Lawrence J. Hill
Department of Chemistry
Ogden College of Science and Engineering
Western Kentucky University
WKU Homepage
WKU Chemistry
Research Projects
Synthesis of nanoparticles with modified surface chemistry.

We are interested in using novel synthetic approaches to facilitate use of modern nanoparticle technologies in devices.​1 Nanoparticle systems of varying size, shape, and functionality have been synthesized using a variety of shape-controlling ligand systems. However, incorporation of these materials into devices, or even to electrodes for experimental studies, remains a significant challenge due to the insulating nature of the ligands used during nanoparticle synthesis. We are investigating synthetic routes using ionic liquids to replace tightly binding, electronically insulating organic ligands in the synthesis of technologically relevant catalysts such as cadmium chalcogenide semiconductor particles for solar hydrogen generation and Pt/Co alloyed particles with sharp features for conversion of CO2 into useful materials.

1) Kim, J. Y.; Kotov, N. A. Charge transport dilemma of solution-processed nanomaterials. Chem. Mater. 2014, 26, 134-152.
Synthesis of functional polymers for gas separations, degradability, and medical applications.

We are interested in the synthesis of organic polymers which incorporate redox active functionalities using free radical and controlled radical polymerization methods. We then focus on modifying polymer properties and degradbility for different applications. We are currently investigating polyacrylates incorporating a novel inititator which will allow us to control polymer degradation rate under biologically-relevant oxidizing conditions.