Research

Colloidal Assembly and Active Matter

Directed assembly at micro- and nanoscale

The equilibrium morphology of the self-assembled states of nanosized building blocks is governed by their packing efficiency (entropy) and interparticle interaction (enthalpy), but the lack of means of controlling these parameters hinders the fabrication of structures with complex functionality. In our group we develop new methods to direct the assembly of faceted particles into clusters, networks, and lattices of unusual symmetry and functionality. Our aim is to establish new principles of guiding colloidal assembly to assist in the development of new viscoelastic materials, multiresponsive foams and emulsions, and active microstructures for nature inspired soft-robotics

Bio-nano Interactions

Biomolecular adsorption at interfaces

The operation efficiency and biocompatibility of the functional nanomaterials is strongly influenced by their interaction and binding with surrounding biomolecules. Our group focuses on understanding the origin of these bio-nano interactions, and conceiving new strategies to promote or impede the binding of biomolecules to nanoscale interfaces. A better understanding of these complex bio-nano interactions offer us unique opportunities to engineer surface of nanoparticles for maximum functionality and biocompatibility. These responsive functional nanomaterials find a wide range of applications in biomedical science such as targeted molecular delivery, in-vivo imaging, sensing, and gene therapy.

Ecofriendly Nanomaterials

Functional organic nanparticles

Biofouling is the formation of layer(s) of biological matter such as proteins, lipids and living microorganisms on wet surfaces. Our group is actively engaged in the development of ecofriendly substitutes of presently used harmful antifoulants. We aim to develop a new class of antifouling particles, primarily made of environmentally friendly materials such as lignin and cellulose. These engineered nanoparticles are functionalized to tackle the problem of antifouling in a wide range of applications, including medical implants, surgical instruments, food storage and marine vessels.