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  • [January 3, 2017]

    2D materials for discotic liquid crystals and as nanoparticle-surfactants

  • Speaker:
    Zhengdong Cheng
    Tuesday, January 3, 2017
    Room 210, COE Building No.1
    Huai Yang
  • Abstract
  • Our group has carried out systematic study on 2D materials, including liquid crystal phase formations, nanocomposite fabrication, and understanding of Janus platelets as nanoparticle surfactants for Pickering emulsification. I will discuss the discovery of discotic smectic phase, which can be used in more effective industrial sealants, improved food packaging, enhanced electronic displays, and improved fuel cell technology. We also developed method to mass produce Janus nanoplates, first using the model system of Zirconium Phosphate nanoplates, then using clay and graphene Quantum Dots with reduced cost. I will discuss the applications of these nanoplate surfactants to make stable Pickering emulsions and foams, to stable graphene suspensions, for enhanced oil recovery, and for nano-encapsulations of liquid crystals and phase change materials. I will also briefly discuss our work in microfluidics.
  • Biography
  • Professor Cheng obtained his PhD degree from the Physics Department of Princeton University in 1999 (with Prof. Paul Chaikin, in close collaboration with William Russel). He obtained his MS degree from the Institute of High Energy Physics (Beijing) in 1993 and BS degree from the Modern Physics Department of University of Science and Technology of China in 1990. He was a postdoctoral fellow of ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (Annandale, New Jersey, USA), and Harvard University (with Prof. Dave Weitz). He joined Texas A&M University as an Assistant professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering in August 2004 and was promoted to Associate professor in 2010.  He is also a faculty member of the Materials Science and Engineering Program and the Professional Program in Biotechnology of TAMU. Professor Cheng’s expertise is in the area of complex fluids and soft condensed matter physics. He has published over 90 papers in journals including Nature, Science, and Physical Review Letters. His current research focuses on the self-organization of intelligent colloids and anisotropic particles, the fabrication of photonic crystals and integrated photonic circuits, solar hydrogen production via water splitting, and the application of microfluidics to encapsulation. The techniques developed are applicable to the modeling of phase transitions and liquid crystal materials, the engineering of nano-composites and semiconductor of light, fabrication and utilization of nanoplate surfactants, solar energy harvesting, and a wide range of therapeutic treatments.