Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering

In our group, we are aiming to perform innovative researches on green nanotechnology with respect to design, synthesis and engineering of advanced functional materials for energy, environment and life science.
Aalto-yliopisto, liput / kuvaaja: Aino Huovio

Utilizing wet chemistry e.g. the Leidenfrost technique, electrospinning, physical vapor deposition, biogenic approaches and a combination thereof, we devise advanced nanomaterials as neat and composite. Such multifunctional materials are exploited for energy saving, advanced coating, plasmonic and photonic metasurfaces, water purification e.g. via solar irradiation as well as sensing and nanomedicine. Our works are interdisciplinary and thus multi-institutional and on an international scale.


About Prof. Mady Elbahri


Mady Elbahri obtained his B.Sc. in chemistry from the Cairo University, Egypt, and his M.Sc. in polymer chemistry from the Technical University of Clausthal, Germany. He then moved to the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Kiel, Germany, where he received his PhD “with highest honors” in the field of Nanotechnology. In 2017, Prof. Elbahri successfully obtained his Habilitation degree from the University of Kiel, Germany.


06/2016-   Professor (Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering), Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, School of Chemical Engineering, Aalto University, Finland

07/2016-  Docent and Project Leader, CAU Kiel, Germany [The Collaborative Research Center 677 (SFB 677) "Function by Switching"]

04/2016-   Visiting and Volunteer Adjunct Professor, Zewail City of Science and Technology, Egypt

07/2009-05/2016, Junior Professor and Group Leader (Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering) joint appointment at a) Institute of Polymer Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG), Germany, and b) Institute for Materials Science, Faculty of Engineering, CAU Kiel, Germany



  • Reviewer Certificate of Recognition of ACS Publications, USA (2016)
  • Honor certificate of the Egyptian Cultural and Educational Mission at the Egyptian embassy in Berlin (2014)
  • Distinction prize of the Ministry of Higher Education in Egypt by the Egyptian embassy in Berlin (2014)
  • Kajal Mallick Memorial Award, Institution of Civil Engineering, UK (2014)
  • Nanotechnology award in Idea competition, WTSH, Germany (2012)
  • Nomination for Eni Award (2012)
  • Nano Science Award of the BMBF (2007), AGeNT-D
  • Best Ph.D. thesis award (2007-08) at the Faculty of Engineering, CAU, Germany


Research Achievements:

a) 60 Publications, b) 13 Patents, c) 3 Invited Reviews, d) Several press releases and interviews in German and English (Nature Nanotechnology, Nature photonics, American Chemical Society (ACS), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Guardian, Welt, Spiegel, Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA),  Kieler Nachrichten).

Brief about the research topics

The hydrodynamic chemistry at the Leidenfrost condition is utilized as a novel and unique nanochemistry discipline. In this area of research, we focus on production of nanoparticles of different materials (metals, metal-oxides and bio-minerals) in different sizes and morphologies. For this sake, we have established a novel green nano-synthesis approach, which is fast, cost-effective and simple, to produce large quantities of quasi-monodisperse particles in a controlled manner. Our aim has been environmentally friendly fabrication of nanoparticles for potential applications of catalysis, photonics, sensing and biomedicine.

New directions:

The self-organized mesostructures have great potential for energy storage and conversion applications. In this regard, electrocatalysts with tailored morphology, size and composition can open up a new pathway to enhanced, selective electrochemical conversion with respect to CO2 reduction, water splitting, O2 reduction etc.


The ability to control the fine structure of materials on the nanoscale provides an unprecedented opportunity to develop new and improved biologically active materials.  At this level, human cells as well as microorganisms can interact with materials on their own terms, i.e. they can manipulate themselves mechanically around nanostructures or interact with them chemically through individual biomolecules. 

We explore these phenomena progressing at the bio-nano interface to develop new technologies and devices for recognition (biosensing), prevention (antimicrobial agents) and therapy. Our research has several main facets;  1) studying the effects of nanoparticles’ size and morphology on the cellular uptake for direct therapeutic effects as well as for drug delivery, and 2) using nanoengineered materials for rebuilding or augmenting human tissues, through tunable cellular growth on surfaces and for killing harmful microorganisms.

