James H. Ruby Professor
Department of Chemistry
Multimetallic Nanomaterials by Design
The importance of molecular structure to molecular function is a central tenet in modern chemistry, with the lock-and-key model of enzyme activation representing a classic example. Likewise, the function of inorganic nanomaterials depends on a number of structural parameters that include crystallite size and shape as well as architecture (e.g., hollow versus solid). To realize the function of such materials, these structural parameters must be precisely controlled and the Skrabalak group is expanding the synthetic toolkit to achieve such advanced nanostructures. This seminar will highlight the use of seed-mediated co-reduction as a route to structurally defined bi- and trimetallic nanomaterials, hierarchical materials, and intermetallic (i.e., ordered alloys) compositions. These synthetic advances, in turn, are enabling previously unimagined nanostructures to be accessed with new function for applications in chemical sensing and catalysis. Ultimately, understanding the relationship between nanostructure form and function will allow this relationship to be inverted to achieve materials by design. Still, the synthetic toolkit must exist to realize this vision and achieve desired nanomaterials on demand.
Dr. Sara Skrabalak received her B.A. in chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 where she conducted research with Professor William E. Buhro. She then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she completed her Ph.D. in chemistry in fall of 2006 under the tutelage of Professor Kenneth S. Suslick. She then conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Washington – Seattle with Professors Younan Xia and Xingde Li. She is the James H. Rudy Professor of Chemistry at Indiana University – Bloomington and a recipient of both NSF CAREER and DOE Early Career Awards. She is a 2012 Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar, a 2013 Sloan Research Fellow, a 2014 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, and 2017 Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellows. In 2014, she received the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry. Her research group focuses on nanomaterial design and synthesis (http://www.indiana.edu/~skrablab/).