Public Research Seminar by Sustainable Energy and Environment Thrust


Understanding Chemical Reactivity in Micro- and Nanodroplets

9:00am - 10:00am
ZOOM (ID: 919 5592 9777; Password: 210929)

How is chemical reactivity different in sub-microliter volumes comparted to bulk, continuous phases? For centuries, chemists have assumed that chemical reactivity is similar in the ocean as it is in a lysosome despite volume differences spanning nearly 40 orders of magnitude. Mass spectrometric techniques have been used to study accelerated chemical reaction rates in micro- and nanodroplets; however, these measurements are limited in that they cannot study single nanodroplets, one at a time. While fluorescence methods have also been used to elucidate accelerated chemical reactions, luminophores are required that may photo bleach over time, preventing robust quantification at the single droplet level. This talk will detail our group’s efforts in developing nano electrochemical methods to study reactivity in water micro- and nanodroplets. We will demonstrate the heterogeneous growth of a new phase does not depend on the water nanodroplet size, but the heterogeneous nucleation kinetics can be enhanced in such complex environments due to localized surface concentration supersaturation. Due to rapid mass transfer within nanodroplets, we will demonstrate the possibility of electro synthesizing high entropy alloy nanoparticles at room temperature. Finally, we will demonstrate that homogeneous enzymatic reaction rates are accelerated in water nanodroplets and that the rate is inversely proportional to the nanodroplet size. The talk will end with a future outlook on the role such experiments can play in understanding how nature uses nanoconfinement to her advantage in the genesis and propagation of life.

Event Format
Speakers / Performers:
Prof. Jeffrey DICK
Department of Chemistry, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Prof. Jeffrey E. Dick was awarded a Bachelor of Science from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He then pursued his graduate career with Allen J. Bard at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was awarded a Ph.D in August 2017 with the thesis ‘Studies in the Electrochemistry of Single Atoms, Molecules, and Nanoparticles.’ Prof. Dick began his independent career in July 2018 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where his group focuses on developing measurement science methods to study chemical reactivity in very small volumes. During his career at Carolina, Prof. Dick has won several prestigious awards, including the Sloan Research Fellowship (2021), NSF CAREER Award (2021), the NIH MIRA Award (2020), and he has been named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in the Science category (2018).

Recommended For
Faculty and staff
PG students
UG students
Function Hub, HKUST(GZ)

For enquiries, please contact Miss Suggi WU (+86-20-36665857, )

Post an event
Campus organizations are invited to add their events to the calendar.