Summary: Research interests in Pak Laboratory consist of the preparation and study of non-natural nano- to meso-scale materials. We develop and utilize modern synthetic methods for the preparation of novel materials with technologically important properties. Some of the desired properties include (semi-)conductivity, photo- and electro-luminescence, and nonlinear optical (NLO) activities. Although these properties seem quite different from each other, they are closely related in and can be achieved in materials called “semi-conductors.” In recent years, these semiconductors have been shrinking from micrometer scale to nanometer scale. As these noble nanomaterials incorporate into state-of-the-art devices and applications, one must consider their disposal, environmental and health effects. Due to their extremely small sizes, almost all nanomaterials have unique physical, chemical, and redox behaviors than their bulk counter parts. In order to understand these unique behaviors, including environmental and health effects, we collaborate closely with Dr. Jean Pfau and Dr. Michael Thomas of ISU Department of Biological Sciences.
Minimum Classes: Pak lab frequently employs high school student, high school teachers, undergraduate students of all levels. As an INBRE fellow, it is helpful to have completed Organic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry courses, but not required.
1. Preparation and study of nanomaterials. In order to understand nanomaterials and their effects, first we must develop efficient synthetic method. Students involved in this project will explore different synthetic methods and use analytical techniques to characterize them. They will also conduct a simulated decomposition studies of nanomaterials. 2. Environmental and health effects of nanomaterials. In this project, students will collaborate with colleagues in the Department of Biological Sciences to understand the fate of nanomaterials in physiological conditions in terms of decomposition, mobility, and toxicity.