MSE Special Seminar: Dr. Younjin Min, Interfacial Dynamics of Nanoconfined Molecules and Macromolecules
The properties of molecules and macromolecules when confined at nanometer scales differ greatly from their bulk properties owing to the introduction of symmetry breaking, structural frustration and confinement-induced entropy loss in the system. This talk will describe how different degrees of nanoconfiment alter the structural organization and interfacial properties of soft matter ranging from non-biological to biological ones. In the first part of this presentation, nanoconfinement induced intermolecular interactions of two types of ionic liquids (ILs) and their rheological properties will be discussed in conjunction with the analysis of molecular orientation, organization, and assembly at the interfaces. Mechanisms on how biomacromolecules such as silk fibroin (SF) proteins self-assemble into hierarchical structures at the multiple-length levels will be explained in the second part of the seminar. The presentation will conclude with some perspectives on new fundamental insights for rational design of these two important material classes with desired interfacial properties in use of fabricating superior functional materials and devices.
Prof. Younjin Min joined the Polymer Engineering department at the University of Akron in 2013 as an Assistant Professor. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Engineering at Ewha Womans University in Korea. She then completed her Master’s Degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), where she developed novel biocompatible diblock copolymers for nano-sized drug delivery carriers. Subsequently, she joined the biomedical center at Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and worked on the area of formulating protein drug carriers for tissue regeneration. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her Ph.D. research focused on adhesion and interfacial phenomena of soft condensed matter, ranging from biological (lipid membranes, proteins) to non-biological (polymers, nanoparticles, surfactants) systems. Following her Ph.D., Prof. Min joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral researcher to conduct research on functional biomaterials relying on the synthesis of bio-inspired polyions and protein polymers for enhanced wound healing application and transcutaneous immunization. She has over 36 publications in high-impact journals, including Nature Materials, Nano Letters, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and two patents on novel biocompatible materials. These publications have been very impactful, receiving over 2,600 citations with h-index of 20. Her current research interests encompass the area of surface and interfacial science and materials, including intermolecular interactions, adhesion, friction, colloidal science, thin film fabrication, polymer synthesis, biophysics, and biomaterials for biomedical applications. Her research efforts have been recognized through prestigious awards including the Korean Governmental Research Fellowship, the Schlinger Scholarship for Excellence in Chemical Engineering Research, the ACS-PRF Young Investigator Award, PPS Early Career Award, KIChE President Young Investigator Award, and rewarded by accumulating about 1.6 M dollars from competitive federal and industrial funds including DOE, NSF-CBET, NSF-CMMI, ACS-PRF, P&G, and Vaxess. She has been serving as an editorial board member for the renowned journal of Colloids and Interfaces and Coatings.