Novel Applications of Nanomaterials through Material Chemistry and Engineering: a talk by Dr. Joselito Razal of Deakin University

by Marienette M. Vega

The Department of Physics would like to invite you to a talk on the Novel Applications of Nanomaterials through Material Chemistry and Engineering by Dr. Joselito Razal Deputy Director, ARC Future Fibres Hub and Associate Professor, Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University, Australia to be held on 22 June 2017, Thursday, 2:30 pm to 4 pm at CTC 118.

Abstract. Material chemistry aims to engineer nanomaterials to perform novel functions that do not exist in its bulk form. With this engineering framework, nanomaterials have the potential to behave and function differently or more superior than that of conventional macroscopic materials. Recent efforts to implement engineering of surfaces or chemical structure and composition particularly of low-dimensional nanomaterials have provided evidences that this approach can facilitate the design and assembly of novel architectures into useful devices and cater for a wide range of applications in energy, catalysis, sensing, to name a few. In this talk, our recent efforts in developing nanomaterials with tailored properties and functions will be presented. In particular, an emphasis will be placed on our recent developments on two dimensional nanosheets with unique solution behaviour for advanced applications in energy storage and conversion.

About the Speaker. Joselito Razal (Joe) is the Deputy Director of the ARC Future Fibres Hub and an Associate Professor at the Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University. He is best known for his research on novel functional nanomaterials for flexible and wearable energy storage and energy harvesting applications. Joe developed the toughest synthetic fibres using carbon nanotubes during his PhD studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, which have led to the development of many types of strong and tough nanomaterial-based fibres. These fibres are also multi-functional. They can store and convert energy, and sense external stimuli such as movement and pressure. These fibres have the potential to be integrated into wearable devices, portable electronics, and smart textiles. More recently, he has studied other types of low-dimensional materials including graphene, for which he discovered that achieving large aspect ratio nanosheets allows for fine-tuning of solution behaviour. This discovery has direct implications on solution-based processing of novel 3D materials produced by 3D printing and fibre spinning technologies. This research has helped many other scientists take advantage of this unique behaviour to improve processability of many nanosheets. For his pioneering works, he was awarded a Future Fellowship by the Australian Research Council in 2013. Since then, he has been leading a team of research fellows and graduate students, and working with several industry partners alongside his collaborators in Australia and overseas.


Electrowetting actuation of gold nanofluid droplets: a physics dissertation defense by Crismar Patacsil

ateneophysicsnews_crismar_patacsil_dissertation_defense_20170408 (2)
The Department of Physics of Ateneo de Manila University cordially invites you to a Physics Dissertation Defense:

  • PhD candidate: Crismar P. Patacsil
  • Date and Venue: April 8, 2017, 1:00 PM at Faura Hall F-106

Panel members:

  • Raphael A. Guerrero, Ph.D., Dissertation Supervisor
  • Benjamin O. Chan, Ph.D., Dissertation Examiner
  • Gil Nonato C. Santos, Ph.D., Dissertation Examiner
  • Erwin P. Enriquez, Ph.D., Dissertation Reader
  • Joel T. Maquiling, Ph.D., Dissertation Reader

