A highly integrated experimental and multiscale modeling/simulation approach is utilized to engineer a broad range of materials with a desired micro- or nano-structure. Specific areas of interest include dynamics of complex fluids, such as polymeric and biological fluids, fiber suspensions, colloidal systems as well as synthesis of functional nanoparticles and thin films. An exclusive relationship with ORNL has been established, which allows use of massively parallel supercomputers, access to the Spallation Neutron Source and a wide array of other state-of-the-art materials characterization facilities to accomplish research objectives.
Current Faculty Research
Extended Metallic Catalyst Surfaces Via Templated Vapor Deposition
Dr. Tom Zawodzinski with Dr. Alex Papandrew
Extended metal nanostructures are active, durable alternatives to conventional carbon-supported electrocatalyst architectures for oxygen reduction in energy conversion devices. Hollow tubular nanostructures are of particular interest, due to the prospect of accessing the inner metallic surface, which is not possible in a nanowire or a supported composite nanostructure.
Modified metalorganic chemical vapor deposition methods were used to synthesize the platinum nanotubes depicted in sacrificial aluminum oxide templates. The resulting catalysts are five times more active than carbon-supported Pt for oxygen reduction, potentially enabling next-generation vehicular technologies based on sustainable fuels.
Professor, Associate Head
Granger and Beaman Distinguished University Professor, Department Head
Professor, Gibson Endowed Chair in Engineering
Governor’s Chair Professor