I. Mechanics of Soft Materials
Figure 1. Imaging of surface deformations of soft gels using a confocal microscope
Soft materials show appealing mechanical properties due to the capability of enduring large strains. We are particularly interested in the physical properties of solid surface tension, which is often related to the concept of solid capillarity. Currently, we have following projects to investigate the mechanics of soft materials:
(1). Development of innovative optical techniques to image surface deformations of soft materials.
(2). Measurements of solid surface tension under different surface strains and surface strain rates.
(3). Wetting and impact dynamics at soft interfaces.
II. Dynamics of Complex Fluids
Figure 2. The boundary of dense granular suspensions in the shear-thickening regime.
Different from simple Newtonian fluids, complex fluids show non-linear relation between shear stress and shear rate. Common complex fluids include dense suspensions, polymeric solutions, oxidized liquid metals, and etc. In spite of their broad industrial applications, the fundamental dynamics of such fluids remains complicated. Our group is particularly interested in studying their dynamics in various contexts. Specific research topics involve:
(1). Shear thickening and shear jamming of dense suspensions.
(2). LAOS and nonlinear rheology of complex fluids.
(3). Development of complex fluids based composite materials.