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Nanomaterials Engineering for Sustainable Technologies NEST

Our research focus is on the design of nanomaterials to address sustainability at broad. In particular, we focus on (surfactant-free) colloidal nanoparticles obtained by wet-chemical methods for applications in catalysis. We have interest in precious metal based nanomaterials (e.g. comprising Pt, Ir, Pd, Ru, Au, etc.). Precious metals are critical expensive raw materials but relevant catalysts for multiple chemical reactions, for chemical synthesis, energy conversion (Power-to-X), sensing, water/air remediation, medicine (diagnostics and treatments) or optics, to name only a few possible applications. Precious metals are also model systems to understand, control and tune the formation of nanomaterials.

Sadly, addressing sustainability with non-renewable resources is a challenge and we therefore focus on developing simple(r) syntheses for several reasons:

  1. Simple(r) syntheses are much needed model systems to better understand nanomaterial synthesis and/or their applications.
  2. Simple(r) syntheses lead to materials that are ideal building blocks to develop increasingly complex nanomaterials in a controlled way.
  3. Simple(r) syntheses are usually more energy, chemical and cost efficient.
  4. The breakthroughs achieved with simple(r) syntheses are ultimately more likely to be scalable and the findings relevant to industry.

The materials so obtained are directly relevant for multiple applications that we started to explore.