Chemical Sensors

We are exploiting the intrinsic photoluminescence (PL) from silicon nanocrystallites Si nanocrystals (SiNCs) and porous silicon (pSi) as a vehicle for developing nanoscale sensors and sensor arrays.

In collaboration with Prof. Mark T. Swihart in UB’s Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, we are creating well-defined, 4-6 nm diameter SiNCs, carefully modifying their surface chemistry to create analyte-selective binding sites, and using the analyte-induced changes in the SiNC’s intrinsic PL for transduction and analyte detection.

In related research we are using pSi as a macroscopic platform for creating multi-analyte-responsive microarrays. Here sensor elements are formed directly on the pSi surface by using pin-printing methods developed in our laboratories.

SiNC TEM (top left), photoluminescence (top right), and analyte-dependent photoluminescence spectra from hybrid silica-silicon nanosensors
pSi photophysics
pSi spectroscopy
Pin printed microarrays on pSi and spectral analysis

We are also collaborating with Prof. Vamsy P. Chodavarapu in McGill University’s Electrical and Computing Engineering Department to develop integrated sensor platforms based on xerogel-based chemical sensors and low power, high-performance complementary metal oxide semi-conductor (CMOS) arrays.

In collaboration with Prof. Gary A. Baker in the University of Missouri’s Department of Chemistry (update, moving from ORNL) we are evaluating new fluorescent ionic liquids and determining their unique photophysics.


Anti-fouling/Fouling Release Films

In collaboration with Prof. Michael R. Detty in UB’s Department of Chemistry we are developing advanced anti-fouling/fouling release materials for use in fresh water and marine applications. These efforts exploit the tailorability of nanoporous xerogels in concert with innovative catalysts and use intrinsic agents in the environment to create robust surfaces that are less prone to fouling/exhibit superior fouling release characteristics.


Benign Chemistry

We are striving to determine the dynamics within polymeric membrane architectures that are used for H2 purification applications. In collaboration with Prof. Javid Rzayev in UB’s Department of Chemistry, we are creating monolayer surfaces on silica substrates and investigating the monolayer interfacial dynamics in contact with supercritical fluids as a function of fluid composition and density.


Wound Repair

In a multidisciplinary team effort with researchers across campus, at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and Daemen College, we are developing novel resorbable laminated repair membranes that can deliver active protein drugs and accelerate and sustain wound repair.