Our Research

Our research focuses on experimental studies of different materials, with a particular focus on their applications to developing regions. Current areas of interest focus on materials for biomedical, energy, and thermostructural applications.

  • Biomedical Materials
    Our research focuses on the use of nano-/micro-science and technology in the early detection and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease. This includes the development of ligand-conjugated nanoparticles and bio-micro-electro-mechanical (BioMEMS) systems for the early detection of breast, prostate, and brain cancer. The detection techniques include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and BioMEMS cantilevers. We are also engaged in basic studies of how ligand-conjugated nanoparticles enter biological cells, and experimental/theoretical investigations of swelling and fluid transport from drug eluting stents. Novel nanotechnology-based and BioMEMS-based devices are being developed for the synergistic treatment of cancer via localized drug release and hyperthermia. Science-based reliability models are also being developed for the prediction of reliability in drug eluting stents.

  • Organic/Flexible Electronics
    Our research focuses on the development of the next generation of organic solar cells (OPV cells) and organic light emitting devices (OLEDs). We are studying the effects of adhesion, packaging, and degradation mechanisms on the optoelectronic properties of organic electronic structures on rigid or flexible substrates. The research is also exploring the effects of functional nanostructures in the design of hybrid inorganic/organic solar cells and light emitting devices with the potential to overcome recombination phenomena that are typically observed in OPV cells and OLEDs.

  • Thermo-structural Materials
    The processing and properties of thermo-structural materials are being explored for applications in affordable housing, water purification, and materials for transportation. This includes research on natural fiber-reinforced composites for passive solar and affordable building materials, eco-friendly/bio-inspired materials and structures, and thermal barrier coatings with the potential to improve the performance of aeroengines and land-based gas turbines. The studies include: experimental, theoretical, and computational studies of fatigue and fracture, creep, interfacial failure, toughening mechanisms, and high-temperature oxidation phenomena. Micro- and nano-porous materials are also being developed for water purification.