January 24, 2020
Orlin Velev, S. Frank and Doris Culberson Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University
Liquid Nanofabrication of Functional Multiphasic Soft Matter by Capillary Binding and Interfacial Templating

We will present two new engineering strategies which use multiphasic liquid-liquid-polymer systems to make a rich variety of novel colloidal structures and materials. The capillary forces originating at the liquid/liquid interfaces can serve for reconfigurable binding in soft matter systems, including Pickering emulsions, novel responsive capillary gels, and compositions for 3D printing. Alternatively, the liquid/liquid interfaces can also template the formation of a variety of polymer nanomaterials. We will first present responsive structures made of filaments from lipid-coated magnetic nanoparticles suspended in water-oil systems. The nanocapillary binding results in ultra-high filament flexibility. As an example of the application of such structures, we will discuss the development of new 3D printing inks consisting of water, crosslinked PDMS microbeads and liquid PDMS phase. These Homocomposite Thixotropic Pastes (HTPs) can be directly extruded and shaped on a 3D printer. The curing of the PDMS bridges yields remarkably elastic, flexible and biocompatible structures. The HTP-3DP inks enable new opportunities for 3D printing of “active” and magnetically reconfigurable structures. In the second new materials synthesis approach the liquid/liquid droplet interfaces template the formation of a variety of polymer nanomaterials, including nanoparticles, nanofibers, nanoribbons, microrods and microsheets. The interfacial polymer precipitation in turbulently sheared liquid media results in a new class of soft dendritic polymer microparticles (“dendricolloids”) with hierarchical morphology similar to molecular-scale polymer dendrimers, but two orders of magnitude larger in scale. The dendricolloids combine the properties of fascinating soft matter systems – the freely-suspended dendritic particles have very large excluded volume, while in contact their nanofiber corona possesses the highly adhesive abilities of the nanofiber-padded gecko legs. Thus, the polymer dendricolloids possess highly unusual properties – gelation at very low volume fractions, strong adhesion to surfaces and to each other, and ability to bind strongly and form coatings, nonwoven sheets, and ultrasoft membranes.

Time: 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Location: Engineering Building 2, Room W122

About Elizabeth D. Rockwell

Elizabeth D. Rockwell

A fourth generation Houstonian, Mrs. Rockwell was an Executive Director, Private Client Division of CIBC Oppenheimer Corp. She was widely recognized as an expert in retirement, estate, investment, and tax planning. She was an early proponent of the Keogh and IRA plans, for which she has been nationally recognized.

In 1991, she qualified to be a member of the Million Dollar Round Table as well as the Texas Leaders Round Table. Since 1990 she had authored a monthly column for the Houston Chronicle.

Mrs. Rockwell served as President of the UH College of Business Administration Foundation Board, as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, and was an Executive Professor for the college. She also served as a member of the advisory board of the Health Law and Policy Institute and as a Trustee of the University of Houston System’s Foundation, as well as a member of the UH System’s Planned Giving Council.

Mrs. Rockwell served on the Board of Governors for the Houston Forum, and as a Board member of the American Red Cross, the Greater Houston Women’s Foundation, the University of Houston Alumni Organization, and the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. She was a member of the River Oaks Business Women’s Exchange Club, the National Tax Sheltered Annuity Association, the Texas Association of College Teachers, and the Houston Association of Life Underwriters.

Among her numerous honors, she has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Houston, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Houston Alumni Organization and from the UH College of Business Administration. Throughout the years she has been recognized for her many achievements by the Education Foundation of Harris County, the Houston Community College System’s Television Station Advisory Council, and the Houston Mayor’s READ Commission.

The Houston Alumni Center is home to the Elizabeth D. Rockwell President’s Suite. In September 1997, the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Career Services Center was opened in the UH College of Business Administration. She endowed the Chair for the Dean of the M.D. Anderson Library.

Mrs. Rockwell was listed in the Who’s Who in the South and Southwest; Who’s Who in finance and Industry; Who’s Who of American Women; and Who’s Who in the World.