We develop physical models, through theoretical and experimental studies, to quantify chemical equilibrium and kinetics in adsorption, catalysis, desalination, and microbiology. The goal is to link macroscopic observations with molecular mechanisms. We are located in the Maddox Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University. Contact: Chongzheng Na, (806) 834-3597, email@example.com.
Adsorption of compounds dissolved in solution by solids is often mistaken as being equivalent to the adsorption of gases even though the two processes show distinctively different behaviors. New models are desparately needed to account for the capillary effect of surface tension in solution-phase adsorption.
The kinetics of heterogeneous catalysis shows an abnormal dependence on nanoparticle size, in which the reaction rate can either increase or decrease with the increase of size depending on the temperature. New models are needed to explain the interwined dependence of catalysis on size and temperature.
The number of particle-stabilized droplets involved in coalscence equals four times the tetrahedral number sequence although coalescence is often believed to only occur pairwise according to the von Smoluchowski theory of coagulation. New models are needed to understand the unique interaction among particle-stabilized droplets.
Self-assembly of amphiphilic lipids is important for membrane organization and integrity, which can be disturbed by genetic mutation of methylation. New models are needed to understand the on-off switch of self-assembly by the presence and absence of simple chemical functional groups.