In contrast to the bulk, interfaces are heterogeneous in nature with characteristic length at micro-/nanoscales. Proper micro- and nano-engineering of the heterogeneous interfaces will lead to great improvement of a system with extent from millimeter scales to much larger scales. However, engineering heterogeneity is generally difficult considering the complex interfacial sciences and interdisciplinary topics it involves.
In this talk, I will demonstrate the elegance of micro-/nanosciences and engineering to create platform technologies with wide applications across different disciplines. First, I will present how water-repellent surfaces (e.g. lotus leaves) can be designed with specific micro/nano-structures to enable “any” material surfaces super-repellent to “all” available liquids. Our surface can find utilities in drag reduction on ships, phase-change heat transfer for electronic cooling, and anti-biofouling for biomedical applications, etc. Second, I will show our newly designed fabrication strategy for soft electronics and soft robotics. Our technology integrates high-performance semiconductor devices with hyperelastic polymers and liquid metals, providing a platform solution to realize flexible and stretchable systems equipped with localized intelligence. In Collaboration with pathologists and neuroscientists, we are currently utilizing this technology for cancer immunotherapy and multifunction neural probes. Finally, I will present a future prospective of engineering heterogeneity for both fundamental and translational research with connection to my other interfacial studies including the liquid metal Galinstan and the micro-rotary stage with liquid-ring bearings.
Tingyi “Leo” Liu received his B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou China in 2009, M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2011 and 2014, respectively. His research focuses on utilizing micro and nano fabrication to study diverse interfacial phenomena and to engineer the heterogeneous interfaces for interdisciplinary applications. During his Ph.D. with Prof. Chang-Jin Kim in UCLA Micro & Nano Manufacturing Lab, he focused on meniscus shape engineering. His major contributions include the creation of the first truly superomniphobic surface that repels all liquids and be made of any material types. In 2015, he started postdoc with Profs. Pei-Yu Chiou and Michael Teitell conducting collaborative research on flexible electronic devices for various biomedical applications including cancer immunotherapy and multifunctional neural probes. Starting from 2016, he has also been working with Prof. Chih-Ming Ho for another postdoctoral research on clinical studies of personalized medicine towards an optimized drug-dose combination for infectious diseases such as HIV.