Research Vision

The mission statement of the Hosein Research Group is to provide materials-based solutions that address global issues on energy, sustainability, and the environment.

You can download a PDF copy of our research overview here.

Our research currently involves the synthesis of polymer blend and polymer-inorganic materials with advance composition and structure in order to explore processing-structure-property-performance relationships relevant for materials for energy conversion, energy storage, conductive materials, and cellular structures. Our research work entails careful control over composition and morphology during materials processing, in situ monitoring of structure formation, materials characterization, and property testing. A particular emphasis currently is employing photo-polymerization reactions to create advanced structured materials.

Advanced Surface Textures for Anti-Wetting Applications

Our lab is employing an optical writing technique to generate large-scale, micro-pillar patterned surfaces. The process is highly scalable, tunable in terms of composition and pillar shape, as well easily configurable in terms of the pillar spacing and symmetry. Through control over the composition and architecture, we seek to enable the surfaces to perform functions as anti-wetting, anti-fouling, anodes for lithium ion batteries, as well as chemical detection.

Membranes for Oil-Water Separation

4-cropOur group has is developing methods to create membranes with tunable porosity and wetting properties, specifically for oil-water separation. Our recent work has shown the ability to create membranes with pores of precise size and spacing. Current work focuses on creating superhydrophilic-superoleophobic membranes to separate oil from water.

Polymer Blend Structures for Energy Conversion and Storage

Our group has recent established a novel processing route to control the morphology of multi-component polymer systems. We invoke light pattern formation processes during the photo-curing of photoreactive blends, whereby the blend morphology inherits the same pattern as the light profile. This results in novel binary phase structures, which may be directed and tuned with light. We are current exploiting this process to control the morphology in blends that may be used for advanced anodes or gel electrolytes in lithium ion batteries,  thermo-electric conversion, and solid-state lighting.

Light Capturing Coatings for Solar Cells

Conventional solar cells become dramatically less efficient when the sun is not shining directly on the surface: quoted efficiencies of 15-19% are only achieved for sunlight within a narrow range of acceptance angles. Consequently, sub-optimal operating efficiencies occur during the morning and evening hours, as well as winter days (i.e., northern states), when sunlight is outside of this acceptable range. Current work involves developing new solar cell coating architectures to managed light propagation in solar cells, by which increase solar energy capture may be achieved.