The Purdue faculty members below have agreed to be active members of CPIASR. Please note this is not a comprehensive list of all Purdue faculty members conducting nanotechnology research. Colombian faculty members and students are welcome to review the Purdue website to identify other potential collaborators. An excellent resource for such a listing is the Birck Nanotechnology Center.
Assistant Professor, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Associate Professor, School of Nuclear Engineering
Associate Professor, School of Materials Engineering (By Courtesy)
Principal Investigator, Radiation Surface Science and Engineering Laboratory (RSSEL)
Prof. Allain’s group conducts in-situ surface structure and composition evolution characterization of surfaces under low-energy irradiation at the nanoscale. His group is also developing ion-beam directed irradiation synthesis techniques for nanopatterning with applications in semiconductor, biomaterials, and nuclear fusion materials science. The RSSEL group also conducts research in lithium-based surfaces for plasma-material interface applications in fusion devices.
Advanced Biomaterials for Endovascular Cerebral Aneurysm Reconstruction: In this project we are using ion-beam nanopatterning to functionalize multi-functional coatings on stents used as scaffolds to enable reconstruction of the primary cerebral arterial wall (tunica media) near the anuerysmal neck defect. The coatings have properties enabling them to be both magnetic and aid tissue proliferation.
Nanopatterning of compound semiconductors: We study in-situ the behavior of ion-induced botttom-up nanopatterning of multi-component semiconductors. We correlate surface chemistry to self-organized patterning and their electronic/optical properties.
MAPP (Materials Analysis Particle Probe): This in-situ surface analysis facility is being developed at Purdue University and will be installed on the National Spherical Tokamak Experiment (NSTX). The diagnostic is designed to exposed samples to controlled NSTX shots and conduct in-vacuo surface anaysis including: XPS, LEISS, DRS, and TDS. We study ultra-thin films of lithium deposited on graphite and refractory metals.
Harnessing nanotechnology for fusion plasma-material interface research: Advanced radiation resistant materials are being developed to withstand the extreme environment of nuclear high-density fusion reactors. Our group works with a number of collaborators (e.g. ORNL, NEI Corp., MIT, UCSD, and others) to investigate fundmental processes that edge plasmas in fusion devices including: ion-induced erosion, reflection, hydrogen/helium retention and surface morphology/microstructure/surface chemistry correlations.
Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Scientific Director, Nanoelectronics at the Birck Nanotechnology Center
Professional webpage: http://www.purdue.edu/dp/Nanotechnology/membership/Appenzeller.php
Novel transistors for low-power applications e.g. tunneling FETs: One of the - if not THE - most pressing challenge/s is the ever increasing amount of total power consumed by state-of-the-art high performance chips. While scaling has been the key to improved device and corresponding circuit performance, not all transistor parameters have been scaled as originally suggested. In particular, supply voltages have remained at a rather high constant level of around 1V since a number of chip generations. This fact has serious implications. With the number of devices per chip steadily increasing the total dissipated power has increased to a point where cooling has become a serious issue to prevent chip failure. The task at hand is to reduce the supply voltage without sacrificing on-state performance and switching speed.
Nanowire devices -e.g. novel RF applications : Nanowire devices are explored in the context of low-dimensional transport in the quantum capacitance limit. One of the important findings is that in this case a high degree of device linearity may be expected that could be beneficial for future high performance RF applications.
Professor, School of Materials Engineering
Whisker growth in Sn finishes on electronic components : The microstructures that promote tin whiskers, a potential reliability issue in lead free electronics, are characterized for optimal performance.
Thermal Contact Resistance for polymeric layers on Si :The contact resistance of the interface between polymeric layers and the Si die in electronic components is measured locally using a modified AFM technique.
Grain Boundary Engineering : Design of specific microstructures to improve the performance of ceramic materials through the control of the grain boundary misorientation distribution.
Advanced Ceramics processing : Techniques for the control of the texture and microstructure through processing. Templating, rapid heating, strain annealing are used.
Lead-Free Piezoelectrics : The effect of texture and local misorientation of grains on the performance of new piezoelectric materials. Bulk and thin film materials are studied.
Assistant Professor, Nanoscience and Physics,
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering (by Courtesy)
Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Chen is currently working on understanding physical properties of nano-materials, manipulating properties, and designing and fabricating novel nanodevices to meet the requirements of various applications. Her work focuses on discovering real world applications of the study of mesoscopic physics and nanoelectronics in an effort to benefit society. Specific research and interest includes:
Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering
We work on a broad range of problems, primarily involving the transport and conversion of energy carried by electrons, phonons, and photons. We seek to solve problems with high importance to applications in clean energy (e.g., direct energy conversion, energy storage) and in major industrial segments (e.g., micro/nanoelectronics, sensors).
Our research has included efforts in simulation and measurement of nanoscale heat transfer, coupled electro-thermal effects in semiconductor and electron emission devices, nanoscale direct energy conversion, molecular electronics, microfluidic devices, hydrogen storage, and computational methods ranging from atomistic to continuum scales. Applications of his work cover a broad range of areas, including nanoelectronics, vacuum electronics, thermal interface materials, convective cooling, thermal-electrical energy conversion, biosensors, and hydrogen storage. This work has also produced related studies of controlled synthesis of nanomaterials, particularly carbon nanotubes.
