Ahmed Al-Mamoori started his PhD project in the Paunov Research Group at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Hull in October 2015.
PhD supervisors: Prof. Vesselin N. Paunov (PI) and Dr Tommy Horozov (Co-PI)
Research project 1:
Surface Modified Inorganic Nanoparticles with Antimicrobial Action
This project will involve synthesis and surface modification of semiconductor nanoparticles such as zinc oxide (ZnO) and copper oxide (CuO) [1-2]. These semiconductor nanoparticles then will be characterized using different spectroscopic and analytical methods such as XRD, XPS, BET, FTIR, SEM, CHN Micro-elemental analysis and Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy. We will study how the surface modification of the ZnO and CuO nanoparticles with polyelectrolytes and hydrophilic polymers affects their surface charge and the antibacterial activity. These materials will be further surface modified to control the surface charge at the pH of various formulations. In addition to that, the point zero charge of these nanomaterials will be determined. Our major aim in this project will be to develop active nanomaterials with strong antibacterial action. The antibacterial activity of these nanomaterials will be tested on several bacterial species such as E. coil and P. aeruginosa. This study will also involve testing their antibacterial activity at different environmental conditions such as change of salinity, pH of the media and effect of the temperature. We will also investigate the antibacterial action of these photoactive nanomaterials upon irradiation with UV and visible light to stimulate solar radiation. The successful development of photoactive nanoparticle formulations with antibacterial action will allow us to develop nanocoatings with sustained antiseptic properties .
Fig. 1. SEM images of ZnO nano crystalites of different shapes. (A, B and D) show the morphology of ZnO NPs produced at pH 10, and 11.8 respectively. (E) is a high-resolution SEM image of the ZnO nanorods seen in (D. C and F) show how ZnO nanocrystalites have obelisk-shaped structures that assemble differently with different substrates and pH. Images (A, B, D and E) are used from  and images (C) and (F) from .
1. Jang, J.-M. Kim, S.-D. Choi, H.-M. Kim, J.-Y.and Jung, W.-G. Mater. Chem. Phys., 2009, 113, 389–394.
2. Wang, Z. Qian, X., Yi, J. and Zhu, Z., J. Solid State Chem., 2004, 177, 2144–2149.
3. Al-Awady, M.J., Greenway, G.M., Paunov, V.N., Nanotoxicity of polyelectrolyte-functionalized titania nanoparticles towards microalgae and yeast: role of the particle concentration, size and surface charge, RSC Advances, 5 (2015), 37044-37059.