Research

The Müller Group develops controlled nanomaterials for sustainable energy solutions, green chemistry transformations, and anti-cancer applications. Importantly, we answer fundamental questions what drives functionality by systematic studies of how structural and compositional details govern performance.

We rationally design tailored nanomaterials and realize them by a proven-to-be-successful laser method that Müller has advanced into a flexible synthetic tool, capitalizing on its unique advantages of rapidity, control of size and composition, unnecessity of surfactants, and ease of preparation of multimetal nanostructures. Our laser method is game changing with regard to its capability of preparing controlled nanostructures in sufficiently large quantities to study them in bulk, and doing so quickly enough that series of nanostructures are accessible.

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Systematic physical-property–functionality relationships of these laser-made nanomaterials, combined with benchmarking electrochemical performance assays, product analyses, or efficacy testing, allows us to establish what controls functionality and gain the atomistic-detail understanding that is key for disruptive benefits.

We leverage synergies between the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Programs at the University of Rochester and our group’s expertise in laser synthesis of controlled multimetal nanomaterials, electrocatalysis, mechanism and product analyses, bioconjugate stability studies, and biomedical efficacy testing.

We also immobilize the best nanocatalysts on light absorbers, probe how interfaces affect fuel-forming catalysis, and make integrated solar fuels devices.

Our approach uniquely enhances our fundamental understanding of nanomaterials and paves the way for unparalleled innovations.