Mustafa Akbulut

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Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA (2001-7)

"Physical, electrical, and chemical processes at shearing junctions"
Professor Jacob Israelachvili

BS Honors in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry
Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey 1996-2001



Lab location: A 306 E-Quad


Research Interests

i) Dynamics in confining nanoparticles systems

One of my research interests is to investigate the normal and lateral forces between surfaces across thin films of composite nanoparticle systems. In addition, I am interested in understanding the relationship between adhesion (normal forces), friction (lateral forces), and the conformations of particles for such systems.

ii) Kinetics of nucleation and growth

Another area of my research interest is to study the kinetic of nucleation and growth of soft-condensed matter such as flash precipitated polymeric nanoparticles. In this respect, I am currently investigating how block lengths of amphiphilic block copolymers control assembly process in the diffusion limited aggregation/precipitation.

iii) Shear-induced crystallization in thin liquid films

I am also interested in studying shear-induced phase transition and crystallization in thin films under confinement. I used highly anisotropic cyanine dye molecules in thin water films to investigate these effects.


  • M. Akbulut, A. R. Godfrey Alig, Y. Min, N. Belman, M. Reynolds, Y. Golan, and J. Israelachvili, “ Forces between Surfaces across Nanoparticle Solutions: Role of Size, Shape, and Concentration”, Langmuir; 2007; 23(7) 3953 - 3960
  • M. Akbulut, A.R. Godfrey Alig, J. Israelachvili , “Triboelectrification between smooth metal surfaces with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs)”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2006, 110(44), 22271 - 22278
  • M. Akbulut, Y. Golan, J. Israelachvili , “Frictional properties of confined nanorods”, Advance Materials, 2006, 18(19), 2589-2592
  • A.R. Godfrey Alig, M. Akbulut, Y. Golan, J. Israelachvili , “Forces between surfactant-coated ZnS nanoparticles in dodecane: Effect of water”, Advanced Functional Materials, 2006, 16(16), 2127-2134
  • M. Akbulut, A.R. Godfrey Alig, J. Israelachvili , “Friction and tribochemical reactions occurring at shearing interfaces between nano-thin silver films and various substrates”, Journal of Chemical Physics, 2006, 124; 174703 
  • J. Israelachvili, N. Maeda, M. Akbulut, “Comment on -Reassessment of Solidification in Fluids Confined between Mica Sheets“,  Langmuir, 2006, 5; 2397-2398
  • J. Israelachvili, N. Maeda, K.J. Rosenberg, M. Akbulut, “Effects of sub-ångstrom (pico-scale) structure of surfaces on adhesion, friction and bulk mechanical properties,  Journal of Material Research, 2005, 20; 1952-1972
  • M. Akbulut, N. Chen, N. Maeda, J. Israelachvili, T. Grunevald, C. Helm, “Crystallization in thin films induced by shear”,  Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2005, 109(25); 12509-12514


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