M.S., Chemical Engineering, 2020
North Carolina State University
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 2018
The Johns Hopkins University
Research Focus: Versatile nanofabrication by shear-driven, non-solvent induced phase separation
My research investigates the theory behind shear-driven, nonsolvent-induced phase separation. This breakthrough nanofabrication method, more details can be found at our most recent Nature Materials paper, has proven capable of developing a spectrum of colloidal polymer particulates with controllable morphologies from spherical particles and fibers to dendritic microparticles and sheet-like particles. This research will add to our knowledge on the general trends correlating process parameters to precipitated polymer morphologies by exploring the quantitative relationships between the parameters.
Simultaneously, I will investigate the application of soft dendritic microparticles, or dendricolloids, as an environmentally-benign micro-cleaner for microplastic and oil removal from water. Their large excluded volume and structure-building and gel-forming capabilities suggest great potential for efficient microplastic and particulate capture. Initially, latex beads will be used as model microplastics before testing on environmental samples. The role of polymer surface charge and charge density in particulate adhesion will be examined, and the extent to which the hierarchical morphology significantly influences the capture efficiency will be analyzed.