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Nano & Advanced Materials

BINA is a world leader in materials science research.  Ranked third in the world in terms of scientific citations in this area, and site of a Marie Curie Training Site for Fabrication of Nanoscale Materials, Bar-Ilan scientists are expanding our understanding and control of molecular and atomic self-assembly. Their discoveries are fueling practical advances in a wide range of areas including energy, computers, communication and health care.

  • Innovative methods for nanoparticle fabrication
  • Synthesis, characterization and biomedical applications of functional nanoparticles
  • Self-assembled monolayer films
  • Nanoscale organic and inorganic coatings
  • Functional and chiral self-assembly monolayers
  • Nanostructures – from individual nanoparticles to functional materials
  • Carbon nanotubes growth mechanisms
  • Carbon nanotubes synthesis and functionalization
  • Colloidal models of phase transition in nano-scale systems
  • Computational nanotechnology

 

Researchers

  • Light-matter interaction at the nanoscale

    Large-scale nonporous metallic network is belong to a unique class of light materials with photocatalytic and optical properties which we develop in my lab.

    The overall goal of my laboratory is to develop, fabricate and to use plasmonic systems as a ‘photonic environment’, or even as a ‘photonic catalyst’. In general, we aim at opening new routes for photochemical processes/reactions on surfaces by controlling the electromagnetic-field properties at the metal surface, that is, to do, 'chemistry with plasmons'.

  • Nanochemistry

    Ultrafine and Stable Fluorescent N@C-dots: A-0h; B-24h

    Developing new methods (sonochemistry, microwave dielectric heating, sonoelectrochemistry, and RAPET) for the fabrication of nano materials.
    • Developing nano materials for various applications

  • Quantum Engineering & Devices

    • Thermophotonic Devices
    • Novel Optoelectronic Materials & Devices
    • Transport in Nanostructures
    • Semiconductor Hetrostructures
    • Terahertz Quantum Cascade Lasers

  • Quantum electro-optic devices Abstract

    Artistic illustration of opto-electric on-chip quantum circuit

    The world of quantum optics holds enormous potential to address a large variety of unsolved problems in sensing, information processing, computation, and precise measurements. Taking the advantage of well-developed nano fabrication processes, on-chip integrated quantum photonics is a promising platform for the realization of quantum optics technology.

  • Self-assembled monolayer films

    • Nanoscale organic and inorganic coatings
    • Reaction mechanisms in organized media
    • Biomaterials
    • High performance polymers
    • Composites and new materials
  • Computational Chemistry

    Illustrations of the various directed-assembly methods developed at the Shpaisman group: (a) photo-thermal based modulated laser-induced microbubble technique (M-LIMBT), (b) microstructure formation with standing surface acoustic waves and (c) controlled colloidal formation based on manipulation by optical traps.

     

    • Simulation tools for modeling of nuclear quantum mechanical effects in condensed phase reactions, improved quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics Hamiltonians, moleculardocking.
    • Computational study of enzymatic reactions, mechanism, electronic effects, conformational flexibility, nuclear quantum effects, origin of catalytic power, solution phase reactions, mechanism, electronic effects, membrane proteins, ligand-receptor complexes, material science modeling, surface adsorption, surface and surfactant properties, mesoscale modeling of amorphous systems.
  • Alternative Energy

    Extracting many-particle entanglement entropy from observables using supervised machine learning

     

    • Alternative Energy: 
    • Photovoltaics (PV), esp. materials for high voltage, low-cost, stable PV
    • Combinatorial synthesis and characterization of optoelectronic materials
    • Semiconductor materials & device chemistry & physics
    • Biomolecular optoelectronics
    • Fundamentals of proteins as electronic materials

     

     

  • Photovoltaics and energy storage

    Synthetic design of Pt nanoparticles in carbon nanotubes resistant to corrosion in extreme conditions

    The current research focuses on the investigation of the chemical synthesis of materials to promote renewable and green energies. We have a high expertise in the wet synthesis of Nano-scale materials with the accent on the transition metals, their complexes, organometallic, metallic, and metal-oxide compounds. We developed new chemical routes using soluble organometallic or metal-organic precursors as an alternative to conventional colloidal chemistry and gas phase thin film deposition. These nanoparticles and their assemblies display high activity as catalysts for fuel cells, electrolyzers and redox flow batteries. We were the first to introduce the use of electron magnetic measurements in post-mortem analyses of Li-ion batteries and the first group to publish the operando electron magnetic measurements.

