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Professor Narayana Aluru

Professor Narayana Aluru

Professor Narayana Aluru
University of Texas at Austin

Presenting in Track 4: Advanced Materials: Design, Processing, Characterization & Applications

Sponsor: Materials Division

Presentation Title: Twist, Memory, and Coulomb Drag in Hard/Soft Matter Interfaces

Abstract: Materials and their interfaces play an important role in many societally important applications such as energy, separations, and sensing. In this talk, we will discuss our recent work in three interrelated topics – twist, memory, and Coulomb drag. First, we will consider materials interfaces between an electronically active material and an interfacial soft matter. Specifically, dynamically manipulating interfacial properties of soft matter (e.g. liquids) by tuning the electronic correlations in a hard material is an area of significant interest. Twisted bilayer graphene, particularly at the magic angle, has garnered attention for its unconventional superconductivity and correlated insulator behavior due to strong electronic correlations. The impact of the electronic properties of moiré patterns in twisted bilayer graphene on structural and dynamic properties of interfacial water remains largely unexplored. Computational challenges, stemming from simulating large unit cells using density functional theory, have hindered progress. In the first part of the talk, we will discuss deep learning studies to understand how a twist in a bilayer graphene affects the interfacial properties of liquids. Second, we will discuss memory effects in electrolyte transport through nanoporous materials. We show that asymmetry in transport properties due to ordering in confinement leads to hysteresis in current-voltage characteristics. Finally, we discuss the quantum coupling between electrons in a solid and interfacial molecule. Specifically, we show Coulomb drag effects where moving electrons in a solid induce forces on interfacial molecules causing them to undergo significant electromigration.

Biography: Dr. Aluru joined the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin in August 2021. He is also a core faculty member in the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. He received the B.E. degree from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, India, in 1989, the M.S. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, in 1991, and the Ph.D. degree from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, in 1995. He was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, from 1995 to 1997. He was on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1998 to 2021.

Dr. Aluru's general area of research is computational nanotechnology. His group works on the development of multiscale methods combining quantum, atomistic, mesoscale and continuum scales, and application of multiscale methods to study physics of nanofluidics, bionanotechnology, nanomaterials/nanoelectromechanical systems, and soft matter. Some of the applications his group works on include water desalination, nanopower generation, DNA sequencing, protein recognition, 2D materials-based chemical and biological sensing, CO2 reduction, energy storage, etc.