DATE: May 2019
Vanderbilt University | Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Piran Kidambi, Assistant Professor

We are using Hamilton syringes to probe defects less than a nanometer in membranes that are only one atom thick using simple, table top experiments. The syringes allow for the creation of a hydro-static pressure difference based on the height in the column between two reservoirs with test solutions. This novel use of Hamilton syringes allows us to explore the ultimate paradigm of nanotechnology i.e. probing sub-nanometer defects in atomically thin membranes.

The Hamilton syringes with varying volumes will allow us to explore the ultimate paradigm of nanotechnology i.e. probing sub-nanometer defects in atomically thin membranes, specifically for dialysis applications. We aim to improve dialysis process times by 100 times to cause a direct improvement in quality of life for people in need. The ease of operation of our set-up with Hamilton syringes will allow experienced researchers as well as undergraduates performing a class project on nanotechnology, or high school students doing an internship in our lab, to conduct experiments that offer sub-nanometer scale information in simple table-top experiments. Such information would otherwise take two full years on a very expensive transmission electron microscope and the time of an experienced post-doc or research scientist.

The course will introduce atomically thin two dimensional materials (graphene, hexagonal boron nitride, black phosphorus etc.), different 2D/layered systems for applications, structure vs function relationships, theory of nano materials formation i.e. nucleation/growth using gassolid/ liquid-solid, catalytic/phase separation reactions and nano material characterization including latest advances in atomic resolution in-situ metrology. Methods to control processes i.e. kinetics vs thermodynamics, stabilizing meta-stable intermediates, interface engineering and scale up for manufacturing compatibility will be explored. Lectures augmented by semester project and practical hands on research experience in the state-of-the-art Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Sciences and Engineering clean-room.

Our lab has pioneered the use of Hamilton syringes to probe sub-nanometer scale nanopores in atomically thin membranes using easy to perform table-top experiments - see publications on Our research opens up completely new applications for these syringes in dialysis research where the impact to patients is potentially life changing.

Related Pages

Apply for a Hamilton Syringe Grant Today


Help Us Spread the Word

Know someone who could benefit from this grant? Help us support research and higher education by sharing this page on social media.