WFU Department of Physics Wake Forest University


Wake Forest Physics
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Nanotechnology and Nanophysics

Nanostructures and Molecular Motors

David Carroll, Oana Jurchescu, Keith Bonin, and Martin Guthold lead efforts studying nanophysics and nanotechnology.

Research inNanotech pic Dr. Carroll’s group ranges from fundamental investigations of transport phenomena in nano-scale objects (tests of quantum mechanics in exotic topologies) to applications of nano-composite materials in organic devices. The group has active programs in the growth of novel nanostructures, manipulation and characterization of ordered assemblies of nanostructures, and the integration of nanomaterials into both standard device designs and novel quantum effect devices.

The creation of novel new nanomaterials is an essential part of the nano-sciences. These materials can have exotic properties not normally found in nature. In fact, properties such as super strength, ultra-high thermal conductivity, and super conductivity have been observed for nano-systems when they are absent for the macro-counterparts of the same element. In our studies, the extra-ordinary properties of assemblies of nano-particles, are used to test fundamental physical models, develop new ultra-light, ultra-strong materials systems, and create technology at the smallest length scales.

nanotubeAs an example, the carbon nanotube represents an interesting and complicated topology for the confinement of charge carriers with a diameter of only 1.4 nm and a length of microns. The molecular helicity, or chirality, of the nanotube breaks a fundamental symmetry of the nanotube’s point group. Their studies are examining the relationship of such symmetry breaking and the accumulation of geometrical phase factors (Berry’s phase) in such systems. When defects are added in an ordered fashion, the overall real space topology of the system can become much more interesting. It is hoped that the studies of these fundamental symmetries will set the foundations for the creation of quantum effect computation systems based on macro-molecular objects such as carbon nanotubes. Go to top of page

Oana Jurchescu's group focuses on investigation and development of organic materials and devices for nano and macroelectronics applications. The group is part of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, one of the Research Institutes at Wake Forest University.

Prof Jurchescu and Claire McLellanThe research in Organic Electronics group covers a variety of fundamental and applied topics on materials and devices for future electronics. The interest in this topic is motivated by the potential of organic (plastic) electronics to greatly impact the future semiconductor industry by low-cost and high diversity. Our efforts aim to improve the performance of organic electronic devices by better understanding and control of charge injection and transport, charge trapping and de-trapping. One critical issue in organic electronics is that the device performance is dominated by the micro- and nano-scale structure features of the organic film, which in turn is dictated by the chemical structure and processing. The structure, processing and performance are thus strongly influenced by each other. Our studies focus on describing the structure-processing-property relationship that governs the physical processes in organic semiconductors. The results will be providing the frame for comparisons between novel organic semiconducting molecules and will promote the discovery of materials with enhanced electronic properties. We are also interested Organic spintronics, and are working on this project in collaboration with National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Organic electronics program consists of exciting and interdisciplinary topics of research, providing opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate involvement. For more info please visit:

For other work in the department related to nanotechnology and nanoscience, see

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David Carroll
Oana Jurchescu
Keith Bonin
Martin Guthold

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100 Olin Physical Laboratory
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7507
Phone: (336) 758-5337, FAX: (336) 758-6142