Nanoparticles exhibit completely different properties (physical, chemical, electronic, magnetic and optical) from their bulk material counterparts. This study explores the interaction of gold nanoparticle (AuNP) suspensions in a liquid droplet with an applied electric field. A basic planar electrowetting set-up is employed, consisting of a bottom copper electrode coated with a thin insulating layer of uncured polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) silicone oil mounted on an adjustable stage and a platinum wire upper electrode in contact with the sessile gold nanofluid droplet sitting on the dielectric layer. A voltage source is connected across the top and bottom electrodes. Changes in the contact angle of the droplet, as voltage is varied, is captured using a USB microscope camera. The contact angles of the images are determined using ImageJ software. The electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) experiment is done with varying concentrations (in µM) of gold nanofluid (deionized water containing gold nanoparticles with an average size of 10 nm): 0.5, 0.33, 0.25, 0.05 and deionized water (no gold nanoparticles) as a control fluid. Results show a different electrowetting response for each concentration. The contact angle is found to decrease with increasing nanoparticle concentration, indicating a decrease in the liquid-gas surface tension as concentration increases. Increasing the nanoparticle content also lowers the required voltage for effective actuation. Contact angle saturation is observed with nanofluid droplets, with the threshold voltage decreasing as nanoparticle concentration rises. Maximum droplet actuation before contact angle saturation is achieved at only 10 V for a concentration of 0.5 μM. To explain the mechanism for the observed enhanced electrowetting actuation, the specific capacitance C is calculated from the voltage versus contact angle data for each concentration. For the control fluid, the calculated specific capacitance is 0.0012 F/m^2. Specific capacitances are C = 0.0097 F/m^2, C = 0.0049 F/m^2, and C = 0.0015 F/m^2 for 0.5µM, 0.33µM, and 0.05µM gold nanofluid concentrations, respectively. The presence of gold nanoparticles affects electrowetting response by increasing the capacitance with increasing concentration of the nanoparticles. Higher specific capacitance results in increased induced charges at the solid-liquid interface which would result in increased electro-mechanical force on the droplet as voltage is applied.

Ateneo Physics Talk: “Smart colloids and wet nanotechnology: From reinforced Kevlar to targeted therapeutic proteins” by Dr. Dan Zarraga of Genentech

Dr. Dan E. Zarraga

Dr. Dan E. Zarraga

Title: Smart colloids and wet nanotechnology: From reinforced Kevlar to targeted therapeutic proteins

Dr. Dan E. Zarraga
Late Stage Pharmaceutical Development Department

Date and time: February 10, 2014 (Monday) at 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Venue: Faura 113


Progress in colloid science and genetic engineering in the last decade has allowed for the design of smart soft materials and protein drugs at unprecedented levels of detail at the nanoscale. This advent of wet nanotechnologies has opened up application opportunities in soft materials, industrial biology, vaccines, and therapeutic proteins. A brief background on colloid science and protein engineering will be given, then a selection of recent advances and their applications ranging from protective clothing, industrial enzymes, vaccines and targeted protein therapeutics (for cancer, neuroscience, etc) will be described. A short description of unique biophysical techniques to characterize these wet nanotechnologies will also be given, such as small angle neutron scattering, dynamic light scattering, and cryo-electron microscopy. Finally, a glimpse into the potential future applications of wet nanotechnology will be provided.

About the speaker:

Dr. Zarraga obtained his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of the Philippines in 1993 and completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame in the U.S. in 2000. During his graduate work, he conducted fundamental research on solid-liquid suspensions relevant to a wide variety of industries from solid-liquid rocket fuels to lightweight polymer composites for aircraft and sports applications. He was an industry-academe Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in collaboration with Abbott Pharmaceuticals in Chicago in 2001, where he worked on the microenapsulation of drugs in biopolymers using spray congealing technology. He was then hired as a Senior Engineer in 2002 at 3M Pharmaceuticals in St. Paul Minnesota where he developed a technology platform for the novel drug delivery of immune response modifiers (IRMs) for prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. In 2007, Dr. Zarraga moved to San Francisco to join Genentech’s Late Stage Pharmaceutical Development department as a Manager leading the formulation, development, and process characterization efforts for protein therapeutics. He occasionally teaches part-time at Santa Clara University, a Jesuit institution, as an Adjunct Faculty of Bioengineering. He sits on the industrial board of two private-public consortia, BITC (Biomolecular Interaction Technology Center) and nSOFT (Neutron Scattering of Soft Materials), based at the University of Delaware and the National Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) in Maryland, respectively. He is a frequently invited speaker at conferences, including the American Conference on Neutron Scattering, the Society of Rheology, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Dr. Zarraga also actively participates in the Philippine International Aid (PIA) group in San Francisco in support of under-educated youth in Philippine provinces.

