Chunchun Li - PGR Profile
In this profile, we'll learn more about the research work that Chunchun is doing as part of her PhD!
Chunchun studied for her undergraduate degree in East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST, Shanghai, China), where she majored in Applied Chemistry (Fine Chemical Engineering). Chunchun started her study at ECUST in September 2013, and after three years of study at ECUST, she came to QUB in September 2016 through an exchange program between ECUST and QUB and did her final undergraduate year at QUB. This was also when she entered Prof. Bell's research group, as a level 3 project student. After this one-year exchange at QUB, Chunchun graduated from ECUST as a bachelor student in Engineering, and received a certificate of study from QUB. She then continued to study at QUB in the following year (Sept 2017), initially as an MPhil, but later decided to switch to a PhD.
The main theme of Chunchun's PhD project is ‘studying the adsorption of molecules on noble-metal nanomaterials’. Almost every type of nanotechnology begins with surface-adsorption. In fact, in most cases, the process of adsorption often happens way before the noble-metal nanomaterials even reach their destined applications, for example surface-adsorption plays a key role in nanoparticle synthesis and stabilization. Therefore, manipulating the adsorption process is obviously very important for nanomaterials. To manipulate the process, first we need to understand it. Based on spectroscopic, microscopic and simulation techniques, I have been studying both the mechanism behind the adsorption behavior of various types of molecules and the competitive adsorption of multiple molecules on gold and silver nanoparticles. New discoveries obtained from Chunchun's research have allowed her to build sensors with enormously enhanced performance for therapeutic monitoring of anticancer drugs. In the future, Chunchun intends to continue to focus on studying competitive adsorption since this is much more common in many real-life applications.