Complex fluids – including polymers, particles, surfactants and biomolecules in solution – are key components in technologies spanning commodity and consumer products to cutting-edge pharmaceuticals and advanced materials. A common engineering feature of these materials is their structure, which often exists away from thermodynamic equilibrium at the “mesoscale” – in between the length scales of individual molecules and a bulk material.
The Helgeson Lab investigates the processing of mesostructured complex fluids to enable materials formulation, design and discovery. To do so, we develop experimental and theoretical tools for multi-scale and high-throughput characterization of fluid structure, dynamics and rheology. We have particular expertise in developing methods for in situ dynamic monitoring of fluids to characterize and model the evolution of material properties during processing. We apply these tools to engineer better materials for applications in human health, energy efficiency and sustainable materials.