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Interfacial Engineering of Soft Matter


Interfacial engineering is a culmination of a century of interdisciplinary science and engineering. The foundation is provided by the thermodynamics of surface tension, surface chemistry and adsorption, which govern the properties of catalysts, colloids and surfactants. Microminiaturization of soft and hard materials and the growth of nanotechnology have led to dramatic increases in the surface-to-volume ratio. Knowledge of the principles of interfacial engineering can be used in the application domains of microelectronics chips and packaging, polymer composites, advanced ceramics, biomedical implants and bioanalytical devices. This course will cover the fundamentals of interface physics and chemistry, with an emphasis on soft matter, including phospholipids, proteins and synthetic polymers at interfaces. Specific topics will include intermolecular forces and potentials; solvation, structural and hydration forces; particle-particle interactions; interfacial thermodynamics; Poisson-Boltzmann theory of the diffuse electric double layer; electrokinetic phenomena; colloidal aggregation; and molecular assemblies.