Our research group is interested in investigating the processing-structure-property relationships for various soft materials both of biological and synthetic origin towards different applications ranging from biomedical to energy storage to water purification to structural composites. The emphasis is identifying and synthesizing suitable materials systems, developing novel synthesis/processing/fabrication strategies for these materials, characterizing these materials using a combination of established and new experimental tools, and studying the engineering aspects needed to facilitate the transition from scientific discovery to practical implementation. The systems of present interest are polysaccharide networks, self-assembled gels, shear-thickening fluids, pulmonary mucus, thin-film nanocomposites, biofilms.
Our research is cross-disciplinary in nature. The graduate and undergraduate students participating in our laboratory learn chemistry, physics, and engineering of various soft materials, advanced characterization techniques, and new instrumentation development.