Dr. Gesquiere’s research group is focused on problems that require collaborative interdisciplinary teams (e.g. chemistry, physics, optics, engineering, biomedical sciences) to formulate solutions. We work in different areas including organic-inorganic materials for device applications, nanotherapeutics, and in-vitro approaches for nanomaterial research. Our projects involve high resolution advanced optical imaging – including spectral imaging and single molecule detection – for device and agriculture applications, polymer nanoparticle research for biomedical nanotechnology, and biochemistry coupled with computational biology for the study of nanomaterial interactions with tissues.
Research Website: http://www.nanoscience.ucf.edu/faculty/gesquiere.php
Nanoscale Optoelectronic Materials and Devices for Energy Conversion
Nanostructure of materials and interfaces is a key issue in achieving improved efficiencies for organic photovoltaic devices (OPV) and organic light emitting diodes (OLED). Through the development of molecular devices and single molecule/nanoparticle particle spectroscopic techniques for the study of organic optoelectronic materials we can address these issues. The research projects involve studying the spectroscopy of interesting optoelectronic materials such as conjugated polymers, nanoparticles and their hybrids at the single molecule/particle level, and using these single molecules/nanoparticles as probes to locally study interfaces and processes in fully assembled functioning devices at the nanoscale.
This multidisciplinary research program crosses the borders between materials science, engineering, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, and analytical chemistry and creates a bridge between fundamental research and technologically important applications.
Nanobiology: imaging and biophysical studies
The extreme sensitivity of single molecule laser scanning confocal microscopy allows us to detect the presence of a single molecule or nanoparticle. Combined with the excellent spatial resolution of this research tool we are developing the capability of tracking biological processes at the molecular level. We will quantitatively study biophysical processes at the single molecule level to unravel and understand the mechanism and kinetics of biologically important processes such as DNA and protein folding dynamics, and biochemical reactions involving enzymes.
Our work will also involve developing novel imaging and spectroscopic techniques for biological systems. This will include the tracking of individual nanoparticles to study processes inside living cells. This multidisciplinary research program will have a significant impact on the emerging fields of nanobiology and nanomedicine.