The Whittaker group aims to address important challenges related to the understanding of the relationships among the composition, structure, electronic structure, and properties of inorganic and organic nanomaterials, as well as their composites. Our efforts will be focused into three different directions in the areas of materials chemistry and nanotechnology, i.e., synthetic inorganic-organic chemistry, spectroscopy, and nanofabrication of functional devices.
Specifically, our group is driven by two of the greatest challenges of our time –energy beyond fossil fuel and environment and low cost electronics for daily use applications. We plan to embark in these new endeavors by synthesizing well-defined and high-quality materials for applications in solar energy conversion, thermoelectrics, batteries, and electronics. We will also test new hybrid concepts in terms of integrating several technologies that can simultaneously perform multiple tasks at once. For example, we envision to fabricate a multimodal energy device that can scavenge different kinds of energies for driving micro/nanosystems.
As far as training is concerned, members of our group will become proficient in a variety of techniques and will build-up top-notch expertise in inorganic-organic synthesis at ambient and high temperature conditions, morphological and crystal structure characterization (STEM, TEM, EEELS, SEM, etc.), in-house spectroscopy characterization (UV-VIS, PL, IR), and device fabrication (e-beam and photolithography).
To assist in understanding the electronic, magnetic and structural modifications of ensemble materials, members of our group are expected to acquire strong proficiency in different Synchrotron techniques such as, grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXD), near-edge extended X-ray absorption fine (NEXAFS) spectroscopy, and X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy. Synchrotron studies will be performed at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) and at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory.