Speaker: Dayong Chen
Affiliation: University of California, UCLA

Modulating Surface Energy to Promote Superior Wettability and Mechanical Instability

Functional surfaces play important roles in many technical applications including drag reduction, anti-icing, water harvesting and heat transfer. Modulating surface energy and interfacial interactions can lead to desirable surface and interfacial properties, which cast tremendous beneficial impact on the aforementioned applications. In this talk, I will first show that a low surface energy amplified by surface roughness gives rise to a superhydrophobic surface. Trapping air between water and a superhydrophobic surface can induce significant drag reduction for flow past the surface. Second, I will describe a new anti-icing strategy by modulating interfacial interactions between water molecules and solid surfaces, yielding surfaces with remarkably low ice adhesion strength. In addition, patterning a surface with high and low surface energy contrast can enhance the efficiency of water harvesting and heat transfer. In the third example, I will show that surface energy or “wettability” can be patterned spontaneously on both flat and curved surfaces in a single step process, by taking advantage of a reversible creasing instability on a polyurethane elastomer film. Such patterned surfaces show potential in enhancing water collection efficiency. Moreover, surface energy can significantly influence the deformation of soft materials. In the fourth example, I will focus on how surface energy retards creasing instability observed on elastomers under large compression.


Dr. Dayong Chen is currently a research scientist working in Professor Richard Kaner’s group at UCLA. Before coming to UCLA, Dr. Chen was a postdoc for two years at MIT working with Professor Robert Cohen and Professor Gareth McKinley. Prior to joining MIT, Dr. Chen obtained his PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst under the supervision of Professor Ryan Hayward. He received his BS in Materials Science and Engineering and MS in Biomedical Engineering both from Tianjin University. Dr. Chen’s research efforts focus on polymeric materials and functional surfaces for energy, water and biomedical applications. He has authored more than 20 papers in journals including PNAS, Science Advances, Physical Review Letters, Advanced Materials, et al., and filed 3 US patent applications with one of them licensed to a company based in Boston, MA. Dr. Chen won Exxon Mobil-MIT Energy Fellow in 2015-2016.




Date(s) - May 19, 2017
10:30 am - 12:00 pm


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