Research Fields

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  • Organic Chemistry


    Dr. Roey Amir

    • Design, synthesis and characterization of smart polymers

    • Design, synthesis and characterization of dendrimers and polymeric hybrids

    • Stimuli responsive self-assembly and disassembly

    • Utilization of smart polymers as selective drug delivery systems


    Prof. Shmuel Carmeli

    Shmuel Carmeli studies the chemistry and biological activity of natural products isolated from marine organisms and microorganisms for almost four decades. The goals of the research are to isolated natural products for the development of antibacterial and anticancer drugs, study of the ecological fanction of these compounds and for the study of their biosynthesis.


    Prof. Yoram Cohen

    • Supramolecular Systems in Solution; Applications of Diffusion NMR to Supramolecular Systems (Complexation, Structure Elucidation and Hydration)

    • Hydrogen-Bond Molecular Capsules in Solution; Solution Host-Guest Chemistry

    • Synthesis and Applications of Target Specific MRI Contrast Agents

    • Applications of Diffusion MRI and MRS for Studying Brain Structure and Mechanisms of Brain Injury (Stroke, Trauma and other Neurological Disorders)

    • q-Space diffusion MRI (QSI) of the  Central nervous System (CNS)

    • Double Pulsed-Field Gradient (d-PFG) NMR and MRI: From Model Systems to Imaging of the CNS: Gleaning Microstructural Information on Opaque and Neuronal Systems by d-PFG MRS and MRI

    • Cellular and Molecular MR imaging in the CNS


    Dr. Roman Dobrovetsky

    Development of new main group based catalysts for the activation of small molecules. Activation of small molecules has always attracted much attention in the scientific world, due to ubiquitous reservoirs of chemical energy stored in molecules such as H2, N2, O2, H2O, CH4, etc., and carbon feed stock when talking about CO2, CO etc.


    Although many methods have been developed to activate small molecules involving the late transition metals or noble metals, the need for high catalyst loading in some of these processes and recovery of those precious metals results in a high economic cost. The presence of heavy transition-metal impurities in the final products also presents a major problem regarding purification, further increasing the costs involved. Therefore, developing an efficient either early transition metal based or ultimately transition-metal-free process will significantly alter the synthetic strategies toward the activation of small molecules and their delivery to the desired substrates.


    Prof. Micha Fridman

    The Fridman laboratory is engaged in the use of organic chemistry, especially carbohydrate chemistry, to solve key biological and medicinal problems. Our interdisciplinary studies involve the use of organic chemistry, microbiology, cell biology, molecular biology, and confocal microscopy to study and/or alter the mode of action of biologically active molecules with the focus on novel approaches for the development of antimicrobial and antitumor agents. Our current research covers four major topics: I) rational design of membrane targeting antibiotics, II) development of chemoenzymatic and chemical approaches to circumvent the action of certain resistance mechanisms to aminoglycoside antibiotics, II) structure-function studies and rational design of novel antitumor agents, and IV) exploration of bacterial biofilm matrix assembly and strategies for its formation inhibition.


    Prof. Michael Gozin

    My group’s research activity mainly focused on preparation and characterization of novel nitrogen-rich materials for fire-extinguishing and other applications, preparation of new materials for therapy and biomedical imaging and development of new chemosensors for forensic and other applications.

    • Design, synthesis and characterization of nitrogen-rich materials

    • Design, synthesis and evaluation of chemosensors for forensic and other applications

    • Design and synthesis of nano-materials for therapy and biomedical imaging


    Prof. Moshe Kol

    The research group of Moshe Kol is investigating the synthesis of chelalting ligands and their wrapping tendencies around main-group metals and transition metals to give well-defined complexes. These complexes are investigated mostly in catalysis of stereoselective transformations with emphasis on polymerization reactions. The current research directions include:

    • Development of catalysts based on group 4 transition metal complexes for stereoselective polymerization of propylene and other alpha-olefins

    • Development of various metallic catalysts for stereoselective ring-opening polymerization of lactones, to give environmentally-benign polymers such as poly(lactic acid)

    • Design of “chiral-at-metal” complexes for asymmetric catalysis

    • Investigation of polymeryl migration processes in stereoselective polymerization reactions

    • Investigation of self-organization processes of “chiral-at-metal” complexes


    Prof. Moshe Portnoy

    Our research encompasses various aspects of synthetic organic chemistry. Among other subjects these include:

