Dr. Douglas H. Adamson

Synthesis and self-assembly of block copolymers is one area of GEMS research. Self-assembled structures such as polymersomes have been used to catalyze and template the formation of ceramics and organic/ceramic hybrids, as well as to produce surfaces patterned at the 10 nm length scale. Additionally, grapheme and boron nitride are being used as interface stabilizers for emulsions.


Dr. Mark Aindow

Characterization of EMS systems using Transmission Electron Microscopy methods. Novel mesopore materials described below are under investigation with a variety of structural methods for imaging, determination of structural parameters, uniformity, and degree of crystallinity.


Dr. Maria Luz Fernandez

Use of nano-emulsion preparations for enhanced delivery of vitamins and nutrients is being studied. The focus is on improving the bioavailability of macular carotenoids in mammals, with a much wider-range of applicability.

Puxian Gao on May 15, 2014. (/UConn Photo)

Dr. Puxian Gao

Green surfactants are utilized for tailoring the size, shape, and stoichiometry of functional nanomaterials such as stannate based perovskite nanoparticles and thin films for energy and environmental applications. In-depth mechanistic understanding is sought on surfactant mediated complex oxide nanoparticle structure and morphology evolution facilitated by in-situ synchrotron x-ray based spectroscopies.


Dr. Jie He

Design and synthesis of new surfactant materials provide new opportunities to understand and engineer the self-assembly behaviours of GEMS materials. We are mainly focusing on two areas, i) the development of new colloidal molecules having structural similarity of GEMS materials and the investigation of programmable self-assembly of these colloidal molecules, and ii) the manipulation of surface properties of GEMS materials towards water-oil separation applications.


Dr. Amy Howell and Dr. Steven L. Suib

Natural surfactants are being used as templates to form novel mesopore materials having compositions throughout the periodic table. In addition, surfactants are being used for enhanced oil recovery and in environmental remediation applications. Synthesis of novel green surfactants is also a focus of this effort.


Dr. Rajeswari Kasi and Dr. Challa V. Kumar

The design of new protein polymer architectures and investigation of self-assemblies in solution are being harnessed to make self-assembled structures (micelles, gels, and nanoparticles) for applications in biocatalysis and sensing. Exceptional properties for biocatalysis and sensing are being pursued.


Dr. Yao Lin

Pickering emulsions of inorganic nanoparticles and bionanoparticles, and the development of novel nanoparticle membranes and capsules from a wide variety of building blocks is being studied. Different types of inorganic and bioorganic nanoparticles are developed using unique cross-linked nanoparticle membranes, capsules and functionalized porous thin films with great promise for useful nano-devices or nano-reactors with design-in functionality.


Dr. Anson Ma

Flow behavior and processing of nanoparticle-stabilized emulsions.

Professor Mu-Ping Nieh

Dr. Mu-Ping Nieh

Fundamental self-assembly principles and structural characterization of EMS materials with Small Angle Scattering (SAS through neutron, X-rays, or light) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) methods. One focus will be investigation of mesopore formation and the role of surfactants in such syntheses, including: the morphology of micelles, the uniformity of the pores, the total surface area, and the crystallinity of the wall in situ for these mesopore systems. SAS Data will be best fitted using a library of models (spherical, cylindrical, core-shell, and lamellar) to obtain the possible morphologies and dimensions.


Dr. Fotis Papadimitrakopoulos

Carbon nanotubes incorporating flavin mononucleotide (FMN), a phosphorylated version of vitamin B2, are being synthesized. FMN is now classified as a “biological surfactant for carbon nanotubes”. We will make green emulsions of carbon nanotubes, totally encased by a tightly wrapped array of FMN.  This transforms the nanotube from a potential toxic material to a non-toxic system. Drug delivery and devices are practical goals of this work.


Dr. Richard Parnas

Research in complex fluids for processing nanocomposites in the fluid phase.


Dr. Mark Peczuh

Synthesis of a variety of surfactant based materials will be done in the GEMS effort, based on our work in the area of carbohydrate chemistry.


Dr. Eugene Pinkhassik

Our group uses surfactant-templates directed assembly approach to making nanomaterials and nanodevices with new and superior properties to address current problems in energy-related technologies, medical imaging and treatment, and environmental sensing.


Dr. Ramamurthy Ramprasad

Computation modeling of mesopore and porous systems are underway. Parameter-free first principles density functional theory (DFT) computations, and the development of methodologies that go beyond the capabilities of current conventional first principles computations are used. These studies include high-throughput computing, systematic chemical space explorations, data mining, and statistical (or machine) learning.

Jessica Rouge

Dr. Jessica Rouge

Nanomaterials are becoming a major contender in drug delivery and personalized medicine. As part of the GEMS program our group seeks to understand the fundamental structural and chemical consequences of immobilizing biomolecules (RNA, DNA and peptides) on colloidal nanoparticles surfaces. We will investigate the new interactions that can arise when these hybrid biomaterials are integrated into biological systems.


Dr. James Rusling

The connection with GEMS involves natural and synthetic surfactants in novel systems for high-throughput bioanalysis and biocatalysis. Specific projects include lipid and microsomal films for biocatalysis and toxicity arrays using cyt P450s and other enzymes, high-throughput LC-MS/MS for toxicity screening using microsomal metabolic enzymes, photosynthetic proteins in lipid films for photovoltaic devices, biocatalysis in microemulsions with nanoparticle-bound enzymes, and microfluidic arrays to measure multiple biomarker proteins for cancer diagnostics.


Dr. Mei Wei

Currently, we use surfactants in two of our research projects:  (1) We use surfactants to help to disperse our nano-hydroxyapatite particles; (2) we use surfactants to create an anti-bacterial surface on catheters.  We also plan to embed drug-loaded micelle into our tissue engineering scaffolds to enhance tissue repair and regeneration.

ZhaoJing_gems_w Dr. Jing Zhao

Optical spectroscopy (Raman) and microscopy of novel functional nanomaterials such as correlating the optical and structural properties of nanoparticles; studying the excitonic or plasmonic coupling in complex nanoparticle assemblies that are composed of metallic or semiconductor nanoparticles, and understanding the role of ligands on the influence of optical properties of nanomaterials are underway.