  • Graphene Composites for Sensor Applications • Graphene Electronics • Two Dimensional Semiconductors

    • Graphene Composites for Sensor Applications
    • Graphene Electronics
    • Two Dimensional Semiconductors

  • Theoretical Physics

    Contamination spreading in strongly disordered systems is described by advection, diffusion as well as symmetry breaking which reveals new effects

    • Dynamics of cold atoms in optical lattices.
    • Nano science: Blinking quantum dots.
    • Statistical physics: Foundations of weak ergodicity breaking

    • Biophysics: dynamics of single molecules in live cells.
    • Dynamical systems: Infinite invariant measures and weak chaos.
    • Fractional kinetics. Fractals
    • Single molecule photon statistics.

  • Experimental Soft Condensed Matter Physics

    Nano & Advanced Materials

    We employ optical microscopy, light scattering, optical tweezing, and analytical centrifugation, to study phases and phase transitions in systems of colloids, micron-sized particles in a solvent. These systems exhibit liquid, crystalline, glass, gel and liquid-crystalline phases, where the colloidal particles mimick atoms and molecules. Employing confocal microscopy, we follow tens of thousands of individual particles in real time, in either two or three spatial dimensions. This unprecedentedly-detailed experimental information, which is not available with any other experimental technique, allows a much deeper understanding of collective phenomena, such as crystal nucleation, glass formation, and random solid packing to be achieved.

    We also study the interfacial physics of liquid emulsion droplets. Recently, we have discovered a unique interfacial phase transition, which allows the droplet shapes to be temperature-tuned from spherical to faceted, with their bulk remaining liquid.

  • From Quantum Foundations to Optical Quantum Technologies

    Extracting many-particle entanglement entropy from observables using supervised machine learning

    We study various topics related to basic quantum science, as well as quantum technologies. Currently, the main theme is quantum correlations which beg for a better theoretical understanding, as well as novel applications. The primary tool we use throughout our exploration is quantum optics.

  • Genomics Research

    Pre-mRNA molecules transcribed from the genome may fold form double-stranded RNA structures. ADAR enzymes bind these structures and deaminate some adenosines to inosines. If these inosines are located in an exon, they will be present in the mature mRNA

    We study the dynamics of genetic information, and how it affects disease, evolution and, behavior. Specifically, we develop technology and algorithms to uncover the full extent of A- to-I RNA editing in human and animal models. We are also develop technology to manipulate the genomic information by recruiting endogenous cellular RNA editing processes.

  • Biomaterials and Advanced Materials group

    Research in my group has been focused on revealing and explaining the fundamental interactions that underlie inorganic material formation in nature, a process known as biomineralization. We particularly make use of our expertise in solid-state NMR spectroscopy to analyze the rudimentary processes of biogenic material formation in atomic/molecular level. Unveiling the structure/activity relations in these specialized biomolecules involved in regulation of solid biomaterial formation has been particularly elusive. Using these findings, we develop new biomaterials for hard tissue applications based on rationale guidelines. We implement NMR characterization in materials research to understand interfaces between nanomaterials at great detail and employ molecular insights to design concept materials that are more environment friendly.

  • Computational Systems Immunology

    An example of a project workflow in our lab, from sample collection to antigen binding and health status prediction

    Our lab develops computational and statistical tools to process and analyze high-throughput biological data. The research is multidisciplinary and involves elements from mathematics, statistics, physics, computer science, biology and medicine. Our main focus is studying the adaptive immune system from a system/repertoire perspective. In particular, we are interested in understanding lymphocyte (T and B cells) repertoire dynamics in healthy individuals as well as in illness states such as infections, autoimmune diseases, aging and cancer. We apply advanced molecular biology methods to produce large sequencing data sets of human lymphocyte receptors, and analyze them using dedicated computational pipelines, in order to obtain meaningful biological insights into the adaptive immune system.

