Basic and Applied Chemistry & Nanotechnology

Our ability to engineer tunable application-specific mechanical, thermal and optoelectronic properties and even novel phenomena into materials at the nanoscale, and in formatting these properties so that they are maintained at the macroscale, provides a platform for the creation and commercialization of a new class of advanced materials that harness superior multifunctional and tunable efficiencies.

High Resolution TEM nanographs of Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes being used for high resolution Raman and THz studies at Π

High Resolution TEM nanographs of Multi Walled Nanotubes being used for NIR, Raman and THz studies at Π

Π's expertise in angstrochemistry®, which stands for the angstrom-scale "bottom-up" integration of properties into molecular structures using an armamentia of multi-step wet-chemistry methodologies and techniques, enables the creation of smart organic precursors and building blocks, which, in conjunction with our expertise in materials science and engineering, can be used in the creation of a host of nanostructured composites, fibers, coatings, surfaces and other materials tailor-made to provide high performance capabilities in technologies such as:

  • EMI Shielding and Radar Absorbing Materials,
  • Anisotropic Temperature-Dissipating Coatings/Materials,
  • Multimodal Biological, Chemical, And Health Sensors,
  • Morphing and Electrically-Induced Cloaking,
  • Wavelength-Obscuring Optoelectronic Materials and Devices,
  • Molecularly Engineered Materials, Nanostructures And Chemicals,
  • Organic Memories and Photovoltaics,
  • Catalyst Supports,
  • Nanoporous Filters for Air and Water Filtration,
  • Electronic and Magnetoelectronic Materials,
  • Selectively-Derivatized Surfaces,
  • Advanced Composite Materials

Glass surface modification and derivatization at Π, pending material characterization

Electronic Noses

Π develops sensor devices which show high optoelectronic sensitivity, selectivity and reliability towards the real-time monitoring of volatile or trace amounts of air/water borne chemicals, pathogens or physical properties such as strain and pressure. The selectivity of these materials could be further enhanced through the use of multivariate statistical methods, and can be automated via the use of pattern recognition systems. Through the integration of these sensory materials into other solid structural composite elements, coatings, fibers, substrates and fabric substrates they can serve as electronic noses for the monitoring of hazardous materials within land/sea air environments. They can also be used in other platforms such as intra- or extracellular medical health indicators for plants and animals, or as composite-material health indicators for materials such as structural materials. Based on expertise and technological know-how, Π has developed the ScentLogix™ NanoRhino®, a suite of organic materials that will chemically or optoelectronically interact with sub-ppm levels of volatile organic compounds in a qualitative and quantitative manner and, as such, can be tailored for use as sensory elements of existing and emergent electronic, mechanical and optical detection systems.

An illustration of electronic nose activities at Π

Biological Detection

Pi is at the cutting edge of innovation in the field of biological detection, particularly in its approach of the subject. Our “convergent science” R&D approach uses the olfactory prowess of canines in its foundational investigations in biological olfaction and olfactory detection; this is because the olfactory sensitivity and search-and-detect capacity of K9’s are better than the best detector instruments available, and the final response of a K9 to a detection decision represents an interesting “output” of interpretations from a living CPU, i.e., the brain, rather than outputs from patches of nose cells or of images of brain sites that are simulated and acquired artificially. An improved knowledge base in structure-odor relationships and the use of a convergence of organic syntheses, analytical chemistry, neurophysiology and bioanalytical search-and-detect methodologies in understanding the rudiments of olfaction has resulted in the release of the ScentLogix™ K9 Series of ScentKits for Explosives and Narcotics Detection, The world's first scientifically developed, purpose-built, multiplatform scentkits for the evaluation and training of detection K9’s.