Jefferson Science Fellow, U.S. Department of State
R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor
Director, Cooling Technologies Research Center, an NSF I/UCRC
School of Mechanical Engineering and Birck Nanotechnology Center
Professor Suresh Garimella is the R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University where he is Director of the NSF Cooling Technologies Research Center. He received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989, his MS from The Ohio State University in 1986, and his Bachelor’s degree from IIT Madras, in 1985. His research interests include energy efficiency in computing and electronics, renewable and sustainable energy systems, micro- and nano-scale engineering, and materials processing. Dr. Garimella has worked with 38 PhD and 34 MS students and 31 visiting scholars and post-docs, and has co-authored over 450 refereed journal and conference publications and 13 patents/patent applications, besides editing or contributing to a number of books. Twelve alumni from his research group are now faculty members in prestigious universities around the world. Dr. Garimella is a Fellow of the Center for Smart Interfaces at the Technical University of Darmstadt, and an Honorary Guest Professor at Xi’an JiaoTong University in China, and was Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales in 1995.
Dr. Garimella serves in editorial roles with Applied Energy, ASME Thermal Science and Engineering Applications, International Journal of Micro and Nanoscale Transport, and Experimental Heat Transfer, and previously served with ASME Journal of Heat Transfer, Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, and Heat Transfer-Recent Contents. He is a Fellow of the ASME. His efforts in research and engineering education have been recognized with the 2011 NSF Alexander Schwarzkopf Prize for Technological Innovation, the 2010 ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award, the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Madras, the 2009 ASME Allan Kraus Thermal Management Award, the 2009 Harvey Rosten Award for Excellence, the 2004 ASME Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award, the 2011 College of Engineering Mentoring Award, the 2009 Purdue University Distance Teaching Award, the 1995 Graduate School/UWM Foundation Research Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity, the 1997 UWM Distinguished Teaching Award, and the 1992 Society of Automotive Engineers' Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, among others. He is currently serving as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. State Department, in the International Energy and Commodity Policy office of the Economic Bureau. This program offers his services as a science advisor to the State Department for a period of six years.
Professor, Biological Engineering
Co-Director, Physiological Sensing Facility
Co-Chair, Breast Cancer Discovery Group
Professional webpage: http://www.purdue.edu/dp/psf/joseph.php
Major focus of his research is in BioNanotechnology. The primary goal is to develop technologies to detect Cancer and Alzheimer's disease as well as to understand the mechanism of how disease progresses using nanotechnology and single molecule spectroscopy.
Four core areas of expertise are:
(i) Fabrication of multimaterial and multifunctional nanoparticles for targeting and therapy of cancer,
(ii) Development of optical technologies to detect cancer and microbial cells for commercialization,
(iii) Single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy to detect nuclear proteins and to understand the dynamics of protein-DNA interaction and nanoparticle-based drug delivery in living cells, and
(iv) Plasmon resonance and Raman spectroscopic tools to detect mRNA and microRNA in cells and tissues for diagnostics.
His group is highly multi-disciplinary and collaborates with molecular biologists, engineers, and microbiologists to bring nanotechnology and single molecule tools to further understand biology under live cells conditions. They also actively collaborate with international partners. Research activities are funded by the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Purdue University, and industry partners. Dr. Irudayaraj teaches courses in areas related to Biosensors, Biosensors, and Numerical methods.
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Technical Director, The Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing
Professor, Physical/Theoretical and Computer Science
Electronic Structure of Finite Systems
Finite Size Scaling Method in Quantum Mechanics: Work in this field has resulted in connections between symmetry breaking of electronic structure configurations and quantum phase transitions, as well as the development of a finite size scaling method for quantum systems.
Dimensional Scaling and Critical Phenomena: Dr. Kais’ work group has successfully shown symmetry breaking of electronic structure configurations at the large-D limit is completely equivalent to the standard phase transitions and critical phenomena in statistical mechanics, as well as the symmetry breaking of the molecular electronic structure configurations.
Renormalization Group Methods for Electronic Structure: Dr. Kais has developed the RG approach to treat electronic structure problems. The developed process the research group has created has initially been very successfully, especially in estimating excitations for atoms.
Pivot Method for Global Optimization: This method has been built on pivot moves through phase space with the ultimate goal to find the global minimum for high dimensional functions. This method quickly converges, does not require derivatives and is resistant to becoming trapped in local minima.
Quantum Information and Quantum Computing
Study of Entanglement and Quantum Phase Transitions: The principle of entanglement has been the ground work of quantum mechanics, and refers to two entities, even if those two particles are separated by an expansive distance, will act as a single entity if entangled together. Dr. Kais’ work specifically is focused on calculating entanglement, as well as applications and measurements for different systems.
Quantum Computing and Algorithms: The basis for this research is to find a solution through algorithms of difficult problems in chemistry that cannot be solved on a conventional computing system. The overarching goal in this research is to develop new fast polynomial quantum algorithms for simulating main-body systems to be utilized in chemical and physical applications.
Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director, Network for Computational Nanotechnology
Nanoelectronic Modeling Tool Building : The Klimeck research group has a history of building a suite of Naoelectronic Modeling Tools (NEMO) since 1994. We have developed NEMO1D, NEMO3D, OMEN, and OMEN3D in the past. We are currently constructing the next generation tools suite NEMO5 that enable us to do multi-million atom simulations of strain and electronic structure, mechanical vibration modes, and optical interactions. Students will build and explore new models in the new NEMO5 code.