  • Directed Materials Assembly by Optical and Acoustic Forces

    Illustrations of the various directed-assembly methods developed at the Shpaisman group: (a) photo- thermal based modulated laser-induced microbubble technique (M-LIMBT), (b) microstructure formation with standing surface acoustic waves and (c) controlled colloidal formation based on manipulation by optical traps.

    We develop novel concepts based on the idea that forces arising from light (as optical traps or photo- thermal based) and standing acoustic waves can be used to influence the products of ongoing chemical reactions. These forces dictate the spatial distribution of the materials, their mesoscopic structure and could allow the formation of new composite materials. These approaches have many benefits compared to other "bottom-up" methods for material assembly that conventionally rely on accumulation of preformed materials.

    A key feature of our methodology is its modularity, as it could be implemented on various material systems. Due to the flexibility in material choice, this innovative approach will open the door to new ways to act upon materials, with envisioned applications in 3D printing, electronics and sensing.

  • Innovative Surface Engineering of Magnetic/Non-Magnetic Nanomaterials

    Nano & Advanced Materials

    In our lab, we focused on both synthesis of functionalized magnetic NPs and surface modification/engineering of both tungsten disulfide nanotubes and Nano-Diamonds. These set of functional NPs are nontoxic/biocompatible and has a high potential as drug delivery systems, with an important capability of imaging (MRI, X-ray, Fluorescence, … etc.). So far, we focused on the following topics, the use of magnetically responsive NPs in cooperation with Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) drug towards higher drug accumulation by magnetic targeting and therefore, a much more effective PDT output. We also developed an effective innovative nanoscale Delivery System as anti-Leishmania drug, which is based on cerium cation/complex-doped maghemite nanoparticles (Ce·ɣ-Fe2O3-NPs) that are coordinatively bound by both polyethylenemine (PEI) polymer and FDA-approved anti-leishmanial drug pentamidine. Novel surface engineering of nanodiamonds has been also innovatively discovered towards a preliminary wide range of biological and cosmetic applications. Moreover, novel functionalization of inorganic WS2 nanotubes with maghemite NPs resulted in an hybrid magnetic nanocomposite to improve anti-cancer treatment using photothermal therapy (PTT), as well as promoting nanomaterial reduced aggregation together with an additional ability for nanotube versatile second-step surface functionality/engineering.

  • Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Technologies

    3D covalent catalytic framework with ultra-high site density based on porphyrin aerogels. Picture: porphyrin powder (left), porphyrin aerogel made from this powder (right)

    In recent years, the world leaders have come to realize that we must change the way we produce and use energy. Being the source of life on earth, from growing crops to producing fresh drinking water through desalination, to sustaining our economies and lifestyles, energy is the most important commodity on earth. The shift to sustainable energy sources raised some new challenges, which include large energy storage for short-, mid- and long-term, to compensate for intermittent power supply, seasonal shortages and strategic storage, respectively, as well as energy for industry and transportation. To tackle these challenges, a cascade of solutions is necessary, out of which hydrogen economy gives the most comprehensive solution. Hydrogen produced from surplus sustainable energy harvested from sunlight, wind and hydropower, can be stored for short and long periods, easily transported between countries and continents and used to produce electricity for the grid, transportation, industry and private homes. Hydrogen economy was already adopted by some of the leading industrial countries, including the EU, Japan and South Korea, which already committed to investments of hundreds of billion  of USD over the coming decade.

