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  • The School of Materials is a strong multidisciplinary community where we work together to carry out world class research and deliver excellence in education.

    Prof. William Sampson

    Head of School

Our Blog
  • #MondayMaterials Episode 30 – Ella Row

    Monday, March 27, 2017

    Hello all! Welcome to Episode 30 of #MondayMaterials. It’s a little different today as we’re meeting with recent graduate Ella Row to discuss her industrial placement. Ella was introduced to me by former #MondayMaterials participant Patsy Perry. Patsy was particularly excited by this student’s progression because Ella, after a year...

  • School of Materials Seminar entitled "Towards Durable Hydrophobicity and Omniphobicity"

    Wednesday, November 22, 2017

    Micro and nanoengineered functional surfaces have recently received significant attention due to their ability to enhance the efficiency and performance of a variety of applications. Although demonstrated on the lab scale, the successful integration of these surfaces into systems has been slow due mainly to issues related to poor longevity, unproven scalability, and inability to handle working fluids having low surface tensions. Furthermore, the utilization of these surfaces in thermal domains has been even tougher due to the need to keep coatings ultra-thin to avoid adding parasitic thermal resistances. In this talk, I will discuss fundamental studies of hydrophobic and omniphobic surface durability during both water vapor condensation and a variety of fluid-surface interactions. Our studies provide key insights related to the design of smooth and rough functional surfaces and help pinpoint future breakthroughs needed to improve the robustness and implementation of hydrophobic and omniphobic coatings. Speaker Biography At UIUC, Nenad leads the Energy Transport Research Laboratory (ETRL). The ETRL’s research has advanced the efficiency of various industrial processes including energy (power generation, oil & gas, HVAC&R), water, transportation, and electronics cooling, by fundamentally altering thermal-fluid-surface interactions. Previous to this, Nenad’s PhD work focused on the design and characterization of micro/nanostructured surfaces for enhanced condensation heat transfer. He is the recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award, and the UK Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellowship.

    School of Materials Seminar entitled "Colloidal processing of graphene oxide: Pickering emulsions, capsules and magnetic adventures"

    Wednesday, December 13, 2017

    It is now widely accepted that graphene oxide and related 2-dimensional nanomaterials can stabilise emulsions and foams at a fraction of the material cost when compared to the conventional 3D (usually spherical) particles employed for Pickering/Ramsden emulsification (1). Emulsions stabilised by graphene oxide show remarkable stability, and can be tuned by changes in solution conditions, making them interesting candidates for a range of applications.Such emulsions are exquisitely sensitive to the parameters used during their formulation, which affect the interactions between graphene oxide and the oil–water interface: pH, salt, oil type, and the presence of other additives. Their stability to dilution is particularly appealing when compared to molecularly stabilised emulsions. In most cases, emulsification of oil in water with graphene oxide gives simple oil-in-water emulsions (1). However, for certain oils, carefully engineered solution conditions result in single-step production of multiple emulsions (2), leading readily to multi-compartment capsules through polymerisation of the outer droplet interface. Controlling the outer ‘skin’ of these capsules allows for controlled release of active agents contained within, with potential applications in agriculture and water treatment. The same colloid chemistry – understanding stability and interactions, can be used to exert subtle control over graphene oxide using light-switchable surfactants (3) or non-covalently bound magnetic particles (4) or magnetic molecules (5). This enhances opportunities for using this material to capture toxins or valuable materials from water at low concentrations, and provides new routes for remediation and refining. (1) J Phys. Chem. C 118 (2014) 4529-4535. (2) ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 9 (2017) 18187–18198. (3) Nanoscale 8 (2016) 6969–6974. (4) ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 7 (2015) 2124–2133. (5) J. Colloid Interface Sci. 464 (2016) 285–290. Rico Tabor is an ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University. He leads the Soft Materials and Colloids Laboratory within the School of Chemistry. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Bristol, UK, and went on to undertake a PhD in the surfactant lab of Prof. Julian Eastoe, graduating in 2009. The topic of his PhD was investigating the kinetics and aggregation of surfactants in non-aqueous solvents, with particular focus on nanoparticle stabilisation. Late in 2009, Rico emigrated to Australia to take up a post-doctoral position at the University of Melbourne, exploring interactions in soft colloidal systems using atomic force microscopy. In 2012, Rico took up a lectureship in the School of Chemistry at Monash University. His group’s research is focused on several key areas of soft materials and colloidal systems: Applications of small-angle neutron scattering, light scattering and atomic force microscopy in studies of soft and self-assembled systems. Novel surfactants and their properties, including pH and photo-responsive molecules; Carbon nanomaterials (especially graphene oxide) with particular focus on colloidal and interfacial properties. Rico has published 75 papers across a range of topics in surface and colloid science, and works extensively with industry on applications of colloidal systems to practical problems.

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