Nano and Molecular Functional Materials for Energy, Catalysis, and Optics

The broad goal of the research in our lab is to develop a variety of novel functional nanomaterials with potential applications in the field of:

  • Optoelectronics 
  • Energy
  • Catalysis and Electrocatalysis
  • Nanosensing
  • Boiology 
  • Environment





Areas of Research Interest:

  1. Production and tuning the band gap of semiconducting two-dimensional materials.

  2. Study the mechanism of the nanocatalysis, electrocatalysis, and photocatalysis at the scale of an individual particle.

  3. Spectroscopy and the photophysics of nanomaterials.

  4. Computational modeling of nanomaterials (FDTD, DDA, DFT).

Ultrahigh-resolution spectroscopy

High-resolution electron and optical microscopic techniques are used to conduct measurements in the resolution of an individual particle and/or a single molecule. We work to enhance the properties of the functional nanomaterials by engineering their assembly and improving their structural design based on the information obtained from the ultra-high resolution measurements.

Nanomaterial Synthesis

Developing new techniques to produce nanomaterials of optimized shapes, sizes, compositions, and structures on large scales for industrial applications by simple chemical processes. The prepared nanomaterials are assembled into 2-D or 3-D arrays and can be functionalized with organic polymers for use in optoelectronics, solar cell materials, optical filters and polarizers, nanocatalysis and photocatalysis, nanosensing, and nano-switching.

Catalysis, Electrocatalysis, and Phytoctalysis

Catalysis is responsible for the efficient production of over 90% of consumer materials. The field of catalysis is rapidly expanding and has an important impact on numerous technical fields such as chemical production, sustainable energy, and materials chemistry. Our research in this field has the potential to find new catalysts of industrial importance that reduce the production cost of the catalyst and improve its stability and catalytic efficiency. Furthermore, our research directed towards enhancing the catalytic activity of cathode and anode materials within fuel cells. Finally, the mechanism of the catalytic and photocatalytic reactions will be studied in-situ during the catalysis reaction by operando techniques.

Selected Publications:

C. Obiakara, C-k. Liao, M.A. Mahmoud, Mechanical Exfoliation Assisted by Molecular Tweezers for Production of Sulfur based Semiconducting Two-dimensional Materials,  Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2019, 58, 14170-14179. (Virtual Special Issue: Best Papers from the 256th ACS National Meeting in Boston).

C. Obiakara, M.A. MahmoudElectromagnetic Plasmonic Field of Nanoparticles Tune the Band Gap of Two-dimensional Semiconducting MaterialsJournal of Materials Chemistry C, 7, 3675-3687.

C-k. Liao, J. Phan, M. Herrera, M.A. MahmoudModifying the Band Gap of Semiconducting Two-Dimensional Materials by Polymer Assembly into Different Structures, Langmuir, 2019, 35, 4956–4965.

D Chen, M. A. Mahmoud, J-H. Wang, G. H. Waller, C. Zhao, B., Qu, M. A. El-Sayed, M. Liu, Operando investigation into dynamic evolution of cathode-electrolyte interfaces in a Li-ion battery, Nano Letters, 2019, 19, 2037-2043.


Dr. Mahmoud Abdelwahed

Chemical Engineering Program, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, The University of Texas at San Antonio,
Applied Engineering Building (AET) Room 1.353.
One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249

======================================================================E-mail: mahmoud.abdelwahed@utsa.edu
Phone: 210-458-7011 (office)
Fax: 210-458-7007
Lab: Biotechnology Sciences and Engineering Building, BSE, 2.208
Phone: 210-458-7156 (Lab)