    • Solid-phase organic synthesis

    • Polymer-supported and homogeneous organocatalysis

    • Study of chemo-, site- and enantio-selectivity of catalysts in solution and on solid support

    • Synthesis of functional dendritic molecules and their applications in chemistry and biomedicine


    Prof. Doron Shabat

    Self-immolative dendrimers are unique structural molecules that can release all of their tail units, through a domino-like chain fragmentation, which is initiated by a single cleavage at the dendrimer's core. Incorporation of drug molecules as the tail units and an enzyme substrate as the trigger, can generate a multi-prodrug unit that is activated with a single enzymatic cleavage. Dendritic prodrugs, activated through a single catalytic reaction by a specific enzyme, were shown to present significant advantages in the inhibition of tumor growth, especially if the targeted or secreted enzyme exists at relatively low levels in the malignant tissue. Self-immolative dendrimers were also applied as a general platform for biosensor molecules, which are used to detect/amplify enzymatic activity.


    Smart polymers are special kinds of polymeric molecules that respond to external stimuli. We have developed a novel smart polymer designed to sequentially disassemble into its building blocks upon initiation by a triggering event at the polymer head. The polymer structure is based on a polycarbamate backbone that disassembles through a domino-like, 1,6-elimination and decarboxylation reactions. To demonstrate the concept, we synthesized a self-immolative polymer that amplifies a single cleavage reaction into multiple-release of fluorogenic molecules and confirmed the head to tail disassembly concept. These polymers can be used to prepare highly sensitive molecular sensors with large signal-to-noise ratios. The sensors should be useful for the detection of a wide range of biological and chemical activities through use of the appropriate trigger at the polymer-head.


    Prof. Arkadi Vigalok

    • Organometallic chemistry: late transition metals, nucleophilic and electrophilic fluorination reactions

    • Supramolecular chemistry: metal complexes with new calixarene ligands, polymeric chemosensors

    • Green chemistry: organic synthesis in water and “on water”

  • Physical Chemistry


    Prof. Aviv Amirav

    Research Vision: My research is aimed towards the development of novel analytical instruments and their related methods to aid the analysis of broad range applications. Special emphasis is given to collaborations with the international analytical instrument industry in order to obtain wide spread use of my scientific developments and inventions and to achieve this way real impact on mankind.


    Recent Research Areas and Contributions in Analytical Instrument Development. Recent emphasis is given to on Mass Spectrometry with Supersonic Molecular Beams:

    1. GC-MS with Cold EI – The quest for ultimate performance GC-MS. 

    2. Supersonic LC-MS – Library searchable EI mass spectra for a broad range of LC compounds.  

    3. Isotope Abundance Analysis method and software for improved sample identification.

    4. Pulsed flow modulation for cryogen free GCxGC and GCxGC-MS. 

    5. Fast and Ultra Fast GC and GC-MS.    

    6. Open Probe Fast GC-MS - Real time Analysis with separation.

    7. Challenging GC-MS applications analysis with emphasis on Forensic, Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Hydrocarbon analysis. 

    8. Pulsed Flame Photometric Detector (PFPD) – The best FPD and much more.

    9. ChromatoProbe sample introduction device for MS probe and low cost simple to use thermal desorption analysis. 

    10. SnifProbe – Improved field sample collection. 

    11. Electrolyzer FID – Gas Cylinder Free FID.         


    Prof. Ori Cheshnovsky

    Methods for the observation and characterization of individual nano-objects.

    • Super resolution microscopy for the observation and chemical characterization of nano-objects and nanostructures. Special emphasis on label-free methods avoiding the labeling of the objects with fluorescent dyes. The methods are well tailored for nano-material research. We are making use of photo-induces thermal profiling to enhance resolution.

    • Development of methods to measure light absorption and light extinction in individual nano-objects and nanoparticles.

    • Characterization nanoparticles in the search for direct band gap photovoltaic materials. The major focus is on finding Ge/Si core multi-shells nanowires with enhanced photovoltaic yields in the infrared.


