Abstract: The development of novel nanomaterials with unique structures enables fundamental studies at the nanoscale, which can lead to various interesting applications. In this talk, efforts by my research group over the last few years on three different, but related, areas will be discussed. In the first part, I will describe how the rational assembly of multifunctional nanostructured materials composed of metal oxides, carbon nanofibers, metallic nanoparticles, organocatalysts or organometallic complexes leads to novel nanocatalysts for efficient synergistic catalytic reactions or for multi-step in one-pot tandem reactions of various organic compounds. The effects of how two or multiple catalytic groups that are co-placed within nanoscale cavities do synergistically catalyze reactions will be demonstrated. Furthermore, by placing these catalysts in fixed bed reactors, continuous reactions to selective products has been demonstrated. In the second part, the design and synthesis of novel drug-delivery systems and nanobiosensors will be discussed. Multifunctional nanoporous materials having high surface areas, tunable nanometer pores, and easily modifiable surface groups are synthesized and utilized for delivering drugs into to targeted cancer cells. Improved adsorption and release of anticancer drugs and enhanced cytotoxicity to cancer cells are exhibited by some of the materials. Nanotoxicology tests on various cell lines and murine tissues showed structure-dependent biocompatibility (cytotoxicity). Finally, brief discussion on how similar design and synthetic approaches to multifunctional nanomaterials can also result in materials for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs).
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