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Professor Christopher B. Murray

Richard Perry University Professor
University of Pennsylvania
Department of Chemistry
P.O. Box 394
231 South 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323
Office: Chemistry 347
Tel: 215-898-0588
Email: cbmurray@sas.upenn.edu

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
3231 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6272
Office: LRSM 322
Email: cbmurray@seas.upenn.edu


Monodisperse semiconducting, magnetic, metallic and ferroelectric nanocrystals, tunable in size from 1 to 50 nm constitute a powerful set of building blocks (“artificial atoms”)with which to design new solids and from which to assemble new devices. Systematic synthesis and purification of nanocrystals coupled with characterization of the optical, electronic, and magnetic properties of these mesoscopic materials reveals how collective interactions of the bulk materials emerge from discrete molecular properties. Nanocrystals can in turn be organized into 1D nanowires, 2D sheets and 3D nanocrystal assemblies that capture and enhance the size tunable optical and magnetic properties of the building blocks.  Exciting advances now allow the co-assembly of combinations of “artificial atoms” with distinct properties that may give rise to the emergence of new collective phenomena as coupling between the nanocrystal building blocks increases. These nanocrystals and their assemblies can be doped to further modify their properties. Even as new methods to organize and dope materials based on near spherical nanocrystals are being established, techniques allowing the isolation of nanocrystals with complex geometries and chemical compositions are within our reach.  Although a diverse set of nanocrystals have now been tamed, the call of technological applications dictates the development of systems which are inherently more environmentally and biological compatible to allow the broad commercialization of nanocrystal based materials and devices. The bioactivity of the nanocrystal systems in addition to motivating thoughtful health and safety oversight is spanning vast new areas of research in which the nanocrystals are functionalized to enhance their efficacy in sensors and detection schemes as imaging agents, and even in therapeutic applications.

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