Soft Materials and Interfaces at UK

Welcome!

Our group is part of the Chemical and Materials Engineering department at University of Kentucky. Our research is broadly focused on the physical and mechanical behavior of soft materials and interfaces, with an emphasis on smaller length scales. Current efforts are centered around adhesion, friction, wetting, capillary suspensions, and dynamics near soft interfaces. As a group, we strive to gain fundamental understanding of soft materials, 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 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 our research group! In addition, postdocs 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:

 

Highlights

 

Interfacial adhesion of fully transient, mussel-inspired hydrogels with different network crosslink modalities, Advanced Materials Interfaces

In fully transient, metal-coordinated hydrogels, peak adhesive stress appers to be related to the number of ligands in tris-crosslinking modes. 

Fluid separation and network deformation in wetting of soft and swollen networks, Communications Materials

When a water drop is placed onto a soft and swollen polymer, separation of the internal fluid can occur, depending on the swelling and crosslinking.

News

Congrats to Krishnaroop for his paper in Soft Matter!

Krishnaroop publishes his first paper from the group on how liquid drops wet soft, uncrosslinked surfaces at elevated temperatures. The wetting ridge growth and profile are describe by polymer dynamics and time-dependent moduli measured by shear rheology. Get it here!

Congrats Dr. Glover!

Congrats to Dr. Justin Glover for successfully defending his dissertation! We are sad to see you go, but we wish you the best as you start your new career at Solvay! Keep in touch!

Congrats Dan for his paper in Journal of Applied Polymer Science

Dan publishes his paper on mechanical and adhesive characterization of commonly used commercial silicone elastomers. Get it here!