaic modules.
The grant is titled: “SNM: Scalable Production and Processing of High-Quality Metal Sulfide Nanoparticles into Energy Storage and Capture Devices”
Richard Robinson (PI) and Tobias Hanrath (CBE) (Co-PI)
The award amount is $1,493,398 and runs through 2017.