CHME Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - Fri 04/06/18
1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

Jett Hall (JH) 259 Watkins Connected Learning Classroom


Dynamic Assembly and Active Propulsion of Asymmetric Particles under External Fields: A Path Towards Functional Materials and Intelligent Colloidal Robots

Ning Wu
Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Colorado School of Mines


Colloids are important for our daily life and modern technologies. Among which colloidal particles with asymmetric properties in geometry, surface functionality, and chemical composition emerge as an important family of the colloidal genome. Scientifically, both in- and far-from-equilibrium behaviors of these micro/nano-particles are fundamentally different from conventional particles because of their broken symmetry in particle properties, colloidal interactions, and surrounding hydrodynamic flow. Technologically, synthetic motors based on asymmetric particles that can actively sense the environment, capture targets, and deliver cargoes could revolutionize many modern technologies including targeted drug delivery, cell manipulation, intelligent sensors, and miniaturized surgeons. In this talk, we will report our recent studies of dynamic assembly and active propulsion of asymmetric colloids that are driven by externally applied electric or magnetic fields. The new assembled structures and propulsion mechanisms revealed here not only provide insights in the non-equilibrium physics for active soft matter but also suggest new routes for making colloidal-based robots for cargo capture and delivery within a wide range of solution conditions.

Short Biosketch
Dr. Ning Wu joined Colorado School of Mines (CSM) as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering in fall 2010 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2016. He holds a B. Eng. in Chemical Engineering from the National University of Singapore, and a Ph. D in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University. Before joining CSM he worked at Harvard University as a postdoctoral researcher. His research interest lies in controlling the structures of colloidal particles at different length scales, which are important for emergent dynamics of out-of-equilibrium colloidal systems, multi-functional micro-motors, development of efficient photovoltaics, novel colloidal emulsifiers, as well as biomedical diagnostic/therapeutic systems. He received National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2015 and was recently featured as the Langmuir Early Career Authors in Fundamental Colloid and Interface Science. His work have been published on PNAS and PRL, featured on the cover of Advanced Functional Materials, and selected in spotlights in JACS.