The group’s expertise spans the areas of photochemistry, electrochemistry, radical ion chemistry and materials science. This diversity places us among only a handful of researchers world wide with this "toolbox" and rather unique within the context of the Canadian science. These tools have allowed us to make significant research contributions that have greatly influenced the understanding of the mode of action of biologically relevant molecules and in materials science.
Our main research interest is directed towards addressing fundamental aspects of interfacial organic reactions and utilize the knowledge gained to design and synthesize new materials and to demonstrate potential applications. We design and synthesize photochemically, electrochemically and thermally responsive organic molecular systems to act as probes of the interactions in the interfacial environment of a variety of monolayer surfaces and to provide new platforms for selective surface modifications to build new architectures. A cornerstone of our efforts focuses on metal surfaces including self-assembled 2D monolayers and monolayer protected gold nanoparticles, but we comtinue to expand the scope to investigate reactivity on other metallic nanoparticles and other relevant material solid surfaces.
The importance and motivation behind these studies lies in the recognition of the utility of organic thin films on functional materials in the development of molecular and biomolecular electronics, sensors, catalysis and other applications. Our next challenges are to utilize our probes to better control the reactivity and structure of these metal surfaces and nanoparticles, to develop new reactive probes to activate photo- or electrochemically, and to use the reactions we developing for the controlled chemical modification of the suite of functional materials.
Personnel working on these projects gain expertise and broad training in organic synthetic methods and analysis, inorganic and organic materials chemistry and the specialized techniques for their characterization, in addition to advanced skills in electrochemistry and photochemistry.