    Prof. Sergey Cheskis

    • Flame assisted nanoparticle synthesis

    • Laser spectroscopy for flame diagnostics

    • Conversion of natural and biogas to fuel for transportation


    Prof. Haim Diamant

    Haim Diamant studies theoretically the structure and dynamics of complex fluids and soft matter. These materials, such as suspensions, membranes, and biological fluids, are characterized by several length scales and time scales. The purpose of the research is to understand the physical principles underlying the structural organization of such materials and their response to various perturbations. Examples of recent and present research projects:

    • Motion of particles in suspension within strongly confined spaces

    • Motion of proteins embedded in a membrane

    • Spatial and temporal response of biopolymer networks

    • Patterns in fluid-supported thin elastic layers

    • Alignment of particle orientations in suspension


    Dr. Yuval Ebenstein

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    Our lab specializes in many areas of optical imaging and spectroscopy with emphasis on single molecule detection and development of imaging based techniques. Our research is focused on the application of novel imaging and optical detection approaches to genomic studies and biomarker detection. We are developing new spectroscopy and microscopy methodologies that combine advanced optics with tools and reagents from the realm of nano-technology. In addition, we have great interest in developing unique biochemistries for genomic analysis that are based on chemo-enzymatic reactions.


    Research in the lab currently focuses on three fields of interest:

    Single molecule genomics by optical mapping:

    We create optical barcodes containing genetic and epigenetic information by labeling long chromosomal DNA molecules with fluorescent markers. Nano-fluidic channels are used to stretch the DNA by flow or electric field and the barcode is directly visualized by single molecule imaging. We are aiming to apply SR imaging techniques in order to increase the resolution and allow detection of genomic aberrations.


    Epigenetic analysis technologies:

    Epigenetics is one of the most exciting and fast growing fields in biology. It links biological signatures with mental or environmental conditions previously not believed to be quantified by physical means. We develop new methods for sequencing, targeted and global analysis of various epigenetgic markers. We use these novel methods in order to study epigenetic alterations related to disease. We are also very interested in the physiological interface between nature and nurture, biology and psychology, body and spirit.


    High-throughput single molecule detection:

    ​We develop optical methods and nano-biosensors for detection of rare analytes and weakly interacting biomolecules. Our emphasis is on ultrasensitive detection and quantification of clinical biomarkers. To achieve this aim we are developing a micro-lens-array based optical setup that can detect single molecule fluorescence from hundreds of confocal excitation volumes in parallel.
    We are also active in development of single-molecule counting schemes and development of high resolution imaging techniques and specialized contrast agents that utilize fluorescence, plasmonics and energy transfer for super-resolution (SR) imaging. 


    Dr. Sharly Fleischer

    • Coherent control of molecular angular distributions in 3D - alignment and orientation of  molecules in the gas phase. 

    • Nonlinear optics in the terahertz and near-IR. 

    • Ultrafast molecular dynamics 

    • Coherent radiative decay of excited populations 

    • Non-intrusive, in-situ terahertz spectroscopy of battery cells (under INREP project).

    • Laser induced alignment of macromolecules in liquid and the  


    Dr. Amir Goldbourt

    Our group uses Magic-angle spinning (MAS) solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and develops methodologies, to unravel in atomic-resolution the structures of proteins, enzymes and other biological assemblies.


    We study viruses, cellulose binding proteins, enzymes associated with mental illness and filamentous structures.


    We develop techniques for the measurement of accurate inter-atomic distances. In particular we focus on metal ions possessing large quadrupolar moments, on metal ions possessing other large anisotropic interactions and on other 'difficult' atoms (e.g. nuclei with low gyromagnetic ratios, low natural abundance, small spectral dispersion etc.)


    We develop techniques for lithium NMR spectroscopy. Lithium, in the form of lithium carbonate, is a medication for bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Aside from NMR, hardly any spectroscopic techniques exist that can be used to characterize its binding site due to lithium's low atomic mass and low binding affinities.


    We develop methods to solve structures of known crystalline proteins In order to improve, promote and strengthen the technique of protein MAS NMR spectroscopy in view of the current known methods of crystallography and solution NMR. 


    Prof. Diana Golodnitsky

    My major research activities are focused on synthesis, characterization of materials and study of ion-transport phenomena in new nanostructured electrodes and solid electrolytes for energy-storage devices.  