The development of the various NEMO tools have resulted in over 280 publications with over 2,500 citations, and over 5,000 tool users and over 20,000 tutorial users on nanoHUB.org.
Nanoelectronic Modeling - Understanding Devices and Concepts: We utilize our suite of NEMO and OMEN tools to understand nanoscale phenomena and strive to collaborate with experimentalists. The structures of interest are transistors, optical devices, and thermal devices. We will continue to be on the forefront of the detailed atomistic modeling of nano electronic devices and help understand and drive experiments.
High Performance Computing: The NEMO and OMEN tools suite can very efficiently utilize available High Performance Computing Resources. We utilize local compute resources that include some 5,000 compute cores and run in production on the largest supercomputers in the US. The OMEN code has efficiently used over 222,000 cores in almost perfect parallel scaling. Students will continue to develop the parallel codes and utilize these large scale machines.
Deployment of Tools and Lectures on nanoHUB.org: We deploy our tools and novel insight on nanoHUB.org, where the material is visible to literally over hundred thousand users. Over 16,000 people have run simulation tools co-authored by the Klimeck research group and over 50,000 users have utilized educational material such as class lectures, tutorials, and seminars.
Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering
Professional webpage: https://engineering.purdue.edu/ME/People/ptProfile?id=29264
MEMS: MEMS reliability. Finite element simulations to predict failure mechanisms in RF-MEMS switches, including creep, residual stresses and plastic deformation.
Nanostructured materials: Multiscale modeling of plastic deformation in nanocrystalline metals. 3D dislocation dynamics simulations. Hall-Petch and inverse Hall Petch effect.
Molecular crystals: Plasticity in molecular crystals with pharmaceutical applications. Stress induced amorphization during milling.
Multiscale modeling of polymer composites: Fiber reinforced composites and nanocomposites. Finite element and phase filed micromechanical simulations of damage and failure of composite materials. Crazing and shear band formation.
Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nanotransistors: Device physics and limits of transistors including ultimate CMOS and novel channel MOSFETs such as carbon nanotubes, silicon nanowires, III-V semiconductors, and graphene. Focus is on using simulation to understand devices and to explore new approaches.
Photovoltaics: Physics and simulation of solar cells including novel approaches to enhanced efficiency and relating electrical characterization to cell peformance.
Thermoelectrics: Device physics, performance projection, and ultimate limits of Peltier coolers and thermoelectric refrigerators. Device centered research is driven by simulation studies.
Novel Electronic Devices: Simulation based exploration of novel electronic devices.
Carrier transport: The physics and simulation of the flow of electrons, holes, and phonons to realize novel devices functions.
Research Assistant Professor, Birck Nanotechnology Center
Nano/Microfluidic System: Number of recent technological advances in MEMS, semiconductor illuminators, optical sensors/detectors, integrated capacitive-chemical sensors, and sensitive cell markers such as immuno-quantum dot (Qdot) labels are being used to achieve a point of care, hand-held microfluidic systems such as flow cytometer. An example is a handheld blood analyzer that can quickly process a drop of whole, unfractionated human peripheral blood by real-time, on-chip separation of white erythrocytes, leukocytes, and thrombocytes, and further labeled optical/electrical analysis.
Implantable wireless microdevices: Implantable microsystems will reform the efficacy of our current treatment methods is global disease such as cancer and glaucoma. New generation of 3-D dosimeters that suits the proton beam therapy, an implantable micordevice for oxygen partial pressure and temperature monitoring, implantable wireless pressure sensors are focus of my research. Integrating a single implantable microdevice that reveals delivered dose, real time tumor location, interstitial pressure, temperature, and oxygen partial pressure all together with instant impact on radiation therapy is my primary dream.
Biomaterials: I am interested in biological application of biopolymers and specifically biodegradable polymers and hydrogels. As an example, a batch fabricated biodegradable plug-filter was developed to overcome the postoperative hypotony in non-valaved glaucoma drainage devices (GDD). Biodegradable polymers can be used for timely controlled drug delivery, while hydrogels provides intelligent actuation mechanism for drug release. Nanotechnology has brought a great opportunity in nanomedicine production, and I am focusing on encapsulating these nanomedicines into a microsystem that allows both spatial and temporal control of drug delivery to the tumors.
Assistant Professor, Physics
Professional webpage: http://www.physics.purdue.edu/people/faculty/malis.shtml
Structural transformations in nanomaterials: Experimental studies of phase and morphology transformations in metallic nanoparticles (nanocatalysts); in situ, time-resolved, synchrotron-based studies of phase and morphology transformations in nanomaterials
Infrared spectroscopy of nanomaterials: semiconductor nanostructures for infrared light emission and detection
Quantum cascade lasers with novel functionality (wavelength, power, efficiency)
III-Nitride quantum cascade lasers for near- and far-infrared emission
Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering
Professor Martini's research group uses cutting-edge, atomic-scale modeling methods to study the mechanical and interfacial behavior of nanoscale materials to develop design criteria that take advantage of nanoscale material functionality. The following projects focus on two such materials that have significant potential for practical applications in the near future.
