The research is concentrated on nanometer-sized materials in various forms (powders, nanocomposites, coated particles, core-shell nanoparticles). The unflagging interest in such materials has been greatly encouraged due to their prosperous and often eminent behaviour which has turned them up to be very promising in diverse profitable technological, biomedical, and bioengineering applications.
Nano-Zero Valent Iron (nZVI)
We are focused on development of methods for an industrial production of Fe(0) nanoparticles for reduction technologies of subterranean and surface waters, study of new possibilities of stabilization, study of their migration properties and their reactivity, research of the mechanism and kinetic degradation of the selected pollutants.
In the last years, Department of Physical Chemistry participated on the development of new types of carbon nanostructures, e.g. carbon nanotubes with surface-modified by perfluoroalkylsilane thus having superhydrophobic properties, graphene by chemical exfoliation, carbon quantum dots, and graphene fluoride (fluorographene).
Nanocrystalline oxides are one of the most important groups of modern nanotechnologies with a giant application potential in a series of industrial, environmental, and medical areas. Suitably surface-modified (functionalized) magnetic nanoparticles of iron oxides with a spinel ferrimagnetic structure (Fe3O4 - magnetite; gamma-Fe2O3 - maghemite) represent materials which have already become a common part of many biomedical applications and are extremely perspective in a series of modern diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Among key advantages of these oxide nanoparticles, we stress their non-toxicity, biocompatibility and extraordinary magnetic properties, which enable their easy manipulation in an external magnetic field. Magnetic nanoparticles of iron oxides can be thus used as contrast agents for imaging by a method of nuclear magnetic resonance (MRI), as magnetic carriers for targeted transport of drugs, for labeling and separation of cells, in tomography imaging or in treatment of tumor diseases by a method of hyperthermia. Just for tumor treatment by hyperthermia and in a series of other biochemical applications or in the field of gene engineering, magnetosomes (i.e. magnetite nanoparticles produced by magnetotactic bacteria) show to be a highly above-standard and effective material with a uniform distribution of particle sizes and suppressed tendency to agglomeration. We prepare various nanocrystalline iron oxides by solid state thermal syntheses and modify them by functionalization.
A modified Tollens process allowed us to control size of prepared silver nanoparticles. Stability, antibacterial and antifungal properties of silver nanopartiles as well as activity in surface enhanded Raman scaterring are intensivelly studied. A current attention is paid to preparation of modified silver nanoparticles for a broad application e.g. in medicine.
Computational chemistry, biophysical chemistry
The research is concentrated on structure and dynamics of biomolecules (namely catalytic RNA and proteins - CDK, Cytochrome P450). Attention is paid to the noncovalent interaction and its role in structure and function of biomacromolecules. Nonempirical high level quantum chemisty (CCSD(T)/CBS, DFT-SAPT) and empirical potentials are used to elucidate role of intermolecular interaction in the biomacromolecular world. A novel software including the advanced tools for analysis of molecular dynamic simulations is developed and implemented. In addition to this, the hybrid QM/MM methods are developed and employed to study mechanism of RNA and enzyme catalysis. For detailed information go through our recent publications or contact our department.
We are also involved in reparametrization of force fields (empirical potentials) for RNA simulations by AMBER.
The electronic properties of graphene derivatives (namely graphene halides) attracts also our attentions. Are calculations help us to find graphene derivative with designed band-gap.