The Catalysis and Nanomaterials Laboratory, led by Professor Michael S. Wong, is located in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University, Houston, TX. Our laboratory is engaged in fundamental and applied research at the interface of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Materials Science, with the central theme of functional nanoparticle-based materials. Treating nanoparticles (NPs) as building blocks and assembling them into useful structures is a powerful concept in "bottom-up" nanotechnology, in which the dimension-dependent properties of the NPs can be handled and exploited in a usable form (such as porous oxides and microcapsules). Through such materials we can address long-standing problems in the environment, energy, and health.

Our current research activities involve (1) designing and characterizing metal-on-metal NPs for water-phase catalytic reactions; (2) synthesizing model nanostructures to elucidate structure-property relationships; (3) developing reduction catalysis as a non-classical approach to cleaning polluted water; (4) exploring nanostructured materials for energy applications; and (5) engineering charge-assembled nanocomplexes into encapsulation and bio-delivery agents.



Useful Links

(Southwest Catalysis Society Meetings and Officers Archive)

Representative Publications

91. M. D. Blankschien, L. A. Pretzer, R. Huschka, N. J. Halas, R. Gonzalez, and M. S. Wong, "Light-triggered biocatalysis using thermophilic enzyme–gold nanoparticle complexes," ACS Nano, 7 (1), 654-663 (2013). DOI: 10.1021/nn3048445 (Abstract)

88. M. Thakur, S. L. Sinsabaugh, M. J. Isaacson, M. S. Wong, and S. L. Biswal, "Inexpensive method for producing macroporous silicon particulates (MPSPs) with pyrolyzed polyacrylonitrile for lithium ion batteries," Scientific Reports, 2: 795, 1-7 (2012). DOI: 10.1038/srep00795 (Abstract)

75. H. G. Bagaria and M. S. Wong, "Polyamine–salt aggregate assembly of capsules as responsive drug delivery vehicles," J. Mater. Chem., 21 (26), 9454-9466 (2011). DOI: 10.1039/C1JM10712G (Abstract) (Feature Article)

74. H. G. Bagaria, M. R. Dean, C. A. Nichol, and M. S. Wong, "Self-Assembly and Nanotechnology: Real-Time, Hands-On, and Safe Experiments for K-12 Students," J. Chem. Educ., 88 (5), 609-614 (2011). DOI: 10.1021/ed100598y (Abstract)

70. J. M. Berlin, J. Yu, W. Lu, E. E. Walsh, L. L. Zhang, P. Zhang, Wei. Chen, A. T. Kan, M. S. Wong, M. B. Tomson, and J. M. Tour, "Engineered nanoparticles for hydrocarbon detection in oil-field rocks," Energy Environ. Sci., 4 (2), 505-509 (2011). DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00237B (Abstract) (Hot Article)

66. N. Soultanidis, W. Zhou, A. C. Psarras, A. J. Gonzalez, E. F. Iliopoulou, C. J. Kiely, I. E. Wachs, and M. S. Wong, "Relating n-Pentane Isomerization Activity to the Tungsten Surface Density of WOx/ZrO2," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132 (38), 13462-13471 (2010). DOI: 10.1021/ja105519y (Abstract)

58. J. Yu, D. Javier, M. A. Yaseen, N. Nitin, R. Richards-Kortum, B. Anvari and M.S. Wong, "Self-assembly Synthesis, Tumor Cell Targeting, and Photothermal Capabilities of Antibody-coated Indocyanine Green Nanocapsules," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132 (6), 1929-1938 (2010). DOI:10.1021/ja908139y (Abstract)

57. W. Zhou, E. I. Ross-Medgaarden, W. V. Knowles, M. S. Wong, I. E. Wachs and C. J. Kiely, "Identification of Active Zr–WOx Clusters on a ZrO2 Support for Solid Acid Catalysts," Nature. Chem, 1, 722-728 (2009). DOI:10.1038/NCHEM.433 (Abstract)

49. M. S. Wong, P. J.J. Alvarez, Y.L. Fang, N. Akcin, M. O. Nutt, J. T. Miller, and K. N. Heck, "Cleaner Water using Bimetallic Nanoparticle Catalysts" J. Chem. Tech. & Biotech, 84, 158-166 (2009). DOI:10.1002/jctb.2002 (Abstract)

46. K.N. Heck, B.G. Janesko, G.E. Scuseria, N.J. Halas and M.S.Wong, "Observing Metal-Catalyzed Chemical Reactions in Situ Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy on Pd-Au Nanoshells" J. Am. Chem. Soc. , 130 (49), 16592–16600 (2008). DOI:10.1021/ja803556k (Abstract) (AIChE-STS Best Fundamental Paper Award)

37. S. Asokan, K. M. Krueger, V. L. Colvin, and M. S. Wong, "Shape-Controlled Synthesis of CdSe Tetrapods Using Cationic Surfactant Ligands," Small 3(7), 1164-1169 (2007). DOI: 10.1002/smll.200700120 (Abstract) (A "most accessed article" in Small in 2007)

32. P. R. LeDuc, M. S. Wong, et al., "Towards an in vivo Biologically Inspired Nanofactory," Nature Nanotech., 2, 3-7 (2007). DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2006.180 (Abstract)

21. R. K. Rana, V. S. Murthy, J. Yu and M. S. Wong, "Nanoparticle Self-assembly of Hierarchically Ordered Microcapsule Structures," Adv. Mater. 17, 1145-1150 (2005). (Cover Article) DOI: 10.1002/adma.200401612 (Abstract)

17. M. O. Nutt, J. B. Hughes and M. S. Wong, "Designing Pd-on-Au Bimetallic Nanoparticle Catalysts for Trichloroethene Hydrodechlorination," Environ. Sci. Technol. 39, 1346 - 1353 (2005). DOI: 10.1021/es048560b (Abstract) (AIChE-STS Best Applied Paper Award) (3rd place, Graduate Student Paper Award, AIChE Environmental Division)

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