Cellulose Nanocrystals: Cellulose is the most abundantly available organic material on earth. This research focuses on cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), ordered bundles of cellulose chains that are naturally derived from biomass. CNCs are biodegradable, cheaply mass-producible, and high-strength nanoparticles that are gaining great interest for emerging nanocomposite applications. However, one of the major challenges in the development of CNC based nanocomposites that, at a very fundamental level, the structure-property relationships of CNCs are poorly understood. In particular, their multi-directional elastic response and failure physics are uncharacterized.
This research introduces atomic-scale simulations to model the behavior of crystalline cellulose with the goal of developing design criteria for CNC-based applications. Specific goals of the research include: prediction of axial and shear moduli and corresponding load transfer efficiency, development of a fundamental understanding of how flexural stiffness can be controlled by controlling the relative sliding between cellulose chains, and quantification of the hysteresis between nanoindentation approach and retraction in and beyond the elastic regime.
Few-Layer Graphene: Graphene, a two-dimensional sheet of hexagonally-coordinated carbon atoms, has recently emerged as a promising channel material for field-effect transistors (FET). A graphene FET is highly attractive because the effective saturation velocity can be ten-times higher than in Si or GaN. This makes other important parameters ten-times better than their conventional semiconductor counterparts enabling radio frequency transistors with unsurpassed capability. However, the potential for graphene to replace Si in nanoelectronic devices is currently limited by lack of reproducible synthesis methods for large scale, high quality graphene films. One of the most significant issues is that defects formed during the graphene growth process adversely affect transport properties by causing unwanted quantum interference between incident and defect-scattered electron states.
The focus of this project is on understanding how defects form to provide insight into how they can be controlled to facilitate industrial-scale fabrication of high quality graphene. Research will focus on understanding how experimentally observed defects such as ridges, vacancies and other crystallographic imperfections are dependent on the graphene growth method, conditions and materials, and how defects will affect electrical and mechanical properties of the resultant graphene.
William F. and Patty J. Miller Associate Professor of Physics, Materials Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Manfra focuses his research efforts on the growth of semiconductor nanostructures via molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and quantum transport phenomena in reduced dimensional systems at low temperatures and high magnetic fields. He has strong collaborations with experimental groups on the Purdue Campus to study his materials by complementary methods.
Dr. Manfra is faculty in the Physics Department, School of Materials Engineering, and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and study the physics and technology of low-dimensional, ultra-high purity III-V semiconductors. His group grows semiconductor heterostructures via MBE, an ultra-high vacuum deposition technique. Manfra's MBE laboratories are located at the Birck Nanotechnology Center, located in Discovery Park.
The group has two major research thrusts: 1) growth of GaN heterostructures for novel intersubband optical devices and 2) growth of ultra-high mobility two-dimensional electron gases in GaAs for fundamental physics studies and possible applications in quantum computing. We have two MBE systems dedicated to growth and a wealth of low temperature and high magnetic field characterization equipment to facilitate our experiments. Materials characterization benefits from the excellent capabilities of the Birck Nanotechnology Center.
Dr. Manfra develops his research team to solve potential future problems in modern semiconductor physics, and prepares his students and team to benefit the field of physics through experiment and practice.
Assistant Professor, School of Materials Engineering
Professional webpage: https://engineering.purdue.edu/MSE/People/ptProfile?id=34724
Our research interest lies in gaining a fundamental understanding of soft materials physics and then applying this knowledge to the development of functional structures for applications such as drug delivery, photonic materials, cell encapsulation and chemical sensing. Soft condensed matter are materials that are easily deformable by external stresses such as mechanical, electric or magnetic fields, or even by thermal fluctuations. Examples of these materials include colloidal suspensions, complex fluids, polymer solutions, emulsions and foams. Current projects in our group include porous nanoparticle microshells for chemical sensing, fabrication of core-shell structures from double emulsions, and nanocellulose particles and capsules.
Encapsulation of Industrially Relevant Materials: This projects aims to develop advanced micro-encapsulation technology of industrially relevant materials such as polymers, epoxies, nanoparticles, and pre-ceramic polymers. Microfluidic microcapillary devices are used to generate monodispersed fluid microcapsules. The project combines aspects of chemistry, soft-matter physics and fluid mechanics.
Nanostructured Metal Oxide Chemical Sensors: Develop highly sensitive conductometric nanostructured metal oxide chemical sensors via colloidal processing and templating. These sensors can detect chemical gases at concentrations as low as 100’s of parts per trillion (ppt). One aim of the project is to develop sensor materials for real-time analysis of disease biomarkers in breath.
Fabrication of Acoustic Metamaterials: Develop technology for the fabrication of composites with unique acoustic transmission properties such as, an acoustic transmission bandgap and acoustic focusing.
Materials Research Engineer, US Forest Service
Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Materials Engineering
Professional webpage: https://engineering.purdue.edu/nanotrees/index.shtml
Dr. Moon's research interests lie in the processing-structure-property relationships of cellulose nanoparticles and the resulting composites that are produced from such materials. Critical to this is developing the fundamental understanding as to the role of hierarchical structures on the various mechanisms that dictate the properties at the nano, meso and macro length scales. Research focus is then in the processing, structure characterization, property measurements, and mechanism determination (via multi scale modeling) for cellulose-based materials and composites.
Since 2007 Dr Moon has directed the development of a nanoscale science and engineering research program for nanocellulose materials. He has assembled a team of Purdue Faculty and US Forest Service-Scientists with specific expertise to investigate various aspects of wood science research for fundamental knowledge development, applied product development, and new technological innovations. The program consists of three core research areas: nanocellulose technology, predictive modeling and sensor development. The programs are complimentary with overlapping research goals and each addressing crucial needs for advancing nanocellulose materials, composites and sensors.