  • Experimental x-ray studies of surface properties of liquid metals

    Nano & Advanced Materials

     

    • Experimental x-ray studies of surface properties of liquid metals
    • Simple liquids and liquid crystals
    • Structure of mono-molecular Langmuir films
    • Dynamical x-ray diffraction phenomena in perfect crystals
    • High precision crystal binding studies
    • X-ray emission and absorption spectroscopy
    • Synchrotron radiation and its applications
  • Molecular characterization of complex tissues

    This technology allows sequencing of RNA molecules with nanoscale precision inside brain tissues and human cancer tissues.

    Nano-precision in the location of RNA molecules inside tissues is crucial for many biological processes including learning and
    memory. The multiplexed measurement of the nanoscale position of these molecules allows mapping the heterogeneity of
    complex tissues, and therefore can lead to a better understanding of many diseases including cancer.

  • Biomolecular EPR Spectroscopy lab

    Resolving the transcription mechanism of CueR. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 5

    Our research group uses biophysical, biochemical, and spectroscopic tools to resolve the copper transfer mec. Given the ubiquity of metal’s presence in the cells, it follows that even small errors in the way bio-metals are regulated for developing new therapeutic and diagnostic compounds based on cellular copper cycle.

  • Polymers, biopolymers and nanotechnology for biomedical and industrial applications

    SEM image of hydroxyhapetite crystal growth on pp films coated with a thin layer of polybisphosphonate

    Prof. Margel’s earlier interests included electrochemistry of vinylic monomers and polymers, polyaldehyde microspheres and self-assembly monolayers. His current research focuses on functional polymeric nano/micro-particles for medical and industrial applications, such as targeted nanocapsule drug delivery systems, surface modification, and functional thin coatings (self-cleaning, anti-biofouling, UV absorbers, anti-fog and superhydrophobic coatings). He is a world pioneer and gained international reputation in the area of nanotechnology, particularly in the design of functional nano/micro particles of very narrow size distribution for medical and industrial applications.

     

  • Computational nanotechnology

    How high will a polyyne rod jump when compressed and charged by 10 kcal/mol? QM and MD methods where employed to answer this question

    Hoz’s group is using quantum mechanics to investigate the extent to which the laws of mechanical engineering apply at the nano – molecular level. The group discovered that the hardness of polyyne rods is 40 times that of diamonds – the hardest known material in nature. They have also shown that prismane rods demonstrate an “auxetic ”effect, and that carbon nanotubes Could be barcoded using electrical fields.

  • Nano-optics and Light–matter interactions in metamaterials

    Examples of optically resonant nanostructures comprising single nanoparticles, thin film and full metasurface arrays

    Our group studies fundamental aspects of nano-optics and light-matter interactions in nanostructures, 2D quantum materials and nanophotonic platforms. We investigate exotic materials for manipulating optical processes from the single ‘meta-atom’ level to full metasurface arrays. We design and fabricate tunable 2D nanophotonic platforms that enable the control of fundamental light properties such as emission, absorption, directional scattering, polarization, lasing etc. Utilizing these investigations we ultimately strive to make novel integrated, active nanophotonic devices.

  • Charity at the nanoscale

    HE-TEM images of Chiral Titania (TiO2) nanofilms

    Prof. Yitzhak Mastai His current research is focused on Nanoscale Chirality, Synthesis and Analysis of Chiral Nanosurfaces and Chiral self-assembled Monolayers and Polymeric Chiral Nanoparticles. Mastai and his colleagues, have gained international reputation in these fields, and have pioneered several new concepts and techniques in the following areas: SAM's for the preparation of Chiral Nanosurfaces for Chiral resolution by crystallization. Chiral ordered Mesoporous silica by Chiral polymer -Templated Synthesis. An innovative new Carbon Chiral Mesoporous, based on the Carbonization of Chiral Ionic liquids. The development of Optical Scanning Microscopy (NSOM) and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) for the determination of Nanoscale Chirality.

  • Soft and Biological Matter

    Nano & Advanced Materials

    Theoretical studies of APD (All Particles are Different) fluids and solids; Microbiome-host adaptation; Bacterial division; Reactions and phase separation in active systems; Scale-dependent viscoelasticity; NPC (nuclear pore complex) morphology.