Nanoparticle Synthesis – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Nanoparticle Synthesis

Timothy Zamarro


Pronouns: He/Him

Research Mentor(s): Mark Hammig, Associate Research Scientist
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, College of Engineering
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 2 (11am – 11:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 16
Presenter: 1

Event Link


Many engineering problems stem from the issue of weight. Engines can only give so much propulsion, buildings can only hold so much weight, and wings can only provide so much lift. The Hammig Research Group is currently researching nanoparticle synthesis. The group already has basic recipes for them, but experimentation is needed. Several syntheses have taken place, including one lead-telluride sample and three aluminum samples. The lead-telluride synthesis took place in a pH of 9, one aluminum sample was formed in a pH of 11, one a pH of 9, and the last one a pH of 10. The synthesis recipe is very sensitive, so these changes of pH resulted in drastic changes. For example, the aluminum sample usually results in a clear film of aluminum nanoparticles (with a normal pH being 10). When the pH was turned down to 9, the sample turned to a milky-white color with a very high opacity. By developing our recipe further and collecting many samples of data, the group can optimize the formation of these nanoparticles. Many tests can be run on these samples. For example, a lead-telluride sample creates a voltage across itself when hit by an alpha particle. Therefore, it can be used as a miniscule radiation detector. Aluminum samples can be run through ampacity tests to determine their conductivity. One application that is being recently considered for aluminum samples is a wind-tunnel test. Since one researcher isn’t on campus, he will be sent home certain samples of aluminum nanoparticles in the shape of the wing cross section. Measuring certain properties of the samples, lift and drag can be determined from the shape, and the researcher will determine how the sample reacts to these stresses. With enough testing, nanoparticles could be revolutionary to technology. A nanoparticle sample is one tenth the density of a solid sample of the same material. Ultra-light semiconductors can be developed, radiation detectors can be made, and planes could shave off weight without sacrificing strength of their chassis. The applications are endless, they just need to be found. This research will contribute to future projects concerning similar applications of nanoparticle synthesis.

Authors: Timothy Zamarro
Research Method: Experimental Research

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