We are a diverse group of researchers pursuing the advancement of nano- to micro-scale materials and structures for a variety of applications. A critical component of harnessing the potential of these materials is our ability to controllably and reliably tune their surface and interfacial chemistries. We are pursuing a number of studies to advance our understanding and control of chemical modifications to the surfaces of a diverse array of materials. We are also developing new methods to improve the chemistries available for these surface modifications, and studying the properties of these modified materials.
Our research seeks to develop a number of important technologies. We aim to advance our knowledge of the surface and interfacial chemistries of nano- and micro-scale materials and structures with applications that include electrocatalysis, batteries, electrochemical sensing, controlled delivery and release of therapeutics, bioinspired adhesives, and bioinspired coatings. These pursuits include building experimental models to expand our understanding and guide the refinement of the composition, spatial distribution, and surface chemistry of these nanomaterials. We also seek to improve the chemical selectivity, activity and stability of these materials. Through this understanding we seek to facilitate the development of cost effective and durable catalysts for hydrogen, alcohol, and alkaline fuel cells, new techniques and materials for lithium ion batteries, functional materials and coatings with an improved durability, new therapeutics for the management of cancer, methods and materials to safely manage nanoscale materials in our environment and workplace, as well as sensors with an increased sensitivity and selectivity for use in portable diagnostics. As one example of our work, learn more here about our capabilities for probing the properties of advanced materials for enhancing performance of lithium ion batteries.
We are also harnessing techniques that facilitate new reactions and enable chemical transformations at the surfaces of materials, including tuning of the surface chemistry of engineered nanomaterials. For example, see this video prepared by the International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM) in which Dr. Gates that highlights some of this work. We are applying this knowledge to modify the chemistry of these materials, improving their long-term chemical and physical stability, and triggering the release of a molecular payload with potentially therapeutic applications.
Students in the Gates Research Group acquire a variety of hands-on experience in the synthesis and characterization of nano- to micro-scale materials and structures. We provide an interdisciplinary team environment with opportunities to work with collaborators from around the world. The projects seek to establish skills and training in the areas traditionally charactegorized as being analytical science, physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, materials science, and surface chemistry. We typically use a series of electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, surface spectroscopy, and diffraction techniques to characterize the composition and form of the nanostructures. Students may also develop skills in micro- and nanofabrication to pattern materials, to prepare microfluidic and electronic devices, to direct the self-assembly of nanostructures, and to measure the physical properties of these nanostructures.
You can also view this YouTube video prepared by Vebleo in which Dr. Gates highlights some of the opportunities and achievements (including some of our own work) in utilizing self-assembly techniques to create customized materials with desired and tuned properties in photonics, sensing, electrocatalysis, gas evolution, and beyond.
We are also committed to creating a welcoming environment that is equitable and inclusive. We value the contributions of each member of our team.
Students interested in pursuing studies with us are encouraged to apply directly to Dr. Gates [bgates(at)sfu(dot)ca], outlining your research interests and career goals.
Graduate students seeking either an M.Sc. or Ph.D. in Chemistry should apply directly to Dr. Gates. Include your cover letter, transcripts, updated Cirriculum Vitae, an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) statement on your thoughts and experience for working in a diverse group of co-workers, examples of your own writing, and names and contact information for two references. Information on the application process can be found here, and information on scholarships can be found here.
Undergradate students seeking research experience should also apply directly to Dr. Gates. Include your cover letter, transcripts, an updated Cirriculum Vitae, and an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) statement on your thoughts and experience for working in a diverse group of co-workers. Opportunities include directed research studies (CHEM 481, 482, 483, and 484), co-op positions, and matching support for students holding undergraduate scholarships (e.g., NSERC or the equivalent). Information on scholarships can be found here.
Postdoctoral Fellows holding their own financial support (e.g., NSERC, Mitacs) can also apply directly to Dr. Gates. Include your cover letter, updated Cirriculum Vitae, an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) statement on your thoughts and experience for working in a diverse group of co-workers, examples of your own writing, and names and contact information for two references. Further information for potential PDFs can be found here, and information on funding opportunities can be found here.