Nanoporous Materials

Nanoporous Materials

nanoporous materials graphic

Dr. Eugene Pinkhassik, at the University of Memphis, has developed a class of nanoporous materials with well-defined pore sizes using a "biotemplating" technique. These materials hold great promise for applications ranging from catalysis to drug delivery. Please see this link for a brief pdf introduction to this material.

Sam Schaub, a VU physics junior, and Ben Anderson (VU '08) have worked with us on this project, each contributing to the publication of a journal article in Langmuir (

My main contribution to the project is the determination of the structure of the nanomaterials, which is vital for how to design specific pore sizes and shapes for use in particular applications. We have been using neutron and x-ray scattering techniques for this purpose.

The main studies so far have been:

  • The way that the liposome scaffolds "load" with the nanocapsule shell material ("monomers").
  • Time-resolved studies of the loading process.
  • Studying how changing the type of monomer and the size of the liposome affects the loading process.
  • Determining the thickness of the nanocapsule shell walls.
  • The formation and testing of a gold substrate preparation method for making large, flat gold electrodes for nanosensor applications.
  • The formation and testing of an ultrathin insulating polymer film that will eventually be made porous for use in nanosensor applications.
  • The distribution and structure of nanodisks in solution and in polymer matrices for use as nanocomposite materials.