OMAS – OPTICAL MATERIALS AND SPECTROSCOPY GROUP
The Optical Materials and Spectroscopy Group is devoted to the development of new materials and nanomaterials, their characterization, as well as development of new methods in spectroscopy.
Emphasis is given on rare earth and transition metal ion doped luminescent materials/nanomaterials for downconversion, up-conversion and scintillation applications. A number of soft-chemical synthesis methods are used for their preparation: combustion, sol-gel, precipitation, microemulsion, spray-pyrolysis, etc.
Research of materials for luminescence thermometry is one of the key activities of OMAS group. Structural, thermal and optical properties of materials are evaluated on the state-of-the-art equipment, XRD, XRR, SAXS, FTIR, DTA-TG, DSC, Light scattering, UV-VIS-NIR spectrometry, steady state and time resolved luminescence spectrometry, site-selective luminescence spectrometry, high resolution luminescence spectrometry, etc.
Most of the measurements can be operated from low temperatures (10 K) to high temperatures (1500 K). Development of methods in fluorescence for food research and biomedicine is also one of the important activities of the OMAS group.
FUNCTIONAL NANOMATERIALS GROUP
The main research interest of group for functional nanomaterials is development of novel colloidal chemistry methods for the synthesis of highly uniform oxide, semiconductor and metal nanoparticles, as well as finding functional dependence between their properties and size and shape.
Additional research interest is the usage of nanoparticles as a component in polymer based nanocomposites. Current research focuses on the investigation of influence of size, shape, content and kind of nanoparticles on the variety of properties of polymer matrix (thermal, mechanical, conductive, magnetic, optical, etc.).
The potential applications of functionalized nanoparticles and polymer based nanocomposites are tested through an examination of their photocatalytic and antibacterial activities.
SEM images of TiO2 nanoparticles
CARBON NANOMATERIALS GROUP
Carbon nanostructures for organic electronics
Research focuses on novel functional organic materials and on the manufacturing and characterization of organic and nanoscale electronic devices, such as high‑performance organic solar cells. Several types of carbon nanostructures are developed and modified with nonnuclear and nuclear radiation. Graphene, graphene quantum dots, graphene nanoribbons, single wall carbon nanotubes and fullerenes are synthetized and/or modified with high power laser , ion beam or gamma irradiation.
We are developing materials and manufacturing techniques that allow the use of high‑quality self‑assembled monolayers as the doped transparent electrode, or semiconductor pn junction capable for efficient photoelectric generation on flexible substrates.
Scientific work in organic electronics is highly interdisciplinary and involves the design, synthesis and processing of functional organic and inorganic materials, the development of advanced micro- and nanofabrication techniques, device and circuit design, and materials and device characterization
Carbon nanostructures for nanomedicine
Induction or prevention of cell death is one of the most important approaches in the treatment of cancer, autoimmune/inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders.
Determination of the type of cell death (apoptosis, necrosis, autophagy) caused by therapeutic agents and intacellular mechanisms underlying their cytotoxic and cytoprotective properties are the absolute prerequisistes in designing more effective and less toxic drugs for the modulation of cell death.
The main objective of this multidisciplinary effort is to investigate cytotoxic, cytoprotective and immunomodulatory effects of various nanoparticles and their derivatives, as well as intracellular mechanisms underlying the observed biological effects.
Our group is dealing with optimization of synthesis and purification of various carbon- based nanoparticles and their derivatives. As biomedical application of nanoparticles is hampered by their poor water solubility, this problem will be surmounted through production of suitable colloidal suspensions and targeted chemical transformation of nanoparticles. Fluoroscent labeling is employed to monitor the subcellular and in vivo distribution of nanoparticles.
RADIATION NANOENGINEERING OF POLYMER BASED MATERIALS GROUP
The group is developing nanostructuring technique for hydrogen based or biopolymer based materials using ionizing irradiation. This approach has enabled the control of chemical and physical properties via the design of 3D gel stimuli-responsive (smart) structures and provided a powerful tool for in situ incorporation of versatility into engineering gels and biopolymers from the nanometer scale (bottom-up concept). This radiation-technological platform provides a basis for the wide range of advanced or innovative applications in the biomedical field.
The principles of the radiation chemical nanotechnology are based on environmentally compatible and biocompatible radiolytic products of water. Marie Curie used to compare the radiolytic processes to an „electrolysis without electrodes“, since the primary pair electron-solvent cation is formed in the bulk solution (water). Since possibly harmful chemical initiators or crosslinking agents for hydrogels and reducing agents for nanoparticle synthesis are not required, high energy irradiation has advantages over conventional methods in terms of biocompatibility of resulting nanomaterial. Synthesis of new hydrogel or biopolymer based nanosystems can be accomplished with the additional advantage of possibility of concurrent sterilization.
The group is one of the pioneers in using ionizing irradiation in nanostructuring of hydrogels and biopolymers with noble metal nanoparticles, applying bottom-up concept. Research activities of the group, in addition, involve relating of the process at the nanometer scale with the material properties and the mathematical modeling of these nanosystems in terms of their biomedical use. The group took and takes part in international projects involving collaboration with groups in other countries. In Serbia, the group has collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, the Military Medical Academy and the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade.
RADIATION PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY OF POLYMERS GROUP
Research and application of different biomaterials and composites. Special attention is devoted to the application of high energy radiation in synthesis, processing and sterilization of stimuli responsive Hydrogels and Hydrogel/Silver nanocomposites for drug delivery and in separation purposes, Polymer/Ceramic nanocomposites for reparation of bone tissue and cartilage and to the injectable composite cements.
The influence of high energy radiation and aging on electric, mechanical and other physical properties of Polyolefin (LDPE, LLDPE, UHMWPE, HDPE, IPP …) insulation. Sterilization of medical disposables.
Synthesis, modification and characterization of some novel organic luminescent materials, OLEDS, development of novel combinatorial methods (Combinatorial Molecular Beam Epitaxy (CMBE) and Combinatorial Physical Vapour Deposition (CPVD)) for production of organic thin film libraries, OLEDs, solar cells and implementation in area of device physics.
POLYMER NANOCOMPOSITE GROUP
Our research focuses on physical and chemical properties of polymers (thermoplastics, thermosets, biopolymers), polymer composites and nanocomposites. A special emphasis is on biomolecule and polysaccharide functionalized noble metal and semiconductor nanoparticles and their interaction with living organisms. We are also interested in electric, dielectric and thermo-electric properties of polymer nanocomposites with various carbon and piezoelectric fillers
Bioconjugates of glycogen and gold nanoparticles: controlled plasmon resonance via glycogen induced nanoparticle aggregation
(RSC Advances 2013)
Hybrid nanostructures of ZnO nanocubes and Ag nanoparticles in alginate biopolymer