Bio-nano Interfaces, Functional Materials & Biotechnologies Laboratory

Research

We focus on fundamental studies of interfacial phenomena (adsorption, docking, charge transfer, self-assembling and complex gas-surface or liquid-surface chemical reactions), especially those related with bio-nano hybrids, for the purpose of developing functional materials and biotechnologies to tackle challenges in health, energy and environment. To achieve process-structure-function design, we combine our house-developed multiscale simulation framework (quantum, atomistic, mesoscopic and continuum scales) with theories (Statistical Mechanics and quantum) and experiments at the interface between chemistry, physics and biology. Based on the fundamental studies, our lab is working on four specific areas: 1) biomaterials (peptide mimics/proteins, DNA/RNA/nucleic acids and lipids) and biotechniques (biosensors, drug delivery, bioremediation and bioenergy); 2) polymer-nanoparticle composite materials for water treatment and semiconducting polymers for polymer photovoltaics; 3) materials at severe conditions (such as high temperature and high pressure) for energy applications; 4) low-dimensional or nanoporous materials (such as graphene sheet(s), CNT, zeolites and MOFs) for biosensing, energy and pollution control (water/air).

Our research projects about interfacial phenomena (Biosensing, Polymer Membrane and Biointerfacial Electron Transfer) have been given media highlights on NSF, NSF/Xsede, Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and many scientific news reports (nsf.org (11/30); xsede.org (11/29); tacc.utexas.edu (11/29); phys.org (11/30); physnews.com (11/30); eurekAlert.org (11/29); hitechdays.com (12/01); headlines-news.com (12/02); sciencedaily.com (12/02); scifeeds.com (11/30); follownews.com (11/30); eurekalert.org (11/29); technobahn.com (11/29); technology.org (12/28); sciencenewsline.org (11/30)):
​"Deep Insights From Surface Reactions" [Full Report] [PDF File]

More information on research projects.

People

Our current research team comprises the diverse and multidisciplinary expertise of a postdoctoral scholar, graduate and undergraduate students. Our team members have specialized in the varied areas of chemistry, biology and chemical engineering. More information on team members.

Publications

The lab has published peer-reviewed papers and given conference reports in ACS, AIP and AICHE. More information on research publications.

Support

The lab has received grants and computational resources from several federal agencies and national laboratories. More information on this support.

News

Thomas Brings Home a Win from 2018 Annual AIChE Meeting

Mon, December 10, 2018

Chemical Engineering Junior Jamaka Thomas won second place in the Food, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology category at the 2018 Annual AIChE Meeting for her research submission titled: “Enrichment of Oat Protein by Means of Gravity and Electrostatic Forces.” Thomas co-authored her submission with Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Dinara Konakbayeva.Read More >>

Assistant Professor Patrick Ymele-Leki Mentors Postdoctoral Researcher and 2018 Research Week Winner

Fri, April 20, 2018

Chemical Engineering postdoctoral researcher Jyothirmai Simhadri was announced as the Post Doc/Resident/Fellow/Research Associate winner in the Physical Sciences and Engineering category for her research submission titled: "Development of Shewanella Oneidensis MR-1 Biofilms for Iodate Reduction in Groundwater". Read More >>

Events

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