Departmental research in complex fluids and nanostructured materials has particular strengths in the areas of synthesis and fabrication of nanostructured materials for efficient industrial catalysis and electrocatalysis; granular flow; multiphase flow of suspensions; emulsions and bubbly flows; design and synthesis of polymer and investigation of their structure-property relationships; materials and devices for fuel cells, solar or biomass conversion and energy storage; mixing processes; nucleation and self-assembly; carbon and graphene based materials and their nanocomposites; development of nanostructured materials for drug delivery; and nanoporous materials and studies of transport and adsorption in porous media.

Specific projects in this area include:

  1. The design, synthesis, and self-assembly of novel inorganic nanomaterials and organic-inorganic hybrid nanostructured and nanoporous materials and nanobiomaterials
  2. The investigation of interactions of fluids with nanostructured materials over a wide range of scales utilizing modern methods of statistical mechanics and interfacial thermo- and hydrodynamics.
  3. Development of novel materials and nanostructured systems for: efficient and selective catalysis of industrially relevant reactions; low value to value-added chemical transformation; biomass conversions; and photocatalysis and electrocatalysis.
  4. The development of materials for fuel cells and for solar and biomass conversions to renewable energy
  5. The study of multiphase flow in complex geometries, imaging, and colloid science. 
  6. The investigation of flows experimentally through imaging, specifically, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI) and video microscopy in microfluidic systems, and development of novel particle tools that enable next-generation measurements and technologies.
  7. The design and synthesis of polymers and investigation of their properties and applications in various areas, including in charge storage and drug delivery.
  8. The synthesis of advanced carbon-based materials (e.g., heteroatom-doped graphene and their nanocomposites) and experimental and theoretical studies of their properties and applications in charge transfer, biological interactions, electrocatalysis, fuel cells, etc.

Faculty in Materials

Asefa, Celik, Chiew, Dutt, Hara, Neimark, Scheinbeim, Shapley, Tomassone

Multi-scale simulations and computational molecular design of nanomaterials with a number of applications – energy, drug delivery, catalysis (Alex Neimark) Molecular simulations to understand the fundamental phenomena controlling properties of composite materials. Applications in surfactant morphology, nanoparticles synthesis, and crystallization. (Silvina Tomassonne) Design of novel soft materials using mesoscopic simulation, modeling and analysis tools (Meenakshi Dutt)
Develop novel multifunctional nanomaterials and devices that are highly efficient as catalyst, in solar cells, as drug delivery vehicles for anticancer drugs, and in sensors. (Tewodoros(Teddy) Asefa) Advancing fundamental discoveries of multiphase fluid mechanics and colloid science toward environmental, food, pharmaceutical applications (Nina Shapley) Study of electroactive polymers, i.e., the ferroelectric, piezoelectric, pyroelectric, dielectric and electrostrictive properties of polymers (Jerry Scheinbeim)