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Regulation of Interparticle Interactions: In Search of Advanced Nanoparticle Functions

Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 12:00
Donostia International Physics Center
Pramod P. Pillai, Indian Instiute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, India
Source Name: 

to control the interplay of forces can not only improve the existing
nanoparticle (NP) functionalities but can pave way for newer properties as
well.1 Our group is interested in controlling the fundamental forces, and
thereby interparticle interactions, to understand and improve various processes
occurring at the nanoscale. In principle most of the forces and interactions at
the nanoscale originate from molecules around a nanomaterial. Thus, one of
the fundamental aspects of our research is the surface functionalization of
nanomaterials with molecules of interest, while retaining NP’s inherent
optoelectronic properties. We have successfully tested our hypothesis of
controlling the interplay of forces in some of the fundamental nanoscale properties
like self-assembly, sensing, catalysis, light harvesting and biotargeting.2-4
For instance, we have regulated the interparticle forces to reveal the
unprecedented phenomenon of controlled aggregation and emergence of selectivity
in inherently non-selective Au NPs, without the aid of any analyte
specific ligands.2 In another example, a precise tuning of NP-reactant
interactions helped in outplaying the poisoning effects of ligands in NP
catalyzed reactions. The same metal core can function as a catalyst and a
non-catalyst based on the NP surface potential. The superiority of surface
engineering of NP system lies in the ease with which the necessary surface
chemistry can be ‘fitted in’ irrespective of the NP core. In this regard,
we have successfully demonstrated electrostatically driven light induced
energy/electron transfer processes in Quantum Dot-Dye hybrid systems.4 These
advancements in the existing optoelectronic properties of nanomaterials
through the fine control over interactions are expected to expand the scope of
nanoscience in energy and health research. 


1. (a) B. A. Grzybowski and W. T. S. Huck, Nat. Nanotechnol. 2016, 11, 585; (b)
C. A. S. Batista, R. G. Larson and N. A. Kotov, Science 2015, 350, 1242477; (c)
K. J. Bishop, C. E. Wilmer, S. Soh and B. A. Grzybowski, Small 2009, 5,
1600; (d) K. Saha, S. S. Agasti, C. Kim, X. Li and V. M. Rotello, Chem. Rev.
2012, 112, 2739

2. (a) A. Rao, S. Roy, M. Unnikrishnan, S. S. Bhosale, G. Devatha and P. P.
Pillai, Chem. Mater. 2016, 28, 2348; (b) A. Rao, S. Govind, S. Roy, T. R.
Ajesh, G. Devatha and P. P. Pillai, ChemRxiv.7195817.v1 2018. 

3. (a) S. Roy, A. Rao, G. Devatha and P. P. Pillai, ACS. Catal. 2017, 7, 7141;
(b) S. Roy, S. Roy, A. Rao, G. Devatha and P. P. Pillai, Chem. Mater. 2018, 30,
8415; (c) I. N. Chakraborty, S. Roy, G. Devatha, A. Rao and P. P. Pillai,
Chem. Mater. 2019, 31, 2258.

4. (a) G. Devatha, S. Roy, A. Rao, A. Mallick, S. Basu and P. P. Pillai, Chem.
Sci. 2017, 8, 2017, 3879; (b) J. A. M. Xavier, G. Devatha, S. Roy, A. Rao and
P. P. Pillai, J. Mater. Chem. A 2018, 6, 22248; (c) S. Muduli, P. Pandey,
G. Devatha, R. Babar, D. C. Kothari, M. Kabir, P. P. Pillai and S. Ogale,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 7682.

Host: Marek Grzelczak 

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