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Research Areas

Microfluids, Colloids, Biosensors

Chemical Engineering Lab

Nanoscale Organisation of Materials Using Non-Uniform Electric Fields

The overarching goal of the present research is the development of products and methodologies of technological importance in the areas of advanced materials, related to applications in nanotechnology and biomaterials. Specific interests include spatial manipulation, as well as self- and directed-assembly of colloidal systems into multi-dimensional structures that combine functionality and long-range order. Expertise in colloid science, interfacial engineering, and electric field-mediated colloidal assembly is combined in experimental and theoretical studies toward the understanding, exploitation, and modulation of colloidal interactions that occur between nanoscopic materials (nanoparticles, macromolecules) in solution or at interfaces.

Current efforts are centered toward the development of methodologies and process design tools for the synthesis of advanced materials through non-uniform electric field-directed organization of nanometre-sized particles (d<100 nm) into well-defined one, and multi-dimensional structures, with prescribed length scales and composition. Ongoing research topics include: electrically tunable polymer nanocomposites, 3D nanoparticle organisation for photonic crystals, electric-field mediated synthesis of ordered biological tissue (e.g., cartilage), and manufacturing of rapid and highly-sensitive sensors for the detection of infectious agents (e.g., viruses).

Electrochemical Micro Systems

The motivation of our research is driven by the development of novel and innovative micro systems for the conversion and storage of energy.

In general, micro systems benefit from scaling effects such as high surface-area-to-volume ratios and achieve large heat/mass transfer rates which allow reactions under more uniform temperature conditions to achieve the maximum yield. Large-scale production can be achieved with micro systems as well by operating multiple systems in parallel. This straightforward linear approach of "numbering up" (packaging) of single micro systems can simplify the process scale-up considerably.

Current research projects are concerned with the development of micro batteries and other electrochemical systems. We use a comprehensive approach and our multidisciplinary research is concerned with aspects of interface phenomena, micro fabrication, material engineering, electrochemical engineering as well as transport processes/microfluidics.