CHE Seminars  

Speaker Dr.Gaurav Goel
Topic From polymer collapse to confined fluids: investigating the implications of interfacial structuring
Date September 10, 2010 (Friday)
Place L-4, Lecture Hall Complex
4:15 to 5.15 p.m.

A detailed understanding of the fluid behavior in confined systems and at interfaces will open up several avenues for new technologies and smart materials. In this talk I will present our work on advancing our knowledge of dynamics and thermodynamics at small scales and interfaces, and, relevance to potential applications in geology, biology, and, emerging technology. Confined interfacial systems are distinct from the bulk systems in two key ways. Firstly, at least one dimension in the microscopic regime means mixing is diffusion limited (Reynolds number <<1). Secondly, a large surface to volume ratio implies that surface-fluid interactions play a dominant role in structuring of fluid at the interface. Using molecular simulations and liquid state theory, we first show that this resulting fluid structure is intimately related to both the thermodynamics and dynamics of the fluid for systems ranging from a confined hard-sphere fluid, a protein in an aqueous medium, and, a silicate melt at geologically relevant conditions. We then exploit this structural-thermodynamical-dynamical coupling of fluid properties to predict as well as systematically tune these properties of aforementioned fluid systems by varying the underlying interactions in the system. We discuss how these results can be used in the laboratory or industry to optimize the conditions for folding of proteins, to extrapolate the dynamical data obtained for silicate melts, and, to get particle-surface interactions which either speed up or slow down the diffusive motion in colloidal fluids.

Dr.Gaurav Goel is a postdoctoral scholar at Case Western Reserve University. He earned his B. Tech. in Chemical engineering from IIT Delhi in 2004 and PhD in the Department of Chemical Engineering at University of Texas at Austin in August 2009. In 2008 he was rewarded the Outstanding International Graduate Student Fellowship for his research and academic credentials.

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