Department(s): Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Research Interests: Small Scale Fluid Dynamics; Interfacial Phenomena; Soft Condensed Matter; Nanoscale Science and Technology with Applications in Biomedicine, Energy Systems, and the Environment.
Soft materials are systems whose physical and mechanical properties are comparable to thermal energy at room temperature and thus easily deformed by thermal forces. Examples include polymers, colloids, and foams, or droplets in the form of suspensions, emulsions, liquid crystals, and gels, and their biological counterparts (e.g. lipid membranes, cell suspensions). The behavior of these materials at macroscopic level is strongly influenced by their microstructure and interfacial properties. When these materials flow, they are complex fluids, for which they show non-Newtonian behavior and thus understanding their stability and rheology becomes important.
Our research aims to engineer multi-material, multi-scale structures with a high degree of precision and efficiency by tuning the microstructure and interfacial properties of soft materials. We are specifically interested in systems such as foams, liquid crystals, emulsions, colloidal suspensions, and lipid membranes with engineering applications ranging from biomedicine to hybrid (sort/hard) composite materials for energy harvesting.
Some of the tools we use for our research include microfluidic devices, rheometers, high-speed cameras, scanning electron microscopes (SEM), atomic force microscopes (AFM), and micro- and nano-scale fabrication techniques.