On going research has been in cellulose nanoparticle (CN):
i) metrology: This research is focused on the measurement of structure, mechanical, electrical, thermal, piezoelectric properties, etc, of CNs and integrating advanced nanoscale experimental methods with innovative multi-scale modeling (atomistic and continuum), modeling verification, and uncertainty quantification for complete characterization of individual CNs and CN composites.
ii) Predictive Modeling: Multi-scale modeling (molecular, meso, and macro scales) specific for cellulose based materials are being developed and applied to investigate several structure-property aspects of cellulose nanoparticles and their resulting composites. We foresee that an experimentally validated simulation framework for nanocomposites will play a key role in designing and optimizing the next-generation of cellulose nanoparticle composites.
iii) Surface functionalization: Cellulose nanoparticles have a reactive surface that facilitates grafting chemical species to achieve different surface properties (surface functionalization). This offers unique opportunities to alter the effective properties of these particles so that they may be useful in new applications. With this in mind, one area of surface functionalization is in coatings, in which nanosized particles of metal or ceramic are precipitated on the particle surface. Depending on the coating structure it will alter the effective properties of the cellulose nanoparticle-coating assembly.
iv) CN Composites: This program is developing processing protocols for making CNs neat films, composite films, multi-layer, laminates and fibers of highly oriented and high volume fraction CNs using processing techniques that can be scaled up to industrial scales.
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Director, Center for Prediction of Reliability, Integrity and Survivability of Microsystems (PRISM)
Professional webpage: https://engineering.purdue.edu/ME/People/ptProfile?id=9461
Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
Associate Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Associate Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering (By courtesy)
John L. Bray Distinguished Professor, Schools of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Materials Engineering and Chemical Engineering
Carbon Nanotube Polymer Composites: multifunctional properties, processing science and elevated temperature performance of polyimide CNT nanocomposites
Advanced Composites: Multiaxial failure theories for carbon fiber composite laminates, Multi-scale modeling, Molecular modeling, Manufacturing science, Fracture and durability, Repair technology, Experimental characterization
Cellulose Nanotechnology: modeling of high strength cellulose nanocrystal films, Laminated nanofibrillated cellulose composites, Dynamic mechanical behavior of cellulose nanocomposites, Nanofibrillated cellulose spun nano- and micro-yarns.
Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Horticulture and Landscape Engineering, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Co-Director, Physiological Sensing Facility
Serving as the Co-director for the Physiological Sensing Facility at the Bindley Bioscience Center at Discovery Park, located on the campus of Purdue University, Dr. Porterfield is charged with bridging the gap between scientists and engineers by fostering direct engagement between the two groups. This is done to facilitate the growth and understanding of sensor technology and its applicable utility in the field.
Dr. Porterfield’s research work at Purdue is focused on advanced physiological sensing technologies for research applications in biology, agriculture, space, the environment, and medicine. Specifically, these interests include:
Professor Porterfield’s work has earned him such awards as the Halstead Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology, as well as serving as the President for that organization. Purdue University has also praised and recognized Dr. Porterfield for his research, awarding him the Purdue University Faculty Scholar, the university’s top award for a mid-career faculty member.
Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering
Dynamic Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM): exploiting principles cantilever mechanics and dynamics to improve metrology, speed, and compositional contrast in AFM while scanning over a wide range of samples such as living cells, bacteria, viruses, nanocomposite materials, and semiconductor devices. Using this knowledge, we are working with biophysicists in developing new AFM based tools for biomechanical assays of living cells and viruses with the ultimate goal of helping cancer specialists and scientists understand the mechanical properties of cancer cells and viruses.
Nonlinear dynamics in MEMS/NEMS: Highly sensitive cantilever based bio/chem sensors, micro and nanoresonators for water based pathogen/biochemical agent detection, nonlinear dynamics of MEMS and NEMS, reliability of MEMS.
Nanomechanics on surfaces: Nanomechanics of carbon nanotubes, nanowires, cellulose nanocrystals, surface nanomechanical properties
Associate Professor, Forestry & Natural Resources
Associate Professor, School of Civil Engineering
Environmental impacts of nanoparticles: We use different animal models to study how organisms respond to nanoparticles. We utilize a wide range of molecular tools to better understand how nanoparticles are taken up by cells, how they distribute to different organs and compartments, and how they act to elicit toxicity
Techniques:Genomics (microarrays and gene expression); proteomics; mass spectrometry-based metabolomics; confocal microscopy; transmission electron microscopy; inductively-coupled mass spectrometry; histopathology.
Research Projects: In vivo real-time biological sensing after nanosilver exposure (NSF, in collaboration with Marshall Porterfield)
Associate Professor, School of Materials Engineering
Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering (By Courtesy)
Professional webpage: https://engineering.purdue.edu/MSE/People/ptProfile?id=11440
Cellulose Nanotechnology : Synthesis and characterization of hybrid cellulose based nanocomposites with environmental applications. The hypothesis to be tested in this project is that natural biopolymers, such as cellulose nanocrystals can serve as a platform for the directed self-assembly of hybrid organic-inorganic multifunctional titania (TiO2) nanostructured films with photocatalytic properties that can be exploited for oil decompostion.
