Labs and Centers of Research

Catalysts That Spark Innovation

Accomplished and innovative research labs investigate a wide spectrum of cutting-edge topics in chemical engineering and material sciences that lead to next-generation technologies.

MicroChemical Systems
The New Jersey Center for MicroChemical Systems (NJCMCS) provides a unique research frontier for exploring microreactor and microfluidic technologies with industry and government collaborators. The goal of NJCMCS is to design, manipulate, and control chemical reaction and separation processes that occur in micro-volume environments for specific device or process functions from a systems point of view. This research area covers a wide range of new and emerging technologies such as microfluidic biochips for proteomics, combinatorial catalyst evaluation, micro-reactor systems for on-demand chemical production, and portable fuel cell systems.

Highly Filled Materials Institute
Research at the Highly Filled Materials Institute focuses on the structure, processing and properties (mixing, simulation, shaping, microstructural analysis and ultimate properties) of complex fluids and soft solids, especially polymers, gels and concentrated polymeric nanosuspensions and suspensions. The industrial applications cover a wide range including biomedical/tissue engineering, pharmaceutical, nanocomposites, energetics, personal care, environmental, ceramics and electronics industries.

Micro-Nano Solutions for Alternative Energy
Professor Besser's group researches alternatives to traditional paradigms of energy production as a path to alleviating the current dependence on petroleum and mitigating the environmental consequences. The group is currently pursuing micro- and nano-technology based solutions for improving efficiency of electrical power generation at various scales.

Fiber Optics and Nanophotonics Laboratory
Research in the Fiber Optics and Nanophotonics Laboratory covers several frontier areas ranging from nanotechnology-enabled conventional optical fiber and photonic crystal fiber for multi-parameter sensing to plasmonic noble metal nanoparticles for field-enhanced applications.

Crystalization Laboratory
Research in this laboratory principally involves mathematical modeling of crystallization from solution and modeling of heterogeneous catalytic reactors.

Microreactor Technology for Chemical Synthesis and Biofuel Generation
The research interests are primarily in two areas, namely microreactor technology for chemical synthesis and distributed production of advanced biofuels from biomass waste. The microreactor technology development focuses on the demonstration of the enhanced heat and mass transfer performance provided by microreactor in comparison to conventional-size reactors. Mass transfer enhancement of two to three orders of magnitude have been obtained for multiphase reactions carried out in single channel microreactors at low processing flow rates. The lab demonstrates a transformative technology which combines innovative reactor concepts with fundamental catalytic studies and catalyst development for the distributed production of biofuel from various forms of biomass waste.

Microfluidics and Self-Assembly Laboratory
The Microfluidics and Self-Assembly Laboratory research interests include self-assembly, nanomaterials, biomaterials, and microfluidics. The lab uses an array of state-of-the-art tools such as soft-lithography, inkjet printing, and layer-by-layer self-assembly to