Lawrence Gochioco in Business Mirror: From an average Ateneo physics student to among the top practicing geophysicists in the US and the world

Lawrence Gochioco of Geo-Nano Technology Corporation

Lawrence Gochioco of Geo-Nano Technology Corporation

From the Business Mirror:

Gochioco obtained his Physics degree from the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) in 1978.

Considered an average student in the rigorous Ignatian academic program, he managed to balance his academics and extra-curricular activities by playing varsity volleyball and track and field since his high-school freshman year. He led both teams to back-to-back NCAA (National College Athletic Association) championships. In recognition of his athletic achievements, he was inducted into the Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

The 1970s oil crises had a major impact on his decision to pursue a career in geophysics. Intrigued by the popular 1970s TV show Dallas—on the power of oil and energy in geopolitics—Gochioco decided to go to the US to study and learn the latest innovative technologies for petroleum and mineral exploration. After graduation, he taught college physics for two years at AdMU. He later received a full scholarship from Ohio University in 1980 to pursue his graduate studies in Physics. Aside from the regular course load, he took additional subjects in geology and geophysics.

In 1982 the US oil industry began to contract, resulting in thousands of jobs lost. He moved to Houston despite the poor jobs market. The first four years of his career were turbulent. As a survivor, he is always prepared for the worst-case scenario and developed back-up systems. After each layoff, he found better career opportunities with greater responsibilities. These varied technical and management positions later provided him the diverse skills needed to establish his own businesses and joint ventures.

In 1989 Gochioco published his first technical paper in Geophysics, and many more papers and feature articles soon followed. In recognition of his contributions, he was nominated to the prestigious TLE Editorial Board of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) in 2000 and later became chairman during his 2003-2004 term. He was the first Asian ever to become the editorial board chairman.

(Read more at the Business Mirror)

Some additional notes:

Gochioco became an entrepreneur in 2004 when he formed his first geophysical consulting and field services company.  In 2007, his business expanded internationally starting with projects in Mongolia.  Thereafter, he formed joint ventures and acquired equity stakes in various companies in the US, Mongolia, and the Philippines.  From the ridge tops of the US Appalachia Mountains down to the Mongolian Gobi Desert and into the bowels of underground coal mines, Gochioco is a “hands-on” geophysicist who is ready to tackle the world’s most grueling exploration challenges.  He said that his vigorous competitive training and discipline from his past NCAA varsity sports helped him focus.  Moreover, he applies his robust analytical skills to manage his diversified portfolio in the global stock and commodities markets.  His investments now encompass oil, gas, coal, renewable energies, minerals (gold, silver, copper, iron ore, and rare earths), real estate, banking, emerging technologies, and nanotechnologies.

Ateneo Physics alumni Dr. Lawrence Millard C. Gochioco (BS Ps ’78) of GeoNano Technology Corporation to give a talk on “Global energy challenges and geophysics”

Dr. Lawrence Millard C. Gogioco


by Dr. Lawrence Millard C. Gochioco

GeoNano Technology Corporation

Date: 29 Jan 2011 (Sat)
Time: 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Venue: Faura 318


The recent global economic crisis temporarily lessened global demands for energy which could create a misguided mind set that there are no near-term impeding energy crises. When the global economies slowly recover however, energy resource demands will strain the system again as spare capacities are extremely limited. Statistical data will be presented from key reliable sources on the production and consumption of hydrocarbons and renewables sources, coupled with projected future needs to meet the ever increasing energy demands of growing economies in particular Asia.

The role of a physicist/geophysicist is highlighted to address a good portion of the complex energy markets. Career choices and opportunities are also presented to demonstrate the importance of developing and applying innovative and nano technologies across the wide spectrum of the upstream and downstream sectors of the energy fields Students will eventually gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with various energy issues.

Ateneo Physics News: Dr. Lawrence Millard C. Gochioco is an alumni of the Ateneo Physics Department (BS Ps ’78).