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Multifunctional Nanostructured Materials

  • Date
    Mon, Mar 03

    2:00 PM — 3:15 PM

    Steinman Hall 160 - Lecture Hall

    p: 212.650.5748


  • Event Details

    The Chemical Engineering Department would like to welcome Teddy Asefa from Rutgers

    Multifunctional Nanostructured Materials: From Rational Design, Synthesis and Self-Assembly to Potential Applications in Catalysis and Nanomedicine

    The development of novel nanomaterials with unique structures can lead to various miniaturized nanoscale devices and nanopatterned surfaces for various optical, electronics, photonics, catalysis, sensor, biological and medical applications. Furthermore, by using many of these materials, many fundamental studies at the nanoscale are possible. In this talk, efforts by my research group over the last few years on three different but related areas involving the development of various novel multifunctional nanomaterials will be discussed. In the first part, I will describe how the rational assembly of multifunctional groups on nanostructured materials composed of metal oxides, carbon nanofibers, and mesoporous silicas can lead to novel nanocatalysts with efficient catalytic activities towards different synergistic or multi-step in one-pot tandem reactions. Some of the advantageous features of rationally juxtaposing two or more functional groups within nanoscale cavities will be discussed by using catalysis as an example. In addition, I will demonstrate how some of the resulting nanocatalysts can be used in fixed bed reactors to enable selective continuous catalytic reactions. In the second part, I will describe the novel design and “nanostructuring” approaches we developed for making a series of core-shell nanomaterials that show efficient catalytic or electrocatalytic activities for alkane oxidation, water splitting and hydrogen evolution, and oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Finally, I will describe the design and assembly of novel drug-delivery nanosystems composed of multifunctional nanoporous materials having high surface areas, tunable nanometer pores, and easily modifiable surface groups. Some of these materials possess improved adsorption capacity and controlled release property to anticancer drugs, and therefore exhibit enhanced cytotoxicity towards cancer cells. Nanotoxicology tests of the various nanomaterials we synthesized to murine tissues showed further structure-dependent biocompatibility (or cytotoxicity).

    Teddy Asefa was born in Ethiopia where he also completed his B.Sc. degree in Chemistry with distinction in 1992 from Addis Ababa University. He then came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar in 1996 to do his graduate study. After a brief stay at the University of Delaware, he joined the Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB) at the State University of New York at Buffalo to complete his M.Sc. in Chemistry in 1998 with Professor Paras N. Prasad. Teddy, then, went to Toronto, Canada to complete his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in 2002 with Professor Geoffrey A. Ozin. While at Toronto, he has co-invented new classes of nanocomposite materials called Periodic Mesoporous Organosilicas (PMOs) that are currently drawing wide range of interest world-wide. He was then an invited Miller Fellowship nominee by Professor Peidong Yang at the University of California at Berkeley and a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University with Professor R. Bruce Lennox. Teddy then joined the faculty at Syracuse University in the summer of 2005 and served as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry for four years before moving to Rutgers as an Associate Professor. Teddy is currently a joint Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers University at New Brunswick. He is also a member of the Rutgers Institute for Materials, Devices, and Nanotechnology (IAMDN) and the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI). Since December 2009, he is serving as an Interim Director of the newly formed Rutgers Catalysis Research Center (RCRC). His group at Rutgers is involved in the development of synthetic methods to a wide array of functional nanomaterials and the investigation of their potential applications in catalysis, targeted delivery of drugs at specific cells, nanocytotoxicity, solar-cells, and environmental remediation. He currently holds an NSF CAREER Award, NSF Special Creativity award, is an NSF ACI Fellow, and is a recipient of multiple federal and local research grants and also serves as a panelist for several federal and international agencies.