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My Chem/Biochem

  • Quantum Dot

Andrew B. Greytak Group Site

Experimental physical and materials chemistry, with a focus on nanocrystal surfaces. 

Our lab explores the formation, physical properties, and interfacial chemistry of nanoscale materials. Materials that we make in our lab include nanocrystal quantum dots (QDs) superparamagnetic oxide nanocrystals; we also examine a variety of other low-dimensional materials in collaborative projects. A strong inspiration for this work is the opportunity to impact fields including energy conversion, energy storage, bioimaging, and biomedicine. 
There are two general themes that guide our choice of problems. One is an attempt to develop surface-sensitive metrics, purification strategies, and synthetic steps for QDs and other colloidal nanocrystals that permit increasingly precise and sophisticated control of the resulting physical and chemical properties. Such control is necessary for improving the performance of QD solar cells and other nanocrystal-based devices, and for advancing the biomedical applications of nanocrystal-based imaging and therapeutic agents. The second concerns the transport of matter, charge, and energy within nanoscale systems and across interfaces. We use microfabrication, optoelectronic measurements, and functional imaging techniques to characterize these transport processes. These themes are explored in several project areas. 
Graduate and undergraduate students with a variety of academic interests including physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry; physics; biological sciences; and electrical engineering will be able to make strong contributions to the group’s research. Group members employ techniques including air-free synthetic chemistry, NMR spectroscopy, calorimetry, chemical vapor deposition, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, microfabrication, and photoluminescence imaging and spectroscopy. Instrument control, data analysis, and technical image analysis is done with computational tools such as Matlab and Image-J. 
Undergraduates interested in research opportunities should contact Prof. Greytak directly with a CV and a note regarding your professional goals. Prospective graduate students are advised to consult the Department’s graduate admissions page


News and Highlights

URI students making waves

The College of Arts and Sciences First Year Undergraduate Research Initiative, led by Profs. Simoska, Hosseini, and Fountain, puts first-year Chemistry and Biochemistry majors on the fast track to independent research by building common lab skills in chemistry prep and spectroscopy, and then linking them up with projects in participating research labs like ours. Veby Youssef, Camilla Morgan, and Connor Dow joined our lab this Spring with Jennii Burrell and Moinul Islam as mentors. Here’s our excitation-emission setup: some assembly required! 

Welcome Farjana and Nuwandi

First-year Chemistry graduate students Farjana H. Mitu and Nuwandi K. Jayasekara have joined the lab! 

Group trip to One Eared Cow Glass

Quantum Dots were first explored as pigments in glass, so we took a group trip to One Eared Cow Glass here in Columbia to learn about the other kind of glassware and some of the chemistry inside it! 

2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for Quantum Dots

Congratulations to Alexei Ekimov, Louis Brus, and Moungi Bawendi … and the work of the many colleagues, students, and entrepreneurs who have helped to demonstrate the beauty and significance of these tiny, shiny crystals! An excellent history of quantum dots is described in this Nano Letters perspective by Brus and Alexander Efros: 

Welcome to Dr. Gryphon Drake

Gryphon joined the College of Arts and Sciences as a postdoctoral associate in July 2023, having completed his PhD at the University of Illinois with Prof. Moonsub Shim. He will be conducting research on semiconductor nanocrystal ligand exchange chemistry, and also teaching Chem 141M in Spring 2024. 


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.