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NSF Award to Study Chirally Separated Carbon nanotubes

September 18, 2009

Dr. Navid Saleh, an assistant professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been awarded an NSF grant to study the environmental behavior of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Saleh, a recent hire at USC and newest member of the nano-environmental focus group brings expertise in fundamental understanding of aggregation and deposition behavior of nanomaterials. This award will investigate the effect of structural properties of SWNTs on their fate and biological behavior in the natural aquatic environment. The study design involves systematic evaluation of aggregation, deposition, organic compound sorption, and uptake and toxicity in fish for semiconductive SWNTs for a range of electronic structures. Saleh will work with Dr. Lee Ferguson, a chemist with expertise in SWNT analysis at Duke University and Dr. Tara Sabo-Attwood who will assess the biological effects of SWNTs on fish. Results of this work will fill a critical gap in understanding effects of structural properties on SWNT fate, transport and biological behavior and will make significant progress in establishing structure-property relationships for carbon-based nanomaterials.