With a continuous interest in polyelectrolytes and their complexes, now I am working on the construction of a synthetic platform for transforming mussel wet glue and thread mechanics at multiple length/time scales. Representative progress in this respect includes the polyelectrolyte coacervate with enabling underwater contact adhesion and porous microarchitectures actuated by solvent exchange. Currently, I am interested in expanding this concept to more substrates, and with improved adhesion performance and hierarchy structures.
I earned my Ph.D degree in polymer science from Zhejiang University and pursued post-doc research in the Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces at Germany before I came to Herb’s group at UCSB. My interest in polyelectrolyte complexation serves as the thread connecting my research in different materials disciplines spanning from separation membranes, poly(ionic liquids), sensors, actuators, wet adhesion, and self-healing materials.