實驗室 | About Us
The Environmental Nano-materials Lab (EML) was established in 2005 by Prof. Chang, Sue-min. It started with two master students and has cultivated 30 master and 1 PhD students since then. Not only local students, but EML also recruited the first international student from India in 2015. Up to now, there has been one-third of students in EML from other countries, including India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Gambia. To cultivate students’ international mobility, EML has been collaborating with University of Paris Saclay, France and Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur on dual PhD program since 2017. There are now two students under this program.
Our research interests emphasize nanofabrication of environmental functional materials and studying their physicochemical properties to understand how microstructures and compositions influence their performance on adsorption, catalysis, and decomposition. Based on these fundamentals, we then further adjust the material properties to improve their performance or customize materials to compile with mission-oriented demands. Our current studies have three aspects: surface modifications of photocatalysts for CO2 reduction, molecularly-imprinting for selective binding and nanosensing, and adsorbent design for pollutant removal. The contents of each topic are shown below.
Surface Properties of Photocatalysts to CO2 Reduction. The surface region in photocatalysis involves charge stabilization, reactant adsorption, and interfacial charge transfer. The reactivity of these interfacial events determine charge utilization in the artificial photosynthesis system and also control reaction selectivity. We are now using TiO2 semiconductor as the model photocatalyst to investigate the influences of intrinsic defects, including OH groups and oxygen vacancies, and extrinsic defects on the surface reactivity for CO2 reduction. In addition, intermediates during the photocatalysis were examined to understand the transformation mechanisms.
Molecular-Imprinting for Selective Binding and Nanosensing. Molecular imprinting is a biomimetic nano-manipulating technique which uses target molecules as templates to create micro-cavities with size, shape, and stereo-features similar to the templates within a polymeric matrix. Due to the customized nano-cavities, molecularly-imprinted materials exhibit high and selective adsorption ability for target compounds, which enable such materials to be promising in separation- and enrichment-related applications. In our lab, we target endocrine-disrupting chemicals to design imprinting polymers for quick, large-amount, and selective adsorptions and also combine these materials with photonic crystals or quantum dots to develop sensors.
Mission-Oriented Adsorbent/Catalyst Design. According to the emerging demand of industries, we also develop adsorbents for NH3/NH4+ and heavy-metal-ion removal and catalysts for selective reduction of NOx.