student profile: Miss Debora Monego


Thesis work

Thesis title: Ligand-mediated interactions between colloidal nanorods: Establishing design rules for creating new materials for solar energy capture

Supervisors: Asaph WIDMER-COOPER , Girish LAKHWANI

Thesis abstract:

Metal and semiconductor nanoparticles exhibit unique physical, chemical, optical, and electronic properties that enable their use in a wide range of technological applications, such as conductive inks and colour-improving additives for OLEDs. Making nanostructured materials over large length-scales, however, requires the assembly of colloidal particles into well-ordered structures. This is still problematic, since the colloid and surface interactions that govern the assembly of nanoparticles in liquids are not fully understood. Inorganic particles are typically covered with surfactant-like ligands that prevent their aggregation into disordered structures in apolar solvents, but are also believed to play a critical role in particle stability and interaction. We use molecular dynamics simulations to study the interaction of nanoparticles in solution, and how it depends on factors such as the ligand type, the particle size, the core and solvent nature, or the temperature. By answering these questions, we aim to obtain a better control over the assembly of passivated colloidal particles.

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