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Dr. Liming Dai


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Gecko Foot

Research Activities

Multifunctional Nanomaterials

We develop synthetic methods for the preparation of nanomaterials with well-defined structures. Our focus is on the synthesis and functionalization of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes and size-/shape-controlled graphene sheets and nanodiamonds for various applications, ranging from multifunctional nanocomposites to energy-/bio-related devices.

Optoelectronic Macromolecules

We synthesize conjugated macromolecules of well-controlled optoelectronic properties for light-emitting diodes, field-effect transistors, batteries, supercapacitors, and photovoltaic cells. Functional nanomaterials, including carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, and DNA thin films, are used as the photon/electron/hole mediators, while a combined experimental and theoretical approach is used to understand and optimize the materials structure and device performance.

Biomaterials and Biomimicking Systems

To ascertain the potential hazards of nanomaterials to humans, particularly in bio-related systems such as biosensing and biomedical imaging devices, we investigate the surface and size effects on the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of nanomaterials with and without surface functionalization. We also undertake bioinspired approaches for designing and synthesizing materials with functional structures and smart features (e.g. DNA-directed self-assembling, Gecko-foot-mimetic dry adhesion).