A 3D-printed graphene-Rhodamine B nano-biosensor glows Clemson orange under a green laser excitation (Image courtesy: Achyut Raghavendra  and Yongchang Dong)

The research interests of our lab are at the interface of physics, biology, and nanoscience. Our lab aims to seamlessly integrate the principles of condensed matter physics, optical spectroscopy, and physiological chemistry to understand physics at the nanoscale and nano-bio interfaces. We have a very wide range of interests (Not all those who wander are lost!). In addition to energy storage (Li-ion, Li-S batteries), thermal properties, energy generation (triboelectric), and biosensors, we are also interested in the foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum biology.

We elucidate new physical phenomena at the nanoscale by studying fundamental excitations such as electrons/phonons at both equilibrium and non-equilibrium, carefully alter the material structure, and design novel material architectures based on our fundamental understanding to surpass natural limitations. Ultimately, we also scale up processes to translate our fundamental discoveries to devices.

Some examples of our successes are below:

Energy storage: In this work, beginning from a fundamental understanding of atomic vacancies in graphene, we demonstrated new methodologies to surpass quantum capacitance limitations and achieve devices at the pouch cell level.

Photonics: Through the manipulation of non-linear optical properties of two-dimensional materials (graphene and MXenes), we were able to fabricate photonic diodes that break time-reversal symmetry to achieve passive non-reciprocal transmission of light.

Biosensors: Using Langevin quantization of circuit quantum electrodynamics, surface plasmons in nanoparticles, and delocalized pi-electron cloud in graphene , we successfully demonstrated highly sensitive biosensors with femtomolar sensitivity.

Quantum biology and nanotoxicity: We established new relationships between defect-induced electronic states in nanomaterials and corresponding cellular responses.

Energy generation: In this project, we achieved wireless energy transmission by leveraging asymmetry in polymers combined with high conductivity of graphene.

@CUnanobio is an integral part of the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute at CU.