Soft Materials Laboratory is a multidisciplinary research team dedicated to understanding bionanomaterials, living polymerization, carbon recovery, polyionics, and molecular energy systems; the soft condensed matter province of physical and life sciences.
The lab is focused on the creative design of energy storage platforms that be integrated into technology and/or replace fossil fuels. Central to everything they do is the development of new materials that are engineered at nanometer length scales, and developed using scalable and cost-effective approaches. This has far-reaching applications spanning aerospace systems, robotics, smart buildings, flexible electronics, and more.
The Rosenthal group studies semiconducting nanocrystals. They are specifically interested in two applications exploiting the properties of nanocrystals: the use of nanocrystals as the light harvesting element in photovolatic devices and the use of fluorescent nanocrystals as biological probes for membrane proteins involved in neuronal signaling.
The new program, which was developed by faculty in the VCU Departments of Chemistry and Physics, is designed to cross-train students in the physical sciences of chemistry and physics with particular focus on how the science changes at reduced dimensions. There is a potential for other departments to become more involved as the program develops.
The Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology is a multi-department, interdisciplinary research center focused on advancing nanoscale science and engineering research and education with an emphasis on sustainability. They develop nanoscale technologies and leverage these technologies to help remedy global sustainability challenges in areas such as clean air and water, waste minimization, environmental remediation, food safety, and renewable energy.