Functional Bionanocomposites

Nature has a wide variety of fascinating and unique structures and functions that are worth learning from and applying their principles in an artificial manner. Bioinspired synthesis of nanomaterials is an attractive field for nanochemists. Recently, there has been an increased interest in the synthesis of nanocolloids and bionancomposite systems in a biomineralization-like fashion. However, making such hybrids in a controlled manner and on a large scale has yet to be explored thoroughly.  Mimicking the biofunctions is our ultimate goal. We are interested in understanding of some of the basic principles of biological architectures to mimic their structure and function. This comprehension is vital in the design of hierarchical, multifunctional bio‑nanocomposites with tailored smart responses.

Plasmonic and Photonic devices based on ultrathin metasurfaces

Solar energy is more favorable than any other source of energy because it is clean and  inexhaustible. In the field of plasmonics and photonics, much attention has been paid to the novel approaches of concentration and manipulation of light to improve the absorption and/or transmission of optical devices. Such devices are urgently needed for a wide variety of energy applications ranging from transparent electrodes and energy saving windows to solar energy absorbers, thermoelectrics and photovoltaics.

New directions:

Plasmonic metamaterials based on hybrid metal/metal oxide are artificial structures with exotic electrocatalytic properties coming from their plasmon resonances and energy transfer ability. Recently, these topics have attracted the attention because of their great potential for energy. In our research group, we are dealing with the mentioned concept for both thermal energy harvesting and developing photo-assisted electrocatalysts for energy conversion and environmental applications such as water splitting and CO2 electroreduction.

Functional Electrospun Nanofibers for advanced applications

The electrospining technique is a well-known process for making continuous sub-micron to nano-size fibers in a nonwoven mat form. Such thin fibers provide unexpectedly high surface area to volume ratios and are of interest for many applications ranging from textile to composite reinforcement, biomaterials, membranes, and sensors.

Membrane applications:

Thanks to a high interconnected porosity (>90 %) and tunable pore size, electrospun nanofibrous mats show an extraordinary permeability and selectivity thereby a very high potential for filtration applications as a membrane.

In our group, we aim to develop functional electrospun nanofibrous membranes for a diverse range of applications including water treatment and gas filtration.

New directions:

Mesofibers with unique 3D morphology and high surface area to volume ratio are unique structural elements for energy and sensing applications. Such characteristics enhance the catalytic properties and offer a higher sensing efficiency.

In our group, we are working on developing and designing mesofibers for CO2 capture and conversion into more economical products such as alcohols. Furthermore, we are aiming to utilize these high surface area mesofibers as a support material for different types of catalysts in various applications such as energy conversion and sensing applications

Latest publications

Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Post-synthetic modification of MIL-125 with bis-quinoline Mannich bases for removal of heavy metals from wastewater

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering

Ups and downs of water photodecolorization by nanocomposite polymer nanofibers

Publishing year: 2019 Nanomaterials
Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Switchable Plasmonic Nanocomposites

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering

A Ni-loaded, metal-organic framework-graphene composite as a precursor for in situ electrochemical deposition of a highly active and durable water oxidation nanocatalyst

Publishing year: 2019 Chemical Communications
Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

An amphiphilic, graphitic buckypaper capturing enzyme biomolecules from water

Publishing year: 2018 Water (Switzerland)
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering

Innovative Education and Active Teaching with the Leidenfrost Nanochemistry

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering

A Flexible Oxygenated Carbographite Nanofilamentous Buckypaper as an Amphiphilic Membrane

Publishing year: 2018 Advanced Materials Interfaces
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering

Design, synthesis, anti-inflammatory activity and molecular docking of potential novel antipyrine and pyrazolone analogs as cyclooxygenase enzyme (COX) inhibitors

Publishing year: 2018 Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering

Design, synthesis, anti-inflammatory antitumor activities, molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulations of potential naprosyn® analogs as COX-1 and/or COX-2 inhibitors

Publishing year: 2018 Bioorganic Chemistry
Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Inorganic Materials Chemistry, Advanced and functional Materials

Transflective Mesoscopic Nanoparticles Synthesized in the Leidenfrost Droplet as Black Absorbers

Publishing year: 2018 Advanced Materials Interfaces
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
  • Published:
  • Updated:
URL copied!