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Janet E. Macdonald

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Predominantly made of chemists, the Macdonald group is interested in the synthesis of nanoparticles and nanostructured materials. While we study synthetic pathways, surface chemistry and fundamental properties of new materials, our synthetic efforts are mostly driven by long term goals in green energy applications such as photocatalysis, photovoltaics, electrocatalysis and lithium-ion batteries. We also have interests wherever our particles might be useful, including as materials for bio-sensing and advanced biological stains.  

One of the main focuses of the group is hybrid nanoparticles, where two or moredisparate materials are attached on the same particle. With careful consideration of the component materials and how they are attached, interesting synergetic properties emerge. For instance, under illumination, some designs of these multi-part nanoparticles undergo charge separation, the basic requirement for light harvesting technologies such as photovoltaics and photocatalysis. Other hybrid nanoparticles that we have designed and synthesized undergo synergistic second harmonic light generation.

We collaborate on almost every project. To name a few, we collaborate with experts in optics, battery engineering, microscopy and spectroscopy at Vanderbilt, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory. 


Bergmann Memorial Award, US-Israel Binational Foundation, 2013
NaturalSciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Industrial PostgraduateScholarship- Doctoral Level, 2006

Selected Publications:

Crystal-Bound vs Surface-Bound Thiols on Nano crystals. Turo, MJ; Macdonald, JE, ACS NANO, 8, 10205-10213 , (2014) View Abstract

Interlaced crystals having a perfect Bravais lattice and complex chemical order revealed by real-space crystallography. Shen, X; Hernandez-Pagan, EA; Zhou, W; Puzyrev, YS; Idrobo, JC; Macdonald, JE; Pennycook, SJ; Pantelides, ST, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 5, 5431 , (2014) View Abstract

Petaled Molybdenum Disulfide Surfaces: Facile Synthesis of a Superior Cathode for QDSSCs. Finn, ST; Macdonald, JE, ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS, 4, 1400495 , (2014) View Abstract

Hybrid nanoscale inorganic cages. Macdonald, JE; Bar Sadan, M; Houben, L; Popov, I; Banin, U, NATURE MATERIALS, 9, 810-815 , (2010) View Abstract