    The microelectronics industry is continually reducing the size of its products in order to produce small devices such as medical implants, microsensors, self-powered integrated circuits or microelectromechanical systems. Such devices need rechargeable microbatteries with dimensions on the scale of 1–10mm3, high energy density and high power capability. 3D concentric on-Si-chip architecture developed by our group, enables the fabrication of a network of 10,000-30,000 microbattery units connected in parallel that minimizes the ion-path length between the electrodes and provides high capacity per footprint area. This is achieved by the insertion of four consecutive thin-film-battery layers in the high-aspect-ratio microchannels (40-50µm diameter, 500µm depth) of the perforated chip. We have recently developed an inexpensive and simple electrodeposition method for the preparation of nanosize molybdenum oxysulfide and copper sulfide cathodes. An electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method for the preparation of thin-film LiFePO4 cathodes has been developed for the first time. My current research exploits a new approach for the preparation of ordered solid electrolytes by electrophoretic deposition. I am also interested in the combined effect of EPD and a homogeneous/gradient magnetic field. Within the framework of this research, different solvents and surface-active agents are tested for achieving well dispersed nanoparticles in stable suspensions. Such systems are controlled by the complex interplay of concomitant phenomena, including micellization, association of the surfactant with the polymer and adsorption of the surfactant on the species.  Of particular interest is the effect of these cooperative interactions on the structure and ion-transport properties of polymer electrolytes confined in the pores of ceramics. 3D-tomography (to be carried out in collaboration with Imperial College, London) will provide the data sets for the calculation of the tortuosity factor at sub-100nm resolution. To produce core-shell and multiphase ceramic/alkali-metal salt nanoparticles, the method of EPD mechanochemistry is used.


    Very recent subjects under investigation include the development and study of redox processes in high-energy-density all-solid-state lithiated Si/S battery and adsorption phenomena in supercapacitors based on porous silicon nanowires.


    Prof. Oded Hod

    The research in Prof. Hod's group focuses on computational nano materials science. As part of his work he studies the electronic, magnetic, mechanical, and electro-mechanical properties of materials at the nanoscale. Using advanced computational platforms his group studies many physical phenomena including electron dynamics in open quantum systems, quantum interference and coherent phenomena in circular molecular junctions, friction at nanoscale interfaces between layered materials and chemisorption on various surfaces including graphene, nanodiamonds, and nanotubes of silicon and boron-nitride.


    Prof. Hod's research interests merge curiosity driven and applied science. The applicational potential of his research encompasses a wide range of technological areas including the world of molecular electronics and spintronics, nanotribology – a field that advances the development of solid lubricants based on layered nano-particles, ultra-sensitive chemical detectors, and nano-electro-mechanical devices for navigation and control purposes.


    The group uses a variety of computational methods of varying levels of complexity according to the problem at hand. The span of tools available to the group members includes advanced quantum computational models based on density functional theory, classical molecular dynamics simulations, and simplified phenomenological models that provide physical intuition on the studied systems. A combination of codes developed within the group along with commercial computational chemistry packages, operating on a highly parallelizable high-performance computer cluster, allows us to address a wide range of problems in the fields of chemistry, physics, and material's science at the nanoscale.


    Prof. Gil Markovich

    • Preparation of inorganic, colloidal nanocrystals and studies of their physical properties – noble metals, magnetic metals, various types of oxides, semiconductors

    • Sudies of magnetization dynamics and spin polarized transport in arrays of magnetic nanoparticles

    • Development of transparent electrodes based on metal nanowires, produced by a wet chemical method

    • Studies of nanoscale ferroelectricity

    • Studies of chiroptical effects in inorganic nanocrystals interacting with chiral molecules and enantiomeric and shape control in the growth of nanocrystals with chiral crystal structure


    Prof. Fernando Patolsky

    • Novel Nano materials synthesis (Nanowires) in advanced methods in solid/liquid/gas states and Chemo Physical characterization

    • Synthesis of “Intelligent” Nano materials with optical, electrical and magnetic controlled properties

    • Development and construction of electronic Nano devices for sensing of Chemical and Biological spices

    • Development of Nano Pillars for monitoring of In-cell parameters

    • Development of Nano devices for monitoring for Neuros activities and signals

    • Sensing of Biomarkers and Metabolites


    Dr. Yael Roichman

    We are interested in studying the underlying physical processes that govern the mechanics, self-organization, dynamics, and statistics of complex fluids out of thermal equilibrium. Our belief is that by studying in detail many such driven systems we will be able to observe emergent shared characteristics, paving the way for a theoretical description.


    We use holographic optical tweezers to manipulate and drive microscopic objects, a variety of optical microscopy techniques to image these objects, and image analysis to study their motion and morphology


    Dr. Tal Schwartz

    In nature, light and matter are constantly interacting – photons are absorbed or emitted, they induce chemical reactions and drive the transport of charges. When such interactions occur inside a wavelength-scale region confined by a photonic nanostructure they can dramatically change, giving rise to new and exciting effects. In our research we explore artificial structures with which we may achieve complex materials with new properties and control the interaction of light and matter. We focus on several aspects of this theme, which lie at meeting point of chemistry, quantum physics optics and material science:

    • Strong interaction of molecules with light - we investigate the optical properties of organic molecules (dyes) coupled to optical devices, aiming toward understanding quantum many-body processes in such hybrid systems and controlling these interactions. Gaining such control is important for photo-chemistry, light-harvesting and organic light-emitting devices.

