Purdue Faculty

Carlos Martinez

Carlos Martinez

Assistant Professor of Materials Engineering

The Martinez research group 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 cell encapsulation in hydrogels.

Ashlie Martini

Ashlie Martini

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

The Martini research group is using molecular dynamics simulation as a research tool to understand the atomic-scale characteristics of individual cellulose nanocrystals. We focus on prediction of crystal structure, elastic response to axial, transverse, and shear strain, and surface/interface features. Simulation tools are also being developed that, by eliminating the typical material and geometric assumptions, can be used to extract material properties from direct atomic force microscopy measurements.

R. Byron Pipes

R. Byron Pipes

John L Bray Distinguished Professor Of Engineering

Dr. Pipes is a distinguished researcher, currently working on the application of nanotechnology to engineering disciplines including aerospace, composite materials and polymer science and engineering. He has active programs in the study of the advanced manufacturing science for composite materials. Research on cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) composites has focused on network model development for mechanical property prediction and composite design.

Arvind Raman

Arvind Raman

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

The Raman research group uses the principles of nonlinear dynamical systems, fluid-structure interaction, and mechanics to study important and interdisciplinary problems in science and engineering. As one example, his studies of the nonlinear oscillations of microcantilevers in atomic force microscopy (AFM) are helping scientists worldwide in nanoscience and nanotechnology to interpret images, and improve metrology, speed, and compositional contrast while scanning over a wide range of samples such as living cells, bacteria, viruses, cellulose nanoparticles, composite materials, and semiconductor devices. A particular emphasis is placed on developing new modes for compositional contrast and high speed scanning based on a fundamental understanding of cantilever dynamics. Research on cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) has focused on using the AFM for quantitative nanomechancial property measurements. One major effort is in quantifying uncertainties in elastic moduli or adhesive energy as measured from AFM. Ongoing work will also use the AFM for measuring CNC interactions with polymers in nanocomposites.

Lia Stanciu

Lia Stanciu

Assistant Professor of Materials Engineering

Stanciu's group is working on designing new functionality of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) through surface modification with inorganic nanoparticles. Bringing together the chemical and physical properties of CNCs and other cellulose-based materials with the properties of inorganic nanoparticles opens a door to applications in fields such as medicine, biosensing and biocatalysis. Stanciu's group is interested in exploring these hybrid inorganic-biological materials for various applications, ranging from antimicrobial dress wounds to paper based toxicity biosensors.

W. Jason Weiss

W. Jason Weiss

Associate Professor of Civil Engineering

The Weiss research group interest lies in developing an understanding as to the fundamental behavior of portland cement-based materials and the link between material structure, properties and life cycle performance. Specifically focusing on shrinkage cracking, life cycle performance simulation and non-destructive testing. Research on incorporation cellulose nanoparticles with Portland cement based materials have focused on their role in altering material structure, properties and life cycle performance.

Jeff Youngblood

Jeff Youngblood

Associate Professor of Materials Engineering

The Youngblood group is involved in researching composites made from cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and nanofibrilated cellulose (NFCs). CNCs individually have higher strength and stiffness than current ballistic fibers and are similar size to carbon nanotubes while NFC fibrous mats have been shown to have mechanical properties similar to cast iron, yet have organic material density. In both cases, the nanocellulosics are renewable, biodegradable, and cheap. The Youngblood group is interested in exploring these properties for the fabrication of high strength composites, optically transparent materials, barrier films, and green materials.

Pablo Zavattieri

Pablo Zavattieri

Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering

The Zavattieri research group interest is in the broad area of solid mechanics applied to the modeling of advanced materials. His goal is to address some of the fundamental issues of solid mechanics and to advance our multiscale understanding of material behavior by developing and employing accurate physics-based models together with state-of-the-art computational tools and high performance computing. This approach is combined with experiments. In particular, our work has a strong emphasis in the bridging between scales, from atomistics to continuum-based models. Research on cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) has focused on the hierarchical structure-property relationship to understand how they can achieve their full potential for the new generation of green and renewable materials. Our work involves the use of solid mechanics to develop continuum-based mesoscale models to properly describe and predict the mechanical behavior of CNCs and their interaction with other materials.