Biosensors and Biocatalysts: Design of novel hybrid biological nanomaterials for the design of biosensors for the detections of toxins in food and water. The goal of this project is to test the hypothesis that core-shell nanoparticles and polymeric capsules with high surface area display a combination of material properties that make them ideal material systems for the design of sensitive biosensors for the detection of toxins in food and water.
Nanoparticle Biomimetics: In this project metallic and metal oxide nanoparticles, nanorods and naoprisms (e.g. Au, Cu2O etc.) are tested as enzyme biomimetics in enzyme-free sensors. We base our work on the hypothesis that biosensors’ performance could be potentially influenced by the morphologies of inorganic nanocrystals, which have different catalytic properties depending on their size and shape and have a much increased stability than the inherently unstable enzymes.
Advanced Ceramics processing: Ultra-high temperature ZrB2 ceramic processing via Spark Plasma Sintering. Investigations of electrical field effects on ceramic nanoparticles sintering.
Cryo-Electron Microscopy of Proteins: Investigations of the toxicological routes for the onset of Parkinson’s Disease. Alpha-Synuclein aggregation under various environmental conditions and genetic modifications.
Associate Professor, School of Materials Engineering
Professional webpage: https://engineering.purdue.edu/MSE/People/strachan
Development of predictive atomistic and molecular simulation methodologies to describe materials from first principles, their application to problems of technological importance and quantification of associated uncertainties. Areas of interest and current projects include:
Associate Professor, Industrial and Physical Pharmacy
Professional webpage: http://taylor.openwetware.org/
Improving the solubility of drugs : Preparation of amorphous solid dispersions, kinetic solubility measurements, characterization of nanoscale solution structures formed during dissolution.
Influence of polymers on crystal growth: Crystal growth rates in solution and influence of polymers on growth rates. Crystal growth rates in supercooled liquids and glasses and influence of polymers.
Phase transformations of amorphous solids: Tendency of pharmaceutical solids to form glasses (amorphous solids) and crystallization kinetics from amorphous materials as a function of temperature and relative humidity.
Drug-polymer molecular recognition: Link between hydrogen bonding between a drug and polymer and the ability of a polymer to inhibit crystallization.
Precipitation behavior: Phase behavior of drugs following precipitation from aqueous solutions.
Nano and microstructure in drug-polymer matrices: Novel analytical techniques to probe structure in drug-polymer blends including studies of phase behavior and miscibility.
Assistant Professor, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Lab Director, Interfacial Multiphysics Lab
Analyzing morphology dependent and interface determined failure properties of ceramic matrix composites and similar complex materials:
Dr. Tomar’s research group has focused their efforts in this field on analyzing microstructure dependent fracture of ceramic matrix nano- and microcomposites with an explicit account of length scales associated with grain boundaries, second phase dispersions and interfaces between the primary phase and secondary phases. The group analyses this by using molecular dynamics (MD), as well as cohesive finite element method (CFEM) based schemes for computations. For experiments they use innovative experimental setups that can be used to measure nanoscale and microscale properties at high temperatures.
Analyzing the thermal properties of materials for use in energy devices and at high temperatures:
Because of the multidimensional uses and applications of ceramics and semiconductors in today’s energy devices, Dr. Tomar’s group is addressing heat transfer issues in these systems through a combination of classical and quantum mechanical atomistic simulations and in-house experimental set-up. The purpose of this research is to gain insights into thermal physics of interfaces as a function of different deformation levels. Dr. Tomar’s group have invented new experimental setups for their measurements and have found new innovations focusing on thermal and mechanical properties of materials.
Analyzing interface mechanics of biomaterials and bio-inspired materials such as tropocollagen-hydroxyapatite nanocomposites with an account of molecule level interactions:
The research group has been focusing on presenting a mechanistic understanding of interfacial reactions by examining idealized TC and HAP interfacial biomaterials. This work has contributed to the development of a 3-D modeling framework to simulate the role of multiscaling in biomimetic hierarchical architectures, the role of hydroxyapatite texture, osteogenesis imperfecta mutations, role of interfacial shear strength, and other models of the roles molecular level interactions and structures play in biomaterials. Based on their work Dr. Tomar’s group is now focusing on developing and analyzing bio-motivated materials with tailored mechanical and thermal properties.
Assistant Director, Environmental Programs for the College of Agriculture
Professional webpage: http://www.purdue.edu/climate/people/ron-turco.html
Assistant Professor, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
After receiving his Bachelor’s of Science from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University, Dr. Adam Wasserman began his professorship at Purdue University in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry. Dr. Wasserman’s research group, known as the Suspenders, aims to gain fundamental understanding regarding the role that electron-electron interactions play in chemistry, and to develop new theoretical tools that are useful in modern chemistry.
Other research interests of Dr. Wasserman’s group include the foundations of chemical reactivity theory, as well as understanding the way in which classic chemical concepts like electronegativity and hardness emerge from basic quantum mechanics. Some examples of Professor Wasserman’s research group interests include:
Professor, Organic Chemistry
Professor Wei’s research team employs nanomaterials synthesis, surface functionalization, and self-assembly to produce novel materials that can enhance biomedical or information technologies.
