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Miami University
Dr. G.E. Pacey

Associate Dean for Research
Director of the Miami University Nanotechnology Center
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: 513-529-3734
Fax: 513-529-3762
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Dr. G.E. Pacey
Dr. G.E. Pacey "The utilization of the unique properties of nanomaterials like surface plasmons and new nanomaterials like quantum dots in chemical and biological sensors is our focus. The challenge is to incorporate the selectivity, speed, and reversibility of nanomaterial response while increasing detection limits."


Description of Research
Research in this laboratory is divided into four categories: 1) synthesis and characterization of new nanomaterials; 2) sensors particularly those that are enabled by nanotechnology systems; 3) nanotechnology safety; and 4) terahertz spectroscopy.

Synthesis and characterization of new nanomaterials: This group is interested in new nanomaterials that have impact on sensor systems. However, our recent focus has been on using microwave to rapidly make nanomaterials. Besides decreasing synthesis time, the microwave process allows for tighter control of shape and size. New materials such as magnetic and fluorescent zeolites, electrostatic multilayers, and metal oxide nanoparticles are currently under investigation. Sensors particularly those that are enabled by nanotechnology systems: As part of the Air Force's "Smart Nozzle Program", we began to study sensors such as long period gratings that require analytical layers on the nanometer scale (~80nm). Other sensors that fall it this category are quartz microbalance, surface acoustic wave, and electrodes. The advantage of this type of sensor is that the analytical layer is so thin that response and reversing times are on the order of submilliseconds. Particular interests are in water disinfection by-products and biological systems. Nanotechnology safety: In a joint effort with microbiology, we are investigating nanomaterial safety. Investigations are complicated by the fact that there are many different kinds of nanomaterials. This diversity in nanomaterials means that there's not going to be a single answer for all systems. Although a quick shotgun screening approach is tempting, we have chosen to proceed in a systematic investigation using microbial systems that we know. We expect to expand from these systems to determine the viability of this approach and evaluate its utility as a predictive model (with OSC) for other biological systems. Terahertz spectroscopy (THZ): THz system is used to determine the role of water in the behavior of nanostructured multilayers, self assembled monolayers, and sol gels. Understanding this behavior will help produce more efficient nanoassemblies. THz will be used to observed spectral differences between healthy and unhealthy tissue. A third project is acquiring THz spectra of various materials especially those that pose a threat to homeland security.

Undergraduate researcher's roles in your lab
Undergraduate researchers work on individual projects that will provide information toward the understanding of the unique phenomena exhibited by nanomaterials (see Burns paper 101) or devise new ways to synthesize nanomaterials (see Perfect paper 97). They are expected to attend group meetings and to present and publish their work.

Graduate student's role in your lab
Graduate researchers will work on several projects and follow the process of synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of the nanomaterial. Promising nanomaterials will be applied to a sensor platform and the sensor evaluated against existing sensors for a particular analyte. Graduate students will have the opportunity to mentor undergraduates and summer high school students in their latter years. It is expected that each student will make several presentations and have multiple publications upon graduation.

Presentations

Pisarenko, A, Spendel, W.U., Pacey, G.E., "The Influence of Gold Nanoparticles on Fluorophore Lifetimes", 2nd Annual Ohio Nanotechnology Summit, April 2006.

Puckett, S.D., Pacey G.E., "Determination of Water in Jet Fuels Using Long Period Gratings Modified by Nanocoatings", 2nd Annual Ohio Nanotechnology Summit, April 2006.

Spendel, W.U., Pacey, G.E, "Microwave Syntheses of Nanomaterials: Inorganic and Polymer Materials", 2nd Annual Ohio Nanotechnology Summit, April 2006.

Spendel, W.U., Pacey, G.E., "Nanoncavity Nanofilm Electrode Modification of Electrodes with a nm-Scale Sol-Gel Film Templated to Yield a Nanoelectrode Array", 2nd Annual Ohio Nanotechnology Summit, April 2006.

Heuser, J.A., Spendel, W.U., Pacey G.E., "Microwave Control of Iron Oxide Particle Syntheses", 2nd Annual Ohio Nanotechnology Summit, April 2006.

Spendel, W.U., Fields, M.A., Actis, L.A., Pacey, G.E., ĎAnalysis of Bacteria-Nanoparticles Interactions", 2nd Annual Ohio Nanotechnology Summit, April 2006.

Spendel, W.U., Pacey G.E., "Microwave Syntheses of Nanomaterials: Inorganic and Polymer Materials", 4th International Microwave Chemistry Conference, Orlando, March 2006.

Heuser, J.A., Spendel, W.U., Pacey G.E., "Microwave Control of Iron Oxide Synthesis", 4th International Microwave Chemistry Conference, Orlando, March 2006.

Spendel, W.U., Cox, J.A., Pacey, G.E., "Nanocavity Nanofilm Electrode Modification of Electrodes with a nm-Scale Sol-Gel Film Templated to Yield a Nanoelectrode Array", Pittsburg Conference, Orlando, March 2006.

Heuser, J.A., Spendel, W.U., Pacey, G.E., "Terahertz (THz) Spectroscopic Investigation of Alkyl Halides", Pittsburg Conference, Orlando, March 2006.

Pisarenko, A., Spendel, W.W., Pacey, G.E., "Thin Film Nanoparticle Optical Detection", Pittsburg Conference, Orlando, March 2006.

Funding
$100.000 Grant from the State of Ohio
Nanomaterials in our Environment

$100.000 Grant from the State of Ohio
Nanomaterials in our Environment
Publications

Keith, J.; Hess, L.C.; Spendel, W. U. Spendel; Cox, J.A.; and Pacey, G.E., "The Investigation of the Behavior of a Long Period Grating Sensor with a Copper Sensitive Coating Fabricated by Layer-by-layer Electrostatic Adsorption", Talanta, 2006, 70, 818-822.

Burns, Carolyn A.; Spendel, Wolgang U.; Pacey, Gilbert E.. "Ionic Strength Effects on Gold Nanoparticle Surface Plasmon Resonance," Talanta, 2006, 69, 873-876.

Puckett, S.D., Heuser, J.A., Keith, J.D., Spendel, W.U., Pacey, G.E., "Interaction of Ozone with Gold Nanoparticles" Talanta, 2005, 66, 1242-1246.

Pacey, G.E., Puckett, S, Cheng, L., Khatib-Shahidi, S., Cox, J.A., "Detection of DNA damaging agents using layer-by layer assembly", Anal. Chim. Acta, 2005, 533, 135-139.

Widera, J., Kijak, A.M., Ca, D.V., Pacey, G.E., Taylor, R.T., Perfect, H., Cox, J.A, "The Influence of the Matrix Structure on the Oxidation of Aniline in a Silica Sol-Gel Composite", Electrochem. Acta, 2005, 50, 1703-1709.

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