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 that could have potential applications in the field of energy, catalysis, optics, sensing, biology, electronics, and environment. High-resolution electron and optical microscopic techniques are used to conduct measurements in the resolution of individual particle and 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.

As members of the chemical engineering community, we focus on 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 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.

Areas of Research Interest:

  • Study the mechanism of the nanocatalysis and photocatalysis in the individual particle and the single molecule resolution
  • Renewable  Energy
  • Study the mechanism of the growth of the nanocrystals
  • Development of new 1-D, 2-D, and 3-D smart functional materials
  • Spectroscopy and the photophysics of nanomaterials
  • Computational modeling of nanomaterials

Selected Publications:

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. Herrea, 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.

M.  Herrera, M. Abdul-Moqueet, M. A. MahmoudConjugated Polymer Nanoparticles Having Modified Band Gaps Assembled into Nano- and Micropatterned Organic Light-Emitting DiodesACS Appl. Nano Mater., 2019, 2, 577-585.

A. Mahmoud, Electromagnetic Field of Plasmonic Nanoparticles Extends the Photoisomerization Lifetime of Azobenzene, J Phys. Chem. C., 2017, 121, 18144–18152.

A. Mahmoud, Overgrowth of 2D Anisotropic Nanocrystals on a Substrate into Vertically Aligned 1D Nanoparticles to be used for Chromatic Light Polarization, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2016, 8, 23827–23836.

A. Mahmoud, An Optical Ruler and Protractor from Silver Nanodisk Monolayers with Different Surface Coverages Deposited in a Gradient Manner on a Substrate, Langmuir, 2016, 32, 11631–11638.

A. Mahmoud, Polarized Optomechanical Response of Silver Nanodisc Monolayers on Elastic Substrate Induced by Stretching, J Phys. Chem. C., 2015, 119, 19359–19366.

A. Mahmoud, Simultaneous Reduction of Metal Ions by Multiple Reducing Agents Initiate the Asymmetric Growth of Metallic Nanocrystals. Crystal Growth & Design, 2015, 15, 4279–4286.

A. Mahmoud, Plasmon Resonance Hybridization of Gold Nanospheres and Palladium Nanoshells Combined in a Rattle Structure, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2014, 5, 2594–2600.

A. Mahmoud, D. O’Neil, and M. A. El-Sayed, Hollow and Solid Metallic Nanoparticles in Sensing and in Nanocatalysis, Chemistry of Materials, 2014, 26, 44–58.

A. Mahmoud, D. O’Neil, and M. A. El-Sayed, Effect of Shape and Symmetry of Gold and Silver Nanoparticles on their Mechanical Properties. Nano letters, 2014, 14, 743–748.

R. Panikkanvalappil, S. M. Hira, M. A. Mahmoud, and M. A. El-Sayed, Unraveling the Biomolecular Snapshots of Mitosis in Healthy and Cancer Cells Using Plasmonically-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 15961–15968.

A. Mahmoud, B. Garlyyev, M. A. El-Sayed, Controlling of the Catalytic Efficiency on the Surface of Gold Hollow Nanoparticles by Introducing Inner Thin Layer of Platinum or Palladium: Mechanistic Study of the Heterogeneous Nanocatalysis, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2014, 5, 4088–4094.

A. Mahmoud, U. Landman, and M. A. El-Sayed High Frequency Mechanical Stirring Initiates Anisotropic Growth of Seeds Requisite for Synthesis of Silver Nanorods, Nano Letters 2013, 13,4739–4745.


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 (2.208)
Phone: 210-458-7156 (Lab)