Nanotechnology, Cancer and Nanomedicine: We develop multi-functional nanoparticles for the diagnosis and delivery of therapeutic payloads. Gold nanorods, hybrid nanostars, and magnetic core-shell nanoparticles enable us to use light to transduce physiological information at the cellular level, or image more deeply into affected tissues.
Self-assembly and Growth of Magnetic Nanorings: We are creating nanosized magnetic rings for integration into electronic nano-architectures, in with the goal of developing nonvolatile memory applications based on vortex or flux closure states. We use a bottom-up synthesis approach to produce cobalt nanorings on and around Nanoscale surfaces, with independent control over nucleation and growth.
Glyco-nanotechnology: We tap into the biological recognition of cell-surface carbohydrates and their roles in mediating cellular behavior, by attaching synthetic glycans onto functional nanomaterials. For example, we use glycan recognition by bacteria to support a fault-tolerant platform for pathogen detection, using simple optics that can function in resource-limited settings.
Our projects are funded by NIH, NSF, the National Cancer Institute, and the Department of Defense.
Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering
Microfluidic velocimetry or characterizing the flows around and through microscopic systems: Wereley's group specializes in measuring microscopic flows and using those measurements to optimize microscopic fluid systems.
- Wereley and Meinhart, Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech., 2010
Optical and electrical manipulation of colloidal particles: three years ago Wereley's group developed a novel method of manipulating large collections of colloidal particles and assembling them into large scale periodic structures.
- Williams, Kumar, Wereley, Lab on a Chip, 2008
Optical and electrical manipulation of droplets: three years ago Wereley's group developed an extension of electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) or digital microfluidics that allowed optical direction of moving droplets. Typical EWOD applications required pixilated addressable electrodes whereas Wereley's approach has a much simpler configuration.
- Chuang, Kumar, Wereley, Appl. Phys. Lett., 2008
James J. and Carol L. Shuttleworth Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering
Prof. Xu’s group carries out research in two main areas: (1) nanoscale energy transport, and (2) nano-optics and laser-based nano-optical engineering.
(1) Nanoscale energy transport: We investigate energy transport in nanoscale materials used for efficient energy conversion, including photovoltaic and thermoelectric energy conversion, and nanoscale materials for controlling - reducing or enhancing - thermal transport. At a microscopic level, energy transport and conversion is ultimately determined by the ultrafast dynamics of interactions among basic energy carriers such as electrons, phonons, and photons, which occur at a time scale of femtosecond (fs, 10^-15 s) to picosecond (ps, 10^-12 s). We develop advanced femtosecond (fs) laser based high temporal (~ 10 fs) and high spatial (~ 10's nm) resolution experimental techniques (e.g., coherent phonon spectroscopy) and molecular dynamics simulation techniques for the study of ultrafast energy transfer and conversion dynamics.
Current projects in this area include:
- Energy transport in nanoscale thermoelectric materials for power generation
- Coherent control of thermal transport
- Thermal transport in nanoscale thermal interface materials
- Energy transfer in nanoscale photovoltaic materials
(2) Nano-optics and laser-based nano-optical engineering : We are working on a broad range of topics related to nano-optics and nano-optical engineering. Our current effort is on laser-based nano-engineering using nanoscale optical antennas, which are developed in our laboratory. These antennas are capable of efficiently focusing light into a nanometer domain with intensity orders of magnitude higher than the incoming light intensity. Being able to concentrate light into a nanoscale domain with high intensity has numerous applications in nano-engineering, including nano-manufacturing, nanoscale imaging and diagnostics, and ultra-high density data storage. Our current research involves nano-optics theory (e.g., plasmonics), numerical design, micro/nano fabrication, experimental testing, instrumentation development, and applications in emerging engineering areas.
Current projects in this area include:
- Parallel nanolithography using nanoscale optical antenna
- Nanomaterials synthesis using nanoscale optical antenna and device development
- Near-field scanning optical microscopy
- Near-field radiation and nanostructures for efficient photovoltaic energy conversion
- High density data storage using nanoscale optical antenna
Assistant Professor, Physical Chemistry
Associate Professor, Materials Information
Professional webpage: https://engineering.purdue.edu/MSE/People/Faculty/jpyoungb/index.html
Dr. Youngblood’s research group is concentrating on polymeric materials and surface science and their application to the production of composites, coatings, and biomaterials. Specifically, the group is working on the following activities:
Cellulosic Nanomaterials: Wood is a hierarchical nanocomposite where the reinforcement domains are twice the strength of Kevlar and with 30% higher modulus. Being wood and agriculturally derived, they are green, renewable, non-toxic, and biodegradable. Prof. Youngblood is currently exploring these materials in order to fabricate high strength composites, ballistic defeats, packaging, and other uses. Both Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) and Nanofibrillated Cellulose are being used with new processing methods being developed, and fundamental properties explore. These projects are currently funded by the US Department of Agriculture.
Composites and Composites Fabrication: Composites can be lighter, stronger, stiffer, and tougher than normal structural materials. However, composites are also much more expensive, much of this cost being processing related. Thus, Prof. Youngblood is investigating new composite formulations to improve properties and new processing methods to reduce cost. Additionally, repair and rehabilitation techniques are being investigated to increase the lifespan and reliability of composite structures. These projects are currently funded by industry.
