Every spring DISCOVER: Marquette University Research and Scholarship showcases some of the most interesting research happening on Marquette's campus. Learn more through the links below.
Other nanotechnology projects at Marquette human hair) with zinc oxide molecules that glow when electrified, creating one of the world’s smallest LED light sources. Tests at Cornell will soon determine whether he also has been able to bridge the gap with thin layers of graphene, a lattice-like arrangement of carbon atoms generating intense buzz in nanotechnology circles. But his biggest strides may be in design and fabrication itself. Unlike predecessors, Lee’s nanostructures have arms that are suspended, rather than resting on the base layer, or substrate. Interference is avoided. Perhaps most remarkable has been his resourcefulness. Whereas pioneering peers created somewhat similar nanostructures with an etching process involving $5 million electron-beam lithography equipment, Lee didn’t have that luxury. So he originated an approach involving an everyday optical lithography exposer that was manufactured before he was born and was gathering dust in a New Jersey laboratory before he snatched it up for $7,000. The high-end electron-beam equipment is a logical choice for tackling precise work at the nanoscale. His old warhorse, not so much. “It’s like deciding not to drive a car from Milwaukee to Madison but riding a bike instead,” he explains. “But through creativity and design, I’m able to make something like no one else has been able to make it. I’m really proud of that. And the optical lithography equipment is actually very common in industry. If this proves useful, there will be no big technical breakthrough required to move from the design level to the manufacturing level.”² Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, professor of chemistry and vice provost of research, studies factors that control the structure and reactivity of layered metal hydroxides with nanodimensional interlayer galleries, as well as the development and characterization of these materials for chemical sensor, fire retardancy and water quality applications. Dr. James Gardinier, associate professor of chemistry, examines ways to manipulate electron or energy flow in supramolecular assemblies with the purpose of designing new molecular wires, fluorescent dyes and/or lightharvesting antennae. Dr. Krassimira Hristova, assistant professor of biological sciences, specializes in molecular and environmental microbiology to develop nanoparticle-based molecular assays for environmental monitoring and to study nanoparticles’ toxicity to bacteria, yeast and plants. Dr. Fabian Josse, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Microsensors Research Laboratory, studies solid state sensors and microelectromechanical systems devices for liquid-phase chemical and biochemical sensor applications. Dr. Chieu Tran, Pfletschinger-Habermann Professor of Analytical Chemistry, is focused on gaining insight into complex chemical and biochemical systems and processes, as well as developing green methods to synthesize novel, high-performance supramolecular composite materials for use in water purification and chemical and biosensors. Dr. Rajendra Rathore, professor of organic chemistry, researches the design and synthesis of novel electroactive molecular wires and organic materials that hold potential for the construction of modern photovoltaic devices and for applications in the emerging field of nanotechnology, as well as in biomaterial applications. Marquette University 11