Soft Materials and Interfaces at UK


Our group is part of the Chemical and Materials Engineering department at University of Kentucky. Our research is focused on various aspects of physical and mechanical behavior of soft materials and interfaces, with an emphasis on smaller length scales. Current efforts are centered around adhesion, friction, lubrication, wetting, and dynamics at or near soft interfaces. As a group, we strive to gain fundamental understanding of these soft surfaces, to think critically about challenges in soft matter science, and to train ourselves to become the next generation of scientists and engineers. Potential applications for our work are diverse, from bioinspired adhesives and advanced coatings to biomaterials and soft devices. Members of our group will gain experience in several experimental techniques, including atomic force microscopy, confocal and fluorescence microscopy, and custom-built mechanical characterization and materials fabrication methods.

Join the team!

We look for enthusiastic graduate students and undergraduate students to join the team. Postdocs and graduate students who are interested in applying for their own external funding are welcomed and supported. Contact Jonathan for more information -- please include your CV and a short statement of research interests.

We are grateful for support from:



Capillary-driven indentation of a microparticle into a soft, oil-coated substrate, Soft Matter

When a small particle is placed onto a oil-coated soft substrate, the initial oil layer thickness and substrate properties governs its indentation depth. 


Lifting a sessile oil drop from a superamphiphobic surface with an impacting one, Science Advances

When a low surface tension oil drop, resting on a superamphiphobic surface, is hit with another oil drop, a variety of outcomes exist.


Congrats to Justin for his paper and cover art in Soft Matter!

Justin's article and cover art on capillary-driven indentation is part of the liquid composites themed issue. Check it out!

Adhesion Society 2020

Justin, Dan, and Jon present their work at the annual Adhesion Society meeting in Charleston, SC.

Zhuoyun passes her qualifying exam

Congratulations to Zhuoyun for passing her qualifying exam to become a PhD candidate!