Complex Materials and Processing

Complex materials, produced by highly refined control of structures at multiple length-scales, comprise the very fabric of many modern technologies. Soft materials, mostly synthetic polymers, are lightweight and strong — these are found as structural materials in cars, homes or sports equipment, in packaging for food and beverages, but also used as membranes for desalination and other separations.

Most polymeric materials introduced into commerce today contain multiple components or phases, with supramolecular structures ranging from nanometers to microns. Organic materials and polymers are also increasingly useful as building blocks for electronic and photovoltaic applications, an area of major activity in this department. Colloidal assemblies are also an important class of materials that have been the focus of significant research efforts at Princeton.

Processing and fluid dynamics play an important role in the development of polymeric materials and complex fluids. For example, researchers at Princeton utilize fast mixing of polymer solutions with a poor solvent for the polymers to produce nanoparticles with controlled structure, size, and complex morphologies in a one-step scalable process. Fluid-mechanical instabilities are being used to generate intricate patterns in two and three dimensions.



  • Ilhan A. Aksay

    Ceramics and Glasses; Colloidal Dispersions; Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
  • Pierre-Thomas Brun

    Dynamics of Fluids and Flexible Solids; Interfacial Phenomena; Pattern Forming Instabilities; Dynamics of Living Systems
  • Sujit S. Datta

    Soft Matter Physics and Engineering; Flow Through Porous Media; Interfacial Phenomena; Biophysics; Biological Polymers; Microfluidics
  • Bruce E. Koel

    Surface Science; Heterogeneous Catalysis; Photocatalysis; Nanoscience and Nanotechnology; Plasma-Materials Interactions
  • Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo

    Organic and Polymer Transistors and Solar Cells; Organic Semiconductors and Conducting Polymers; Self-Assembled Monolayers; Soft Lithography
  • Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos

    Molecular simulation of fluids, materials and biological systems; Thermodynamic analysis of processes; Ionic liquids and their applications
  • Rodney D. Priestley

    Polymer Science and Engineering, Nanoscale Materials Characterization, Supramolecular Polymers, Healing and Responsive Materials, Polymeric Membranes
  • Robert K. Prud'homme

    Flow in Porous Media; Micro and Nanofluidic Phenomena; Rheology; Colloidal Dispersions; Polymer Engineering
  • Richard A. Register

    Polymer Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering; Nanoscience and Nanotechnology; Rheology

Associated Faculty

  • Emily A. Carter

    Computational Materials Science and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Daniel Cohen

    Bioengineering: biomaterials, biomechanics, swarm behavior
  • Howard A. Stone

    Fluid Dynamics and Transport Processes; Complex Fluids; Colloidal Hydrodynamics; Microfluidics; Cellular-scale Hydrodynamics; Biofilms
  • Claire White

    Durability of Alkali-Activated Cements; Atomic and Nanoscale Morphology of Cementitious Materials; Reaction Kinetics of Cement Formation