Structuring Liquids with Nanoparticles (T Russell, UMass)


“Structuring Liquids with Nanoparticles”

Prof. Tom Russell
Polymer Science and Engineering Department
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Materials will segregate to the interface between two immiscible fluids to reduce the interfacial energy. For particles at interfaces, the reduction in the interfacial energy will depend upon the size and shape of the particle and, to a first approximation, the cross-sectional area of the particle at the interface. So, for example, nanosheets, like graphene or clays, will occupy a large interfacial area and result in a significant reduction in the interfacial energy per particle or sheet. Nanorods, like carbon nanotubes or tobacco mosaic virus, will orient parallel to the interface to maximize the reduction in the interfacial energy and, in fact, can form a two-dimensional liquid crystalline phase at the interface to optimize packing coverage of the interface. Nanoparticles, with the smallest cross-sectional area, are only weakly held at the interface where the reduction in interfacial energy competes against thermal energy, resulting in liquid-like assemblies at the interface. One route to enhance the interfacial activity is to generate Janus-type particles, where one part is soluble in one fluid, while the second is soluble in the other. This increase in the interfacial activity leads to an unusual jamming behavior of the nanoparticles at the interface and a route to generate structured liquids.

Speaker Background

Thomas P. Russell, the Silvio O. Conte Distinguished Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, received his PhD in 1979 in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, worked at the University of Mainz (1979-80), then moved to the IBM Almaden Research Center (1981-96) before joining UMass in 1997. He was elected member of National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2008. His research interests include the surface and interfacial properties of polymers, organic photovoltaics, directed
self-assembly processes, the interfacial behavior of nanoparticles, and the wrinkling behavior of thin films. He served as the Director of the NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) from 1996-2009 and is currently the Director of the DOE Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) on Polymer-Based Materials for Harvesting Solar Energy. He is also a lead PI in the Global Research Laboratory at Seoul National University, and the WPI-Advanced Institute of Materials Research at Tohoku University. He holds 26 patents and has authored over 620 publications. His research on nanostructured thin films using block copolymers has been used for floating gate memory and air gap insulator technologies and is currently on the technology roadmap for bit patterned media. Among many other honors in addition to being an Elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering, Prof. Russell is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Materials Research Society (MRS), the Neutron Scattering Society of America, and the Polymer Materials Science and Engineering Division of the American Chemical Society.


Tuesday, July 29


Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park
2960 N. Shoreline Park
Mountain View, CA 94043




6 PM social hour
7 PM dinner
8 PM lecture


Employed/postdoc Student/unemployed/retired
Early Registration  $30 $15
Registration $35 $20
Walk-in (not guaranteed) $40 $25

Lecture-only is free.



We accept cash or checks at the door, or online payment via credit card. No-shows are responsible for full payment of registration fee.


Please register on the web page or contact:

Len Radzilowski



Deadline for registration:

11:59PM, Monday, July 21 for early registration discount.
5PM, Monday, July 28 for regular registration.

Dinner Selection:

Seafood - Broiled salmon with lemon beurre blanc
Chicken - Chicken piccatta
Vegetarian - Vegetable Napoleon

You should receive confirmation of your registration; if not, please contact us again.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.