Group Members

Dr. Russell J. Composto


Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Bioengineering,
and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


Education:

PhD Materials Science and Engineering 1987 – Cornell University
MS Materials Science 1984 – Cornell University
BA Physics 1982 – Gettysburg College

Member of:
Nano/Bio Interface Center (NBIC)
Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM)
Institute for Medicine and Engineering (IME)
Penn Center for Energy Innovation

composto@seas.upenn.edu, LRSM 321, (215) 898-4451

AuthorDashboard – Russell J Composto

 

Visiting Researchers


Dr. Hyun-Su Lee
Visiting Scientist

leeh1@seas.upenn.edu

Google Scholar: here

 

 

 

Education: Ph.D. in Chemistry, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Project Title: Nanocarrier Drug Delivery to Improve Access and Outcomes in Lung Transplant

Collaborators: Jacob W. Myerson (PSOM), Jacob S. Brenner (PSOM), Vladimir R. Muzykantov (PSOM)
 
Funding Source: UPenn 2019 Formula Fund
 
Project Description: Current research focuses on the biological mechanism study of the complement system with
nanoparticles.
 

Tatiya Siripongpreda (Firm)
Visiting Ph.D. Student 

tatiyas@upenn.edu

 

 

 

 

Education: visiting Ph.D. student from Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), Nanoscience and technology Department

Project Title: Study of N-doped graphene-TiO2nanocomposites dispersion in quaternary ammonium-chitosan matrix

Collaborator: Nadnudda Rodthongkum (Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)

Funding Source: NSF/MRSEC, NSF/PIRE

Project Description: The objectives of this project are to synthesize N-doped graphene-TiO2nanocomposites and dispersed the nanocomposites in chitosan and modified chitosan matrices to fabricate nanocomposite-polymer films, and to investigate the dispersion of the nanocomposites in chitosan and modified chitosan matrices. The nanocomposite-quaternary ammonium chitosan film will be used in mass spectroscopy and sensing application.

 

Postdoctoral Researchers


Dr. Christopher S. O’Bryan
Postdoctoral Researcher (MSE & CBE)

csobryan@seas.upenn.edu

Google Scholar: here

LinkedIn: here

Personal Webpage: here

 

Education: Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida; M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida; B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida

Project Title: Investigating the role of polymer architecture on adsorption behavior at the solid/liquid interface.

Collaborator: Daeyeon Lee (CBE)

Funding Source: COMPASS

Project Description: In mineral processing, the separation of a desired mineral ore from the gangue material is often achieved through the froth flotation process. By leveraging hydrophobic interactions, air bubbles passing through a slurry of the raw materials collect hydrophobic particles and drag them to the surface to form a froth for harvesting. Water-soluble molecules are commonly added to the mineral slurry to alter the surface wettability of select mineral to achieve the desired flotation or the suppression of unwanted material. The effectiveness of these additives depends on the surface coverage, layer thickness, and rigidity of the adsorbed polymer layer. However, particularly in the case of polymeric additives, how their structure relates to their adsorption behavior is far from understood. Unravelling the relationship between polymeric structure and the resulting adsorption kinetics and polymer conformation would enable the development of more efficient polymeric additives. Here, we investigate the role of polymer structure on their adsorption behavior onto metal surfaces. Through a combination of QCM-D and ellipsometry measurements, we explore the effects of the polymer architecture on the kinetics of the polymer adsorption and the polymer conformation at the interface.

 

Dr. Jaehyun Kim
Postdoctoral Researcher (MSE & CBE)

kjaehyun@seas.upenn.edu

Google Scholar: here

LinkedIn: here

 

 

Education: Ph.D., Sungkyunkwan University; B.S., Sungkyunkwan University.

Project Title: Gold nanoparticle capsule-based plasmonic sensor

Collaborator: Daeyeon Lee, (CBE). Remi Dreyfus (CNRS)

Funding Source: COMPASS

Project Description: I research on submicron size gold nanoparticle capsule sensor for micro pressure detection. Recently micro cracks can induce irreversible damage to NEMS or MEMS sensor. Detection before the detrimental damage is important for more sensitive and complex devices.

 

Dr. Yechan Kim
Postdoctoral Researcher (MSE & CBE)

yckim@seas.upenn.edu

Google Scholar: here

 

 

 

 

Education: Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology

Project Title: Nanoparticle Dynamics in Polyelectrolyte Brushes

Collaborator: Co-advisor: Karen I. Winey (MSE & CBE, Penn); Collaborator: Jan Genzer (CBE, NCSU) and Yale Goldman (PSOM, Penn) 

Funding Source: NSF CBET grant

Project Description: The main objective of my project is to understand the adsorption, desorption, and mobility of nanoparticles at interfaces coated with responsive polyelectrolyte. Based on this, we will provide strategies for designing of separation, sensing, and purification devices with improved performance.

 

Ph.D. Students


Katie Rose
Ph.D. Candidate (CBE)

karose@seas.upenn.edu

LinkedIn: here

 

 

 

Education: B.S.E. in Polymer Science and Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

Project(s) Title: Single (nano)particle tracking in hydrogels

Collaborators: Co-advisor: Daeyeon Lee (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering). Collaborators: Christopher Murray (Chemistry/MSE)

Funding Sources: NSF-GRFP, REACT

Project description: Katie Rose is applying single particle tracking methods to probe nanoparticle dynamics in synthetic and biological hydrogel networks. By following the displacement of individual fluorescent nanoparticle probes (8 nm) in hydrogels with immobilized silica particles, she found that a population of the probes “stick” to the immobilized silica particles at low pH due to attractive interactions between the probe and silica, greatly decreasing their mobility. However, at high pH, the probes are no longer attracted to silica particles and diffuse freely resulting in pH-mediated dynamics. These results have importance for improving nanoscale filtration as well as providing insights into the diffusion of antibiotics through natural hydrogels such as biofilms. 

 

Mike Boyle
Ph.D. Candidate (MSE)

mboy@seas.upenn.edu

 

 

 

 

Education: B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania

Project Title: Controlling Nanoparticle Adsorption to Weak Polyelectrolyte Layer-by-Layer Films

Collaborators: Wilfredo Mendez Ortiz (CBE), Hyun-Su Lee (MSE),  Katie Rose (CBE), Kathleen J. Stebe (CBE), Yale E. Goldman (Physiology, PSOM), Daeyeon Lee (CBE), Russell J. Composto (CBE)

Funding Sources: NSF, NSF GRFP

Project description: Designing materials to control adsorption of nano-sized objects is important in many applications including the separation and purification of proteins, nanoparticle (NP) synthesis, and water filtration. Essential to this task is an understanding of the underlying interactions that influence nanoparticle transport and adsorption. Using a model layer-by-layer (LbL) system of alternating poly(allyl amine hydrochloride) (PAH) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), we study the adsorption of 20 nm poly(ethylene glycol)-carboxylic acid functionalized gold NPs (Au-PEG12-COOH NPs) to 50 nm LbL films on silicon/glass substrates. By complimenting macroscopic quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) with microscopic label-free interferometric scattering microscopy (iSCAT) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) measurements, we demonstrate the ability to control adsorption by modifying the capping layer chemistry (PAA vs. PAH), adsorption experiment solution pH, and thermal crosslinking temperature of LbL films prior to particle exposure and quantify effects of these variables on surface coverage, interaction mechanism, and kinetics of adsorption.

 

Aria Zhang
Ph.D. Candidate (MSE)

ariaczh@seas.upenn.edu

 

 

 

 

Education: B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University

Project Title: Phase evolution of polymer-grafted nanoparticles in a polymer nanocomposites

Collaborators: N/A

Funding Sources: NSF GRFP, REACT

Project description: My project is to study the phase behavior of nanoparticles grafted with polymers in a polymer matrix. The objective is to investigate the dependence of phase behavior on nanoparticle sizes film thicknesses, and other parameters. ToF-SIMS, AFM, and TEM are used to depth profiles the films, probe the topography, and image the film cross-sections, respectively. The spatial arrangement of the nanoparticles in a polymer matrix can enhance the polymer properties, leading to a wide range of applications, such as modified surface properties of polymer nanocomposites with an enriched surface layer of silica nanoparticle, and tunable optical properties of polymers by incorporating gold nanoparticles into the system. 

 

Weiwei Kong
Ph.D. Student (MSE)

weiweik@seas.upenn.edu

LinkedIn: here

 

 

 

Education: B.S.E. in Polymer Science and Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

Project Title: Polymer kinetics under confinement inside metal complex

Collaborators: Zahra Fakhraai (Chemistry), Eric Detsi (MSE), Eric Stach (MSE)

Funding Sources: NSF/DMR

Project description: Recent research on nanocomposites has been focused on adding inorganic nanofibers into polymer matrices to impart properties not found in individual polymers. To further enhance the mechanical properties and ion conductivity, we fabricate bicontinuous polymer infiltrated scaffold metal (PrISM). PrISM composites are made by infiltrating polymers into the nanoporous gold (NPG) which has a bicontinuous structure. The infiltration kinetics depends on factors such as polymer molecular weight, polymer affinity with the gold scaffold, and the gold scaffold ligament size. The objectives of my project are to determine the effect of confinement on polymer infiltration, the effect of different polymer types on the infiltration kinetics, and the ion conductivity of the PEO filled NPG system.

 

Katie Sun
Ph.D. Student (MSE)

katiesun@seas.upenn.edu

 

 

 

 

 

Education: B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Rutgers University

Project Title: Nanoparticle Interactions and Nanoscale Transport in Polyelectrolyte Brushes

Collaborators: Co-advised: Karen I. Winey (MSE & CBE)

Funding Sources: NSF CBET

Project description: I will be researching nanoparticle (NP) dynamics through investigating NP absorption, desorption and transport at interfaces, particularly interfaces modified by charged polymers. The adsorption thermodynamics and diffusion of NPs at model and polyelectrolyte brush interfaces will be investigated, as well.

 

 

Undergraduate Students


Sahana Sundar
Undergraduate (MSE)

ssundar2@seas.upenn.edu

Sahana is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. She was accepted to the 2020 Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring program, to participate in research under the mentorship of Shawn Maguire and Connor Bilchak. She is currently studying the optical properties of nanoporous metals and nanoparticle analogues.