Kirill Afonin

Kirill Afonin, Ph.D.


Science 217

Website: Afonin Lab

Nucleic Acid Nanotechnology

Design and assembly of nucleic acid-based nanoparticles for diagnostic and therapeutic biomedical applications.

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Christopher Bejger

Christopher Bejger, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Burson 262

Website: Bejger Research Group

Design, synthesis, and assembly of molecular cluster materials and coordination polymers for energy applications.

Research in the Bejger lab is focused on the design, synthesis, and assembly of molecular clusters for energy applications. The chemical and electronic structures of molecular clusters can be modified synthetically; this allows us to tune their physical properties and create new materials with nanoscale control. We synthesize these custom-made cluster...

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Bernadette T. Donovan-Merkert

Bernadette T. Donovan-Merkert, Ph.D.


Program Director, Professor and Chair of Chemistry
Burson 200

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Shunji Egusa

Shunji Egusa, Ph.D.

Physics and Optical Science

Assistant Professor
Grigg Hall 329

Nanomateirals synthesis and characterization, nanomedicine, and plasmonics.

The enduring problem that faces cancer patients is that treatments can be very difficult, yet the benefits of the treatments can be uncertain. This is because toxic treatments destroy normal cells while often permitting the most aggressive cancer cells to survive. A straightforward solution is to selectively deliver cancer drugs to cancer cells and not normal cells. Unfortunately, existing technologies to do this have limitations, and their impact on patient health has not been as great...

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Markus Etzkorn

Markus Etzkorn, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Burson 268

Website: Etzkorn Group

Preparative and physical organic chemistry, construction of complex fluorinated frameworks for molecular recognition or self-assembly with potential applications in sensing and sequestration; mechanistic investigation of the chemistry of unusual polycyclic scaffolds; extended (fluorinated) pi-systems as ligands in organometallic systems.

The Etzkorn group targets fluorinated molecular tweezers of different molecular architecture in a convergent approach...

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Joanna K. Krueger

Joanna K. Krueger, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Science 206

Website: Krueger Research Team

Biophysical Chemistry: Structural information on bio/nano-molecular associations using spectroscopic techniques; in particular, light scattering (UV-VIS, X-ray and neutron), FTIR, Circular Dichroism and visualization of those associations through the use of molecular modeling.

A protein is a polymeric molecule, a long chain of individual units linked covalently together. In the case of a protein polymer, it is of a specific length and unit sequence...

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Yuri Nesmelov, Ph.D.

Physics and Optical Science

Associate Professor
Science 304

Website: Nesmelov Lab

Biological molecular motors.

We study myosin molecular motor. Myosin interacts with two ligands, ATP and actin, thus performing cyclic conformational change and producing force. We are interested in microscopic mechanism of myosin function, and regulation of myosin and actomyosin kinetics. In our work we combine protein mutagenesis, labeling, and different methods of transient kinetics to explore myosin functional dynamics on molecular and submolecular level.

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Irina Nesmelova

Irina Nesmelova, Ph.D.

Physics and Optical Science

Science 303

Website: Nesmelova Lab

Structure-function-dynamics of proteins, protein-protein interactions, translational diffusion of proteins, and protein-stabilized metal nanoclusters.

Experimental biophysics at the nanoscale. We investigate how structure, dynamics, and interactions with binding partners define the function of a protein. The goal is to use this information for protein engineering and design of therapeutic compounds. We use a multidisciplinary approach, which includes advanced...

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Jordan Poler

Jordan Poler, Ph.D.


Burson 143

Website: Poler Research Group

Studies of supramolecular systems “mechanically wrapping” about nanotubes, nanoparticles, and quantum dots. Elucidating energy and charge transfer mechanisms. Manufacturing nanomachines, nanosensors, nanotransducers and nanoparticle based composites for energy storage applications.

Most of our research interests are toward the fundamental studies of complex systems at the nanoscale with regard to applications of materials at the macroscale. The Poler...

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Thomas A. Schmedake

Thomas A. Schmedake, Ph.D.


Burson 264

Website: Schmedake Research Group

Synthesis of novel silicon containing compounds and materials, especially compounds or complexes in which silicon is used as a substitute for a carbon atom or a transition metal. Specific focus areas include redox-active hexacoordinate silicon complexes, silicon heterocycles, and silicon-based conducting polymers.

Our research group is interested in the development of silicon containing compounds and materials, especially compounds or complexes...

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Jerry Troutman

Jerry (Jay) Troutman, Ph.D.


Science 305

Website: Troutman Research Group

Bacterial sugar polymer biosynthesis; functional studies of membrane bound proteins; development of probes to study biological systems.

We utilize techniques in molecular biology, biochemistry, enzymology and organic synthesis to develop bioactive materials and understand the natural pathways responsible for them.

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Juan Vivero-Escoto

Juan Vivero-Escoto, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Science 306

Website: V-Lab Group

Design and synthesis of novel hybrid inorganic-organic materials for a wide variety of applications, predominantly in biomedicine, renewable energy, and catalysis.

Our vision is that by combining basic science understanding with material science, some of the most relevant problems (cancer and other diseases, energy, and environmental issues) of our time will be addressed. In particular, we will focus our initial efforts toward developing nanoparticle-...

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Michael Walter

Michael G. Walter, Ph. D.


Associate Professor
Burson 254

Website: Walter Research Group

Synthesis and integration of organic conjugated polymers and dye molecules for solar energy conversion applications.

Our work involves applications related to photocatalysis, materials for photovoltaic or solar fuel applications. Our work spans materials research, organic synthesis, hybrid organic/inorganic systems, and nanoscience. We are particularly interested in enhancing the light harvesting and energy (exciton) transfer mechanisms found in porphyrin thin...

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Terry Xu

Terry T. Xu, Ph.D.

Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science

Duke 256

Website: Xu Group

Synthesis of novel low-dimensional nanomaterials and exploration of their unique properties.

The Xu Group is interested in synthesizing one-dimensional (1D) nanomaterials with a focus on boron-based materials, studying mechanical properties of individual 1D nanostructures, exploring thermoelectric properties of boron-based 1D nanostructures, and developing functional nanocomposities.

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Haitao Zhang

Haitao Zhang, Ph.D.

Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science

Assistant Professor
Duke 279

Website: Zhang Group

Synthesis and characterization of thin films and nanostructures of functional materials; Electrical and optical measurements; Device fabrication for electronic and photonic applications.

Our research objective is to study functional materials in forms of thin films and nanostructures for electronic and photonic applications, ranging from material synthesis and characterization, property measurement, to device fabrication. The research work is currently focused on metal...

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Yong Zhang

Yong Zhang, Ph.D.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Bissell Distinguished Professor
Grigg 215

Website: Zhang Research Group

Novel materials (nanostructures, alloys, inorganic-organic hybrids) and device architectures for energy and related applications (photovoltaics, solid-state-lighting, photo-detector); Fundamental sciences in solid state physics and electrical engineering; Optical spectroscopy; Large scale first-principles and empirical electronic structure modeling.

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Jay Foley, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Burson 141

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