Novel Ceramic Processing: Ceramics have a variety of properties of interest, such as hardness and high temperature strength. However, these properties also make them difficult to easily process into complex parts. Here, Prof. Youngblood seeks to develop processing methods where ceramics can be processed similar to polymers: injection molding, extrusion, rotational casting, etc, by controlling surface interactions with a minimum of porosity and near-net shape fashion. These projects are currently funded by the National Science Foundation and industry.
Green Polymers: New and coming regulations mandate such things as take-back programs for electronics, reduction of use of toxic materials and minimizing land-filling. However most products are not designed for these things. In this project, Prof. Youngblood seeks to replace bottleneck materials use and develop new materials to enhance recycling, reduce toxicity, and increase renewable materials use. These projects are currently funded by the National Science Foundation.
Novel Bactericidal Polymers: Dr. Youngblood is attempting to improve the anti-bacterial properties of hydrophobic quaternary salts by developing similar, water soluble materials for use in practical applications such as contact lenses, dental materials, and water soluble disinfectants. These projects are currently funded by industry.
Stimuli-Responsive Materials: This research focuses on stimuli-responsive behavior of polymeric materials in order to generate materials with predictable solvent selectivity in order to create anti-fog coatings, self-cleaning surfaces, and efficient oil-water separation membranes. These projects are currently funded by industry.
Organic Based Thin Films and Coatings: In order to alter the surface properties of bulk materials, the research group is using various molecular architectures in ultrathin films, which are useful in controlling the surface energy of a material rendering it either hydrophobic or hydrophilic while still maintaining overall bulk properties.
Electrospinning: The research group developed a new approach to generating ceramic fibers by electrospinning polymer precursors that are transformed into ceramics after heating. This research is to produce small, high tensile ceramic fibers of SiC and Si3N4, as well as decreasing the diameter of the fibers. As well, applications such as biomedical devices using biodegradable scaffolding are being explored.
Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering (By Courtesy)
Assistant Professor, School of Civil Engineering
Computational Solid Mechanics / nano- and micromechanics of materials: Research applied to the multiscale analysis and design of advanced and novel materials, their interfaces and complex structures (e.g., nanocomposites, biological, bio-inspired, hierarchical, sustainable and multifunctional materials).
Multiscale modeling of materials: Bridging between atomistic models and continuum mechanics through mesoscale modeling to allow a two-way structure - property relationship for the prediction and control of materials functionality for a more efficient non-Edisonian approach to material discovery. Development of atomistically-informed constitutive models for deformation and failure of materials to characterize the influence of defects in materials across multiple length and time scales. Multiscale approaches that aim to bridge relevant time and length scales. Development of scaling laws to understand the synergetic role of size, geometry and material properties. Emphasis on nanostructured periodic materials, nano- and micro-patterned interfaces.
Biological and biomimetic materials research: Identification of deformation and failure mechanisms of the hierarchical structure of hard biological materials through different length scale, with emphasis on biomineralized marine organisms such as mollusk shells, radular teeth and crustaceans exoskeletons. Biomimetics applied to the intelligent design of materials: Design and modeling of synthetic nano/micro-composites mimicking hard biological materials using bioinspired damage mitigation strategies. Development of multiscale models for bio-inspired materials. Strong collaboration with material scientists, chemists and biologists.
Nanomechanics of cellulose: Study and characterization of the hierarchical structure-mechanical response relationship of the cellulose nanocrystals to understand how they can achieve their full potential for the new generation of green and renewable materials. Development of new theories, novel multiscale computational tools and continuum/discrete models to properly describe and predict the mechanical behavior of cellulose nanocrystals. Development of mesoscale nonlocal models for adhesion between nanocrystals with strong connection to in-situ experiments with application to the processing of cellulose-based nanocomposites. Potential collaboration with experimental and processing groups across campus.
Adhesion of low-dimensional nanostructures: Development of theoretical and computational tools to understand, quantify and predict long-range adhesion forces between low dimensional high aspect ratio building blocks (i.e., nanowires, nanotubes, nanosheets). Atomistic-to-continuum connection through the development of nonlocal models. Combined computational/experimental approaches using state-of-the-art in-situ electron microscopy techniques. Study of nano-patterned substrates and interfaces. Deployments of tools in nanoHUB.org. Strong collaboration with experimental groups.
Smart cellular metamaterials: Design and analysis of active-material based periodic cellular microstructures to obtain materials that have the capability to (1) change and adapt their key macroscopic properties to certain changes in the loading and environmental conditions (switchable/adaptable mechanical properties), (2) to adapt their shapes to new configurations (morphable and reconfigurable surfaces and structures), (3) exert forces and induce motion for specific tasks (actuation). Tunable foams. Study of adaptive materials with real-time microstructural control, patterned microstructures with controlled auxectic behavior and self-adapatable materials.
Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Biomedical Microdevices: We are working in close collaboration with clinicians to develop several
Implantable Microsystems for oncology and ophthalmology applications. These systems are wireless and can monitor and/or modulate important physiological parameters.
Drug Delivery: We are working in on several low cost and disposable systems for transdermal drug delivery. Such devices provide a painless transdermal route to administer large biopharmaceutical drugs.
Disposable paper-Base Microfluidic: This project is geared towards development of low cost paper-base microfluidic devices for point of care management in developing countries.
Energy Scavenging: In this area we are focusing on novel energy scavenging systems for implantable biomedical devices. These include using sound energy at audio bad to power passive microtransponders and phase change liquids to extract energy from body heat.