Louisa Hope-Weeks

Hope-Weeks, Louisa
Position Department / Business Unit
Assistant Professor Chemistry Department
Institution Disciplines
Texas Tech University Chemistry
City State / Provence
Lubbock Texas
Country Website
Research efforts in our group are centered on the synthesis of novel inorganic materials with unique and tunable properties. The applications for materials with nanometer scale dimensions have become a central focus from both fundamental and technological perspectives. Unique and highly intriguing physical, optical and electrical phenomena can result from the confinement of materials into nanometer size regime that may be valuable in advancing technologies such as sensing, catalysis and information storage.

We are specifically interested the synthesis of nanocrystals of high quality with uniform size and shape and the development a fundamental understanding of the relationship between structure, and physical properties (electronic and optical) in these materials. Since the fundamental properties on semiconductor nanocrystals can be strongly influenced by any defects within and on the surface of the nanocrystals and their surface chemistry. We are particularly interested in controlling the surface chemistry which is vital to this area of science, for their potential applications in sensor and tagging technologies. We grow nanocrystals via the inverse micelle route and via direct injection organometallic precursors into pure, hot surfactants to produce pure and core –shell nanocrystals. In both these methods we look to understand what governs growth rate of the nanocrystal stress and strain at the interface between a core and a shell of different materials and at the effects of doping the nanocrystals.

The second area we are investigating is the synthesis and applications for doped xerogels and aerogels. Inorganic aerogels are inorganic polymers having high surface area and low density. They are produced via the condensation of nanoparticle building blocks giving an open, porous framework. Aerogels have a variety of potential applications as sensors, sensor supports, and cosmic dust collectors. Our particular interest is tailoring the properties of the silica aerogels for incorporation of nanocrystals and specific molecular recognition moieties for senor applications. In addition we are also looking at applications for high surface area non-oxide aerogels formed as a result of a controlled oxidation of capping groups of chalcogenide semiconductors nanocrystals, to produce materials with interesting optical and luminescence properties.


B.Sc., University of Hertfordshire, UK, 1997; PhD, Cambridge University, UK, 2000; Postdoctoral, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2001-2002


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