Research

Our research interests focus on preparation of novel heterogeneous nanoparticles for synthetic applications and entail the areas of organic synthesis and organometallic catalysis. In particular, we will develop synthetic methods to prepare transition metal nanoparticles (e.g. Pd, Ni, Cu, Co, etc.) deposited on different solid supports and investigate the potential catalytic activity and recyclability of these nanoparticles in variety of chemical processes including C-C bond forming reactions. We aim to develop a fundamental understanding of how structure, particle size, distribution and shape of these nanocatalysts influence their recyclability and catalytic activity.  Furthermore, we explore the effect of functionalization of the solid support on the level of dispersion of these nanomaterials in solution to improve and enhance the relevant catalytic activity. This project creates opportunity for students (graduates and undergraduates) to develop skills in design, synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials and gain expertise in using a variety of characterization techniques including SEM, TEM, FT-IR and XRD. We will develop the necessary conditions for these reactions, evaluate the efficiency, and investigate the reusability of these nanocatalysts. Research will be conducted in three main areas:

  1. Preparation of solid supported transition metal nanoparticles using different reduction methods in the presence of appropriate reducing agents. The as-prepared metal nanoparticles will be characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD).
  2. The solid supported metal nanoparticles prepared in previous step will be used as a potential catalyst for variety of C-C cross coupling reactions such as Suzuki, Heck, and Sonogashira coupling reactions. We will develop the necessary conditions for these reactions, evaluate the efficiency, and investigate the reusability of these nanocatalysts.
  3. We design to implement microwave irradiation as an alternative, convenient, clean, and efficient heating source for chemical reactions. we will further investigate the application of metal nanoparticles for cross coupling reactions under continuous flow reaction conditions.