The unifying research theme of the cf2 group, led by Prof. Matteo Pasquali, is the interaction of flow and liquid micro- and nano-structure. Most engineered materials are formed and/or processed in the liquid state; they are complex fluids because they possess intrinsic length scales that are well-separated from the macroscopic length scales of the process (usually tens of micrometers to meters) and the nanoscopic length scales of the solvent (usually smaller than one nanometer). For example, in polymer solutions and melts the intrinsic length scale is the length of the polymer (usually hundreds of nanometers to few micrometers), which is well separated from the finer length scales (solvent diameter in solution, polymer diameter in melts). The large scale microstructural features relax on timescales that overlap the flow time scales; thus, the dynamic morphology can differ dramatically from the equilibrium one, and this changing morphology affects the flow and produced intriguing nonlinear dynamical phenomena that are not observed in flowing liquids of low-molecular weight. For more information, please visit our research website.
Matteo Pasquali is the A. J. Hartsook Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, and Materials Science & NanoEngineering at Rice University, where he also serves as Chair of the Chemistry Department and previously served as Co-Director of the Carbon NanoTechnology Laboratory, as Master of Lovett College and as member of the academic senate. After receiving his Laurea from University of Bologna and PhD from University of Minnesota, Matteo joined Rice University in 2000 to start a laboratory on soft materials, which evolved into a key center for the scalable manufacturing and application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene materials with enhanced mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. The laboratory houses about 20 PhD students and postdocs and currently targets applications in wearables, energy transmission and harvesting, biomedicine, aerospace, and defense. These CNT materials are already incorporated into prototypes (field emitters, data cables) and high-end products (audio cables). Matteo has advised over 90 graduate students and postdocs, who are now in key positions in industry, academia, national laboratories, startups, and finance. Matteo’s work is funded by wide range of industries ranging from international and national oil companies to automotive, aerospace, electronics, and high tech companies. Matteo founded two companies, DexMat (smart CNT materials) and NanoLinea (medical applications of CNT fibers). Matteo’s work has been recognized by numerous awards, including the NSF CAREER, Goradia innovation prize, Schlack award for man-made fibers, and multiple NASA Tech Brief Awards. Matteo is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society.