    • Optical properties of metallic nanoparticle-clusters - A nanometer-size gold particle has a very distinct color, completely different than the color of bulk gold. The reason is that when we shape a metal over a nanometric scale it supports localized plasmon modes that depend on details such as geometry and size. In our research we explore the assembly of such nanoparticles into well-defined clusters in order to achieve composite materials with new optical properties.


    Prof. Yoram Selzer

    Electronic transport through molecular wires and junctions has been attracting much attention due to remarkable experimental and theoretical advances. The research is motivated by the possibility to further explore the quantum realm as well as by possible magnificent technological breakthroughs. Considering the time scale of molecular processes, molecular junctions can be envisioned to be fast electronic components, operating in the sub pico-second range, i.e., three orders of magnitude  faster than current technology. Albeit impressive advancement in understanding the steady state transport properties of these junctions, their time dependent transport characteristics remain unexplored. We develop experimental methods to probe the dynamic properties of junctions. The devised methods are essentially new tools to probe molecular dynamics at interfaces under non-equilibrium conditions. 


    Dr. Amit Sitt

    Programmable materials are materials whose properties, behavior, and functionality are directly dictated by the chemical information that is written and programmed in them. The prime example of such materials are proteins, in which the programming of the amino acid sequence (the primary structure) directly determines the three-dimensional structure (the tertiary structure).


    Our group studies chemically programmable materials that contain a sequence of commands (information) for performing a specific task or function coded in their chemical structure. In particular, we are interested in synthesis and fabrication of polymer fibers that can hold chemical and physical information, and study how can this information be used for folding these one-dimensional fibers into three-dimensional structures, and how can a specific design lead to selective binding and to self-assembly. Using tools from thermodynamic and from Information Theory, we explore the underlying principles that determine the behavior of programmable materials. We also study the use of such materials for fabrication of microelectromechanical systems (MEMs) and for medical applications including tissue engineering and smart drugs release mechanisms.


    In our lab, we employ a variety of fabrication techniques including lithography, electrohydrodynamic co-jetting, and deposition methods. In addition, we make use an array of microscopy and spectroscopy techniques for characterization and manipulation of these systems, and utilize a variety of computational and theoretical tools for modeling, analysis, and understanding the characteristics of such materials.


    Prof. Michael Urbakh

    • Nanotribology
      The focus is on a molecular level description of processes occurring between interacting surfaces in relative motion, which is needed to first understand, and later manipulate friction. Novel methods for controlling friction using mechanical and chemical approaches have been introduced. 

    • Single molecular force spectroscopy
      To both explore the results of force spectroscopy experiments and to reveal a molecular scale energy landscapes, we established relationships between equilibrium properties of the biomolecules and the characteristic features measured under non-equilibrium conditions. 

    • Molecular motors
      A new approach to build microscopic engines on the microscopic and mesoscopic scales has been introduced that allows an efficient transformation of the fed energy to directed motion. These engines move translationally or rotationally on surfaces and can perform useful functions such as pulling of a cargo.

    • Theoretical description of quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) response in liquids
      The main question, which was addressed, is what information on the properties of the solid-liquid interface and adsorbed molecules can be extracted from the QCM experiments.

    • Theory of interfaces of immiscible electrolytic solutions
      The main focus is on electrical properties, structure, kinetics and functionalization of ITIES with applications to electrical, optical and frictional properties and electrode kinetics.

    • Theory of electrowetting with two immiscible electrolytic solutions
      A comprehensive theory of electrowetting in which the polarization at all three interfaces (electrode-electrolytes and electrolyte-electrolyte interfaces) is taken into account has been developed. The theory resulted in a development of low-voltage electrotunable lenses.

    • Electrochemical electrovariable nanoplasmonics
      He introduced a new direction of research, electrically tunable optics based on interfaces between two immisible electrolyte solutions. In particular, we focused on (i) variable mirrors based on reversible adsorption of metal nanoparticles on droplets, and (2) optical filters based on quantum dots localized at ITIES. 


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