Open PhD position in Soft Matter Nanomaterial Engineering
Nanostructured materials find important applications in catalysis, separations and sustainable energy production. We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate who enjoys
working on a challenging project in a friendly and collaborative environment.
The research project investigates nanostructured bijels for sustainable synthesis of mass produced chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, biofuels and detergents.
Traditionally, chemical synthesis of these compounds employs organic solvents, resulting in high energy costs for product separation and environmental problems due to the generation
of hazardous waste. Nanostructured bijels are innovative materials with strong potentials for environmentally friendly chemical processes.
This object is called a vesicle or liposome. It has a thin shell made of phospholipids and is loaded with tiny particles.
We call these pregnant droplets: They are made of oil/water shells and release a baby oil droplet.
Tomography of a bicontinuous oil/water structure: Blue regions are water, green regions oil. We call this a bijel.
These are tiny droplets that can move around on their own. Their propulsion is caused by a phase separation inside the droplets.
Microscopic polymer containers with a biocompatible shell. They can be used as tiny drug delivery capsules.
A schematic of phase separation in emulsion droplets leading to the formation of concentric oil/water layers.
Droplets pinch off from a nozzle. Both undergo a phase separation of oil and water, but the second one also contains surface active nanoparticles.
A droplet undergoing phase separation to produce five concentric oil/water layers.
Tomography of a messy packing of oil droplets. The droplets have been produced by microfluidics and have all the same size.
We call them sweet-potatoes: They are microscopic particles made of an oil/water scaffold.
A tomographic scan through a curved fiber made of a oil/water scaffold.
These are liquid fibers and you can see how a green dye travels throughout their structure with time.
Here you see a large oil droplet with many tiny oil droplets sitting on its surface.
Again a large droplet with small droplets on the surface. The small droplets can attach and detach from the large droplet on command.
This long lasso is actually made of a liquid stabilized by nanoparticles and undulates in a channel due to hydrodynamic forces.
These are oil droplets stabilized by nanoparticles. They have been fabricated in a way that makes them elongated in one direction.
An ultrathin scaffold of phospholipids holds this strangely shaped oil/water structure together.
While this droplet shrinks due to evaporation phospholipids self-assemble to stabilize this applecore-shaped droplet.
A 3-dimensional reconstruction of a thin film composed of interconnected oil/water channels.
Electron microscopy of the surface of a bicontinuous polymer structure stabilized by nanoparticles.
Tomography of an ordered packing of oil droplets. The grain boundary of different types of crystalline droplet packings is shown.
3-dimensional reconstruction of polymer coating on a metal. Tiny capsules filled with corrosion inhibitors are embedded in the coating.
Cryo-electron microscopy of an oil droplet covered by a thin crust of nanoparticles.
Ultrasmall oil droplets with nanoparticles on their surface.
The experimental research project focuses on designing bijels with tailored structural, mechanical and transport properties by chemical, photolithographic and
microfluidic techniques. Quantitative laboratory techniques such as 3D confocal microscopy, high speed video imaging, spectroscopy, surface charge measurements and nanoparticle
size analysis will be employed.
The candidate should have a background in chemical engineering, chemistry, physics or material science. Systematic, creative and independent working skills are required. Moreover,
a problem-solving mindset and an excitement for fundamental questions are important.
Applications can be send directly to Prof. Martin Haase, haasem[at]rowan.edu