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Welcome to the Madhukar Group!



    We are an inter-disciplinary group of curious people exploring the synthesis, properties, and applications of novel quantum nanostructures (wells, wires, & dots). Our current focus is on (1) a new paradigm that we proposed for solar energy conversion utilizing integrated hybrid quantum dot and nanowire systems, (2) synthesis and properties of new and novel nanostructures that arise from the integration of highly dissimilar materials hitherto unexplored, (3) nano-scale spatially-resolved optical imaging of multiple biomarker expression in live cells under controlled external stress (mechanical, electrical, chemical) over prolonged periods of time (days) to understand intra-cellular signalling pathways in the apoptosis of neuronal cells, and (4) the use of the tools of nanoscience and specially designed and synthesized functional active nanosystems for probing, manipulating, and potentially endowing new functions in live cells.


     We utilize a suite of synthesis techniques (ranging from cutting-edge vapor phase to solution chemistry based), structural examination (high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, ex-situ and in-situ atomic force and scanning tunneling microscopies, etc.), optical examination (photoluminescence, UV-visible fluorescence, Raman, spectroscopic ellipsometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, time resolved spectroscopy), and electrical and opto-electronic (photocurrent) characterization. For the biochemical and biological aspects of our work we have state-of-the-art cell and molecular biology facilities (see Labs&Facilities) and employ the usual range of techniques along with two unique experimental stations: (a) a combined atomic force microscope and near-field scanning optical microscope that utilizes a cantilever made of optical fiber, and (b) an optical imaging system that, unlike typical optical microscope systems,
allows time-multiplexed imaging of morphology and multiple biomarkers in large numbers (30-50) of live cells in a population under controlled external stress over prolonged time (days).

    We are constantly on the look out for "a few good students". If you have a strong undergraduate degree in science (including biochemistry and chemical biology) or engineering (including bio- and biomedical engineering), are self-driven, communicative, committed to PhD, enjoy good food and conversation, and your passion to learn greater than fear of walking unknown territory, then contact us. We are the place for you!

    Major interdisciplinary projects involving multi-faculty/institution collaboration are funded by the DURINT (Defense Universtiy Research Initiative in Nanotechnology) program of the NNI (National nanotechnology Initiative), MURI ( Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative), and the BMES ERC (Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems Engineering Research Center) program of the NSF (National Science Foundation).

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Nanocrystal Quantum Dot (L) and Nanocrystal Photodiode (R)


Hybrid Quantum Dot - Nanowire Solar Cell


Live Cell Imaging


Cellular Prosthesis

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