(10v) Far-from-Equilibrium Soft Matter: Engineering Networks and Chirality for Energy and Health

Authors: 
Latinwo, F., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Research Interests:

My research interest is in the field of soft materials driven far-from-equilibrium.

During my PhD work with Charles Schroeder at the University of Illinois, I developed and demonstrated a framework that allows for the determination of equilibrium properties of single polymers from the far-from-equilibrium behavior of polymers under flow. Using a combination of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, Brownian dynamics simulations, and single molecule experiments with DNA, my PhD work demonstrated for the first-time the recovery of purely linear and non-linear elastic properties of polymeric materials from hydrodynamic behavior in strong flows.

Network-forming fluids display striking collective behavior evidenced by the anomalous thermodynamic and structural properties of water and silicon. My postdoctoral work with Pablo Debenedetti at Princeton University has focused on a new class of network forming materials. These materials, inspired by the specificity of atomic substances and the flexibility of polymeric systems, display unusual but tunable collective behavior at equilibrium. The rheology of these materials remains unexplored.

Chirality plays a major role in processing, pharmacology, photonics, and the emergence of life. However, a fundamental understanding of the role of chirality in the equilibrium and far-from-equilibrium behavior of materials remains limited. In collaboration with Frank Stillinger and Pablo Debenedetti, I have developed a molecular model for the analyses of chirality phenomena with the tools of statistical mechanics with a focus on the equilibrium behavior.

Going forward as an Assistant Professor, my research program aims to guide the engineering of chiral and network-forming fluids driven far-from-equilibrium by energy and matter fluxes. My program will focus on applications relevant to energy and health.

Teaching Interests:

My teaching interests include, but are not limited to, undergraduate and graduate level thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, polymer science and engineering, applied mathematics, optimization and control theory.

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