Research Expertise and Interest
soft materials, interfacial science, adhesion
Joelle Frechette is the Lieselotte and David Templeton Endowed Chair in Chemistry and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the Department of Chemistry. Her research group studies materials at interfaces to address outstanding issues in the fields of adhesion and materials design. Interfaces are a region in space where two phases meet (e.g. solid-liquid, liquid-liquid), and controlling interfacial properties is necessary for multiple emerging technologies. For example, at a solid-liquid interface understanding of the interactions between the phases can give us the ability to create antifogging or self-cleaning materials, or to control and localize inks for 3D and conventional printing. Similarly, adhesives and lubricants are engineered to create sticky or slippery interfaces. Droplets, emulsions, and foams exist because of the presence of fluid-fluid interfaces, and they are central in the development of consumer products, pharmaceutical formulation, strategies for oil recovery. Beyond these materials applications, the large surface to volume ratios provided when devices are shrunk to the micro- and nanoscale create particularly exciting opportunities for device function via tunable interfacial properties.