The Materials Synthesis and Characterization Facility includes laboratories for producing nanostructured materials and characterizing their basic structural, chemical and optical properties.

The facility staff has significant experience in solution-phase chemistry of nanocrystal/nanowire materials, inorganic synthesis by chemical vapor deposition, physical vapor deposition, and atomic layer deposition.  The staff includes experts in techniques of nanoscale fabrication by self-assembly. The facility also supports infrastructure and expertise in solution-based processing of organic thin films, including tools for spin-casting, thermal processing, and UV/ozone treatment.

Analytical tools include a broad range of capabilities for structural, electrochemical, spectroscopic and thermal characterization of materials.


  • Synthesis of nanostructures by chemical vapor deposition and solution-based methods Solution-based synthesis of a variety of soft, biological, hybrid, and inorganic nano-materials and functionalization routes for surfaces and nano-objects
  • Self-assembly methods for polymers
  • Solution-based processing of organic thin films by spin-casting and dip coating
  • Preparation of DNA- and protein-based nanostructures Gel-based DNA purification, conventional and real-time PCR for DNA amplification
  • Structural and functional probing of nanostructures using x-ray scattering, optical, and scanning probes methods
  • Electrical characterization under various temperature, magnetic field, and illumination conditions

Over the past few decades, nanoparticles of noble metals such as silver exhibited significantly distinct physical, chemical and biological properties from their bulk counterparts. Nano-size particles of less than 100 nm in diameter are currently attracting increasing attention for the wide range of new applications in various fields of industry. Such powders can exhibit properties that differ substantially from those of bulk materials, as a result of small particle dimension, high surface area, quantum confinement and other effects. Most of the unique properties of nanoparticles require not only the particles to be of nano-sized, but also the particles be dispersed without agglomeration. Discoveries in the past decade have clearly demonstrated that the electromagnetic, optical and catalytic properties of silver nanoparticles are strongly influenced by shape, size and size distribution, which are often varied by varying the synthetic methods, reducing agents and stabilizers. Accordingly, this review presents different methods of preparation silver nanoparticles and application of these nanoparticles in different fields.