Bio-Nano Materials and Interfaces Lab
Dr. Hu’s research activities primarily concentrate in the areas of: i) Bio-/Nano-Materials and Mechanics; ii) Multifunctional and Energy Materials and Devices, and; iii) Nanotechnology Research, with emphasis on bio-inspired design, structure-function relationships, surface/interfacial interactions, transport phenomena and structural hierarchy. Seeking organisms and biological systems as ‘elegant’ models to solve intricate engineering problems in an energy-efficient, eco-friendly and sustainable manner. He is focused on addressing the emergent phenomena and properties across multiple length and temporal scales. This new paradigm of bio-inspired research is aimed at the elucidation of some of the basic principles and mechanisms in nature, including animals, insects, and plants, in order to create next-generation smart materials and complex superstructures that are responsive to external stimuli, e.g., switchable dry/wet adhesives; active self-cleaning, anti-fouling, anti-bacterial surfaces; hierarchical/hybrid fibrils with self-healing and wear-prevention capabilities, water harvesting coatings and thin films. These functional materials and structures are highly desirable in renewable energy, biomedical, environmental and defense applications.