(4bo) Interfacial Engineering of Next Generation Colloidal Nanomaterials for Energy, Sustainability, and Health Applications | AIChE

(4bo) Interfacial Engineering of Next Generation Colloidal Nanomaterials for Energy, Sustainability, and Health Applications


Parviz, D. - Presenter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Understanding nanoscale interactions is vital to develop technologies for sustainability, health, and energy. For example, activity and selectivity in photo/electrochemical conversion of greenhouse gases, monitoring cell-substrate interactions, and the heat transfer from filler to polymer matrix for thermal insulation are all governed by interactions of nanomaterials with biological and environmental media. These interactions are particularly complex in the colloidal state in which many catalytic and biological reactions occur. Furthermore, the polydispersity of nanomaterials in size, crystalline structure, and surface chemistry causes different transformations in various media; quantitative analysis of these transformations to engineer these nanosystems for desired applications is not trivial.

Research Interests:

The primary goal of my future lab is to advance the fundamental understanding of nanomaterials interactions in various media and develop techniques to engineer the nano-interfaces for applications in carbon capture, conversion, and utilization (CCCU), films and coatings for thermal insulation, and biosensing. As a Chemical Engineering faculty, I will apply a wide range of size analysis and surface area measurement techniques —developed during my postdoctoral studies — along with microscopic and spectroscopic methods to study nanomaterials' interfacial energy and interactions as polydispersed colloidal systems. I will draw on the skills I learned during my Ph.D. to synthesize, functionalize, and surface-engineer a library of tailored nanomaterials at scale with various activity, selectivity, and sensitivity in catalytic and biological interactions. Using high-throughput screening setups, I will evaluate the collective behavior of these colloidal particles interacting with different biological components or undergoing photo/electrochemical reactions. Pairing my experimental skills with novel data analysis and particle-based computational methods will allow me to develop a predictive tool based on the fundamental behavior of these materials at interfaces.

Teaching Interests:

As a new faculty, I will use my experiences as a graduate teaching fellow and teaching assistant to guide the undergraduate students in gaining a fundamental understanding of the critical concepts of chemical engineering. I expect all my students to apply these concepts to various physical systems based on problem categorization. I will teach my students to tackle the smaller components of problems by defining the system in proper mathematical models and using essential techniques to achieve a solution. This problem-solving algorithm enables the students to approach any engineering problem in real-life and industrial applications. Regarding graduate education, my goal is to empower students to become independent academic researchers. Therefore, I will focus my efforts on imparting scientific knowledge and teaching the methodology of scientific research and independent thinking. My ultimate goal is to produce researchers who think in a multidisciplinary fashion and generate creative solutions for challenging and complicated situations. While my teaching experience allows me to feel comfortable teaching any of the core courses in the chemical engineering undergraduate curriculum, my specific teaching interests include transport, numerical methods in chemical engineering, and reaction engineering. My teaching interests for elective and graduate-level courses closely match my research interests, and I would like to teach or develop courses in the areas of Advanced Functional Materials, and Colloids, and Interfacial Phenomena. In particular, the latter course will cover an overview of the fundamental topics in colloids, including the colloidal interaction at atomic and molecular levels, interfacial forces, and self-assembly of the colloidal particles.