Seeking gelations in dilute inorganic macorionic solutions

How to Apply

Interested in participating in this research project? Contact the professor or graduate student listed below.


Dr. Tianbo Liu (Polymer Science) |

Graduate Student

Jiahui Chen |

Project Description

Hydrogel, conventionally defined as networks held up by cross-links and entrapping solvent in intermolecular spaces, has been widely used in clinic trials. Understanding the formation mechanism will be helpful to develop new materials. Example of hydrogels and their formation driving forces include hydrophilic polymers (entanglement), surfactants (hydrophobic interactions), colloids (depletion force), trans-metal hydroxides (chemical bonds), etc. Recently, we found that without the interactions listed above, some hydrophilic macroions, including polyoxometalates and metal-organic nanocages, can gelatinate in dilute solution. The critical formation concentration, temperature/salt respose, morphology, mechanical properties, and formation driving force of the gel will be studied. This study may expand the current theories about hydrogels, and develop new method to fabricate hydrogel.

Project Date

Spring 2020

Search Terms

Advanced Materials, STEM