Illuminating Interfacial Mechanics
Our Research Motivation and Approach...
Nature demonstrates the critical importance of harnessing interfacial phenomena to control materials properties on a daily basis: water beads up on a tree's leaves without dissolving its hydrophilic cellulose, a beetle traverses the underside of a branch without falling off, and that branch sways in the breeze without interfacial separation and fracture of the layered cellulose and lignin components within. Through these interactions, it is clear that interfacial properties govern how the world around us functions.
By coupling microscopy and micromechanical surface testing methods, we are developing novel techniques that allow us to gain critical insights into the interactions of soft materials with their environment.