Research

Plant Nanobionics

The interface between plant organelles and non-biological nanostructures has the potential to impart organelles with new and enhanced functions. Our work shows that single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) passively transport and irreversibly localize within the lipid envelope of extracted plant chloroplasts, promotes over three times higher photosynthetic activity than that of controls, and enhance maximum electron transport rates.

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Energy Generation from Thermopower Waves

Thermopower waves is a novel concept of energy generation, first reported by Strano lab in March 2010. This method uses chemical energy of fuels to generate electrical output by using nanomaterials and exploiting their high thermal and electrical conductivity. 

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Carbon Nanotube Photovoltaics

Both cost and performance requirements make semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) attractive as photo-absorbers for near-infrared photovoltaic (nIR PV) applications. Their solution-process-ability (which can substantially reduce manufacturing costs), earth-abundant source materials, and recently scale-able fabrication and purification may yield low cost manufacture, a limitation with conventional solar cell (SC) designs. Furthermore, such devices can augment the photo-conversion efficiencies of conventional visible-PV systems by absorbing nIR wavelengths that comprise approximately 22% of the solar spectrum but fall within a typical PV bandgap.

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2 Dimensional Materials

The recent development of nanoelectronics using two-dimensional (2D) materials has demonstrated potential towards further miniaturization beyond Moore’s law, as well as a high-mobility solution in the emerging fields of large-area, flexible, and low-cost electronics. The 2D material that has received the most attention is graphene, a one-atom-thick, two dimensional sheet of sp2-hybridized carbon. 

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Nanosensor Platforms for the Study of Cellular Signalling

Intra- and inter-cellular signaling pathways often involve chemical fluxes that are too small to detect using conventional assays and instrumentation.  The Strano laboratory designs and synthesizes fluorescent nanosensors capable of listening to these signals, even at the single molecule level.  Our work focuses on the synthesis and mathematical analysis of these analytical platforms to solve biological problems.

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Single Carbon Nanotube Nanopores

By growing and isolating ultra-long (>1 cm) SWNT, we have been able to form the longest, highest-aspect ratio nanopores ever achieved. With unbroken, persistent interior diameters between 1 and 2 nm, these pores allow us to study transport phenomena on an unprecedented scale.

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