The Sadtler research group is interested in how hierarchical structure of materials from the atomic level to nano- and meso-scale can be used to control their physical properties and chemical reactivity. Research projects in our group combine the chemical synthesis of inorganic materials and tailoring light-matter interactions at the nanoscale to develop functional materials for solar energy conversion, photonics, and catalysis. The members of our group have backgrounds in chemistry, materials science, and chemical engineering.
Photocatalysis in shape-controlled nanocrystals: The synthesis of chemical fuels using sunlight provides an effective way to store solar energy for use in transportation and to produce commodity chemicals. Semiconductor photocatalyst particles absorb visible photons and use the resulting photoexcited charges to drive fuel-forming chemical reactions such as water splitting to produce hydrogen gas or the oxidation of methane to methanol. We are interested in controlling the composition and morphology of semiconductor nanocrystals made by solution-phase synthesis to increase the photocatalytic activity of these materials.
Material growth under external fields. Chemists typically use external parameters such as temperature, pressure, and concentration to direct chemical transformations in molecules and materials. Many classes of materials are also responsive to external stimuli, such as light or electric and magnetic fields. We are creating adaptive inorganic materials that adjust their growth in response to externally controlled fields as a novel route to synthesize three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures. Stimuli-driven growth of complex, 3D structures can provide new materials with enhanced optoelectronic properties for applications in solar energy conversion and photonics.
Imaging structure and activity at the nanoscale: Along with the ability to control structure-property relationships in nanoscale materials our group is mapping the optical response and catalytic activity of these materials with nanoscale resolution. We employ single molecule fluorescence microscopy and scanning probe microscopy to map feedback between the morphological evolution and resulting activity of nanostructured materials.
Mu, L.; Wang, F.; Sadtler, B.; Loomis, R.A.; Buhro, W.E. ACS Nano. 2015, 9, 7419-7428. “Influence of the Nanoscale Kirkendall Effect on the Morphology of Copper Indium Disulfide Nanoplatelets Synthesized by Ion Exchange.” http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsnano.5b02427
Blumenfeld, C.M.; Sadtler, B.F.; Fernandez, G.E.; Dara, L.; Nguyen, C.; Alonso-Valenteen, F.; Medina-Kauwe, L.; Moats, R.A.; Lewis, N.S.; Grubbs, R.H.; Gray, H.B.; Sorasaenee K. (2014) J. Inorg. Biochem. 2014, 140, 39-44. “Cellular Uptake and Cytotoxicity of a Near-IR Fluorescent Corrole–TiO2 Nanoconjugate.” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0162013414001767
Sadtler, B.; Burgos, S.P.; Batara, N.A.; Beardslee, J.A.; Atwater, H.A.; Lewis, N.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2013, 110, 19707-19712. “Phototropic Growth Control of Nanoscale Pattern Formation in Photoelectrodeposited Se-Te Films.” http://www.pnas.org/content/110/49/19707.full
McKone, J.R.; Sadtler, B.F.; Werlang, C.A.; Lewis, N.S.; Gray, H. B. ACS Catal. 2013, 3, 166-169. “Ni-Mo Nanopowders for Efficient Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution.” http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cs300691m
Beardslee, J.A.; Sadtler, B.; Lewis, N.S. ACS Nano 2012, 6, 10303-10310. “Magnetic Field Alignment of Randomly Oriented, High Aspect Ratio Silicon Microwires into Vertically Oriented Arrays.” http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn304180k
Awards: Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010-2013); National Science Foundation – East Asia & Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship (2008), Department of Energy – Excellence in Technology Transfer Award, William J. Fulbright Fellowship (2003), Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (2000 – 2002)