CURRENT RESEARCH INTERESTS

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Concentrating colloidal suspensions

We are interested in concentrated colloidal suspensions at high particle loading, which are of practical relevance in various industrial contexts. We study bulk and interfacial properties of concentrated suspensions, and try to understand fundamental parameters that control such properties.  Ultimately, we aim to develop unique dispersion processes that produce concentrated suspensions whose microstructures and rheological behaviors are finely controlled at an unprescedent level. Potential applications include advanced printing inks, adhesives, and precursors for functional composite materials. 

Tailoring colloidal surfaces

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We are interested in developing effective, economical and universal methods for modifying the surface properties of functional colloidal particles. In particular, we are dealing with "harsh" environments, in which maintaining the colloidal stability is typically considered very challenging, such as high salinity aqueous solutions (sea water, brine) and low- to intermediate-polarity organic solvents (hydrocarbons). The current focuses include polyelectrolyte coating of colloidal nanoparticles for various subsurface applications (enhanced oil recovery, in-situ environmental remediation, etc.) and hydrophobization of emerging 2D materials (MXenes).

Sensing fluid-fluid interfaces

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We are interested in "particulate" surfactants which prefer to adsorb at fluid-fluid interfaces. We are not only interested in employing  those who are inherently interfacially active, but also interested in making interfacially inert particles to be interfacially active through various stimuli.