Research in the laboratory of Dr. R. Jelinek is multidisciplinary and spans nanotechnology, surfaces and thin films, sensors, amyloids, and biological membranes. The research has a certain applied-science emphasis, with several patents awarded/submitted. Current projects in the Jelinek laboratory include:
- Polydiacetylene assemblies and nanoparticles. Polydiacetylenes are unique conjugated polymers exhibiting remarkable color and fluorescence transformations. Raz has been working in this field for over 20 years, developing varied polydiacetylene-based assemblies (nanoparticles, nanowires, solid-supported nano-porous systems), and demonstrating their use in sensing, optics, and microelectronics.
- Carbon quantum dots. Raz has been among the pioneers and is currently among the global leaders in this emerging field. He published dozens of articles in prominent journals in the past few years, contributing to better understanding of the chemical. Electrical, and optical propertied of these unique carbonaceous nanoparticles, and demonstrating applications of carbon dots in optics, electronics, bio- and chemo-sensing, bio-imaging, catalysis, and others. Raz is the author of the first and main textbook in the field, entitled “Carbon quantum dots”, published in 2018.
- Vapor sensors. The Jelinek lab has developed diverse gas sensing technologies based on different transduction mechanisms: optical (fluorescence and visible transformations), capacitance transformations and electrochemical. Selective and sensitive detection of different gas targets has been demonstrated, particularly concerning dangerous gases such as organophosphates. We recently demonstrated construction of an “electronic nose” for continuous sensing of bacterial proliferation through volatile metabolites secreted by bacterial cells.
- Supercapacitors constitute an active research area in energy storage. Supercapacitor devices complement batteries as they exhibit significantly higher power density than batteries. The Jelinek laboratory has pioneered several supercapacitor designs based on inexpensive components, and also organic building blocks. in particular, recent studies demonstrated readily-synthesized high frequency supercapacitors from nickel-ruthenium alloys.
- Amyloid proteins. We have broad-based activity in this field, aiming to decipher the fibrillation pathways of varied amyloid proteins and the underlying mechanisms for their toxicity. In particular, we try to identify and develop molecular and nanoparticle agents capable of inhibiting fibril formation.