A New Approach to Functionalized Organic and Metal Nanoparticles

Project Details


In this project funded by the Macromolecular, Supramolecular, and Nanochemistry Program of the Chemistry Division, Steven C. Zimmerman of the University of Illinois will create a new method for preparing organic nanoparticles. The approach involves the ring-opening metathesis polymerization of a functionalized monomer followed by an extensive series of intra-particle cross-linking reactions. The organic nanoparticles to be developed are fundamentally different than previously described (e.g., dendrimers, nanocrystals, molecular assemblies, etc.) because through the synthesis their size can be controlled from 1 to 100 nanometers and their flexibility is full tunable by controlling the extent of cross-linking. The chemistry is also sufficiently flexible to allow the synthesis of two-part or Janus organic nanoparticles and to allow one or more attachments to the surface and interior of the organic nanoparticle. The broader impacts involve training undergraduate and graduate students, broadening participation through the inclusion of research personnel from groups underrepresented in the chemical science, and continuing a research apprenticeship program for underrepresented minority students at the University of Illinois, Department of Chemistry.

Nanoparticles are materials whose dimensions fall into the range of 1-100 nanometers and have many potential applications including supports for chemical synthesis, light harvesting antennae, platforms for new biomedical imaging agents, and drug encapsulation and triggered release systems. This project aims to study how nanoparticles can be prepared with a very high degree of control over their size and chemical characteristics. The nanoparticles to be studied in this project are made from organic precursors and are expected to be nontoxic and have minimal environmental impact.

Effective start/end date1/10/1330/09/17


  • National Science Foundation


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.