ChBE Seminar: Interfacial Phenomena and Biomimetics
Speaker: Donglee Shin, Assistant Professor, Dept of Chemical Engineering
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech)
Many plants and animals have unique phases and surface structures that create
critical functionalities for their survival. Understanding and mimicking the
engineering principles that Nature uses are based on the investigation of the physical
and chemical phenomena that arise from a wide range of surfaces and interfaces.
Two examples of the lesson from Nature will be discussed in this seminar. Honey
bees are well-known to utilize liquid secretions to moisturize and adhere to pollen
grains during collection in their pollen baskets. The bees transport the pellets
containing many pollen grains each under a wide range of humidity. I will
demonstrate how the presence of two immiscible liquid phases in the bioadhesive
tempers the effects of water transport under high or low humidity conditions. The
compound eyes of the arthropods, such as mosquitos, moth, dragonfly, and fly,
shows fascinating multifunctionality. The compound eyes don’t have a focus control
system, such as the ciliary muscle of human eyes, but the individual microlens has a
nearly infinite depth of field. Furthermore, the antifogging properties attributed to
their hierarchical structure and surface chemistry allow them to have a clear vision
under the humid environment. The strategy of compound eye fabrication originated
in the understanding of interfacial phenomena will be described.
Dr. Donglee Shin is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical engineering at New Mexico Tech. Shin earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 2011. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2017, followed by working as a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University until 2019. He joined New Mexico Tech in 2020.
The ultimate goal of shin’s lab is to accomplish an enhanced understanding of the delicate interplay between the component of the colloid science and interfacial phenomena. Shin aims to comprehend and mimic the engineering principles that many plants and animals use to create critical functionality for their survival. His group develops novel fabrication processes utilizing colloid science and interfacial phenomena to create bioinspired functional materials for application in the areas of adhesion, separation, sensors, wetting, and optics.