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CBES: Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science

Research Highlights

Interfacial Implications of Odd Viscosity

Odd viscosity passivizes Moffatt vortices, decreasing their size and reducing their intensity by creating normal stress-induced shear stress at the liquid-gas interface. Odd viscosity shows a tendency to moderate singular behavior in corner flows with a free surface.

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Odd viscosity squeezes and decreases the size and intensity of Moffatt vortices in a viscous liquid at a corner with one free surface.
Uncut (left) and cut (middle, right) magnetic sheet causing fluid flow around the sheet, u.

Elastic Sheet Swimming using Dynamic Magnetic Fields

Swimming of homogeneous 2D elastic sheets made from magnetic particles.

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Superionics in Colloidal Crystals

 Crystal of asymmetric in size oppositely charged nanoparticles (NP) in equilibrium with a reservoir undergo ionic to metallic bonding transition where the small NP lattice melts and the crystals expand.

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Increase of temperature and nanoparticle concentration in the reservoir change the bonding in the assemblies from ionic-like to metallic-like.


Selective photoreduction of acetylene to ethylene powered by visible light and water at room temperature using molecular or semiconductor photosensitizers and cobalt molecular catalyst

A Greener, Photochemical, Route to Polymer-grade Ethylene

A visible light-powered cobalt porphyrin catalyzes near 100% conversion of acetylene to ethylene with >99% selectivity.

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Photocatalytic Aqueous CO2 Reduction to CO and CH4 Sensitized by Ullazine Supramolecular Polymers

Self-assembled organic molecules photosensitize a cobalt molecular catalyst to reduce CO2 to CO and CH4 in water.

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Diareno-ullazine molecules undergo self-assembly in water to form fibrous supramolecular polymers. Under visible light, these assemblies sensitize a cobalt molecular catalyst and convert CO2 to CO and CH4.

Emergence of Valency in Colloidal Crystals through Electron Equivalents

Record Photoreduction of CO2 in Water Sensitized by Quantum Dots

Micromechanical Devices Using DNA Hybridization

Flexing Muscles: Hybrid Materials with Actuatable, Hierarchical Topography for Multifunctional Surface Design

Using Magnetic Fields to Control Elastic Sheets


Shape-Directed Micromotors via Catalytic Self-Electrophoresis


Transitional Bonding in Colloidal Systems


Shape-Directed Dynamics of Active Colloids

Self-Assembled Three-Dimensional Chiral Colloidal Architecture: Uniquely Left or Uniquely Right Handed

A Silicon Ratchet to Produce Power from Below-Bandgap Photons

A Light-Responsive Organic Electron Flashing Ratchet


Contractile Actuation and Dynamical Gel Assembly of Paramagnetic Filaments in Fast Precessing Fields

Self-Replication with Dipolar Colloids

"Soft" Amplifier Circuits Based on Field-Effect Ionic Transistors

Interactions Between Polyelectrolyte-Gel Surfaces

Electrically Driven Pumps Based on Conical Pores have High Rectification; Could be of Interest for Pumping Salt

Identification of Two Mechanisms for Current Production in a Biharmonic Flashing Electron Ratchet

Transmutable Nanoparticles with Reconfigurable Surface Ligands

Enzymatic Reactions Convectively Aggregate Microcapsules Modeling Self-Assembly of Protocells

Coarsening Dynamics of Binary Liquids with Active Rotation

Controlling Shape and Pattern in Active Colloidal Cells

Morphological Phases in Ionic Liquids Induce High Conductivities at Low Temperatures

Energy Landscapes and Functions of Self-Assembling Peptide Amphiphile Nanofibers

Salt Pumping by Voltage-Gated Nanochannels

Energy Conversion in Polyelectrolyte Hydrogels

Plasmonic Photonic Crystals Realized through DNA Programmable Assembly

Harnessing Self-Assembly to Make Photonic Nanowires

Dissipative Self-Assembly of Particles Interacting through Time-Oscillatory Potentials