Through interdisciplinary research, we investigate the development and application of novel nanomaterials in catalysis, photovoltaics, spectroscopy, and chemical and biological sensing. Our approaches focus on nanoparticle synthesis and assembly, nanostructure fabrication, interfacial chemical analysis, and studies of physical properties of the nanomaterials.

Metal nanoparticles and naonstructures exhibit unique plasmonic behavior induced by interactions with light. By tailoring the plasmonic nanomaterials, we investigate tuning of the optical behavior, including nanoscale manipulation of light. As the size of the metal nanoparticles is scaled down to a few nanometers, the catalytic properties become important. We are studying the catalytic behavior based on structural properties of the nanoparticles, including the influence of size, shape  and ligands. For more details, check out our research page and publications.

We share our enthusiasm for science and engineering with the local community through hands-on nanomaterials and spectroscopy activities with students in K-12, mentoring in-coming freshman women through the College of Science ACCESS Program, and a partnership with the MESA Club at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education, a grade 6-12 lab school in the Salt Lake City School District.

Our research group in the Chemistry Department at the University of Utah is part of the Interfacial and Bioanalytical Chemistry(IBAC)  group. We meet twice a month with several other research groups to discuss research projects and special topics. Check out the IBAC website for more details.  We are active in the Nano Institute of Utah.


Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Our research focuses on nanomaterials fabrication and synthesis, surface chemistry analysis, and physical behavior of materials for light-matter interactions, catalysis and analytical sensing. Graduate and undergraduate students interested in studying nanomaterials and gaining experience with a wide range of spectroscopy, microscopy, surface analysis, and materials characterization techniques should contact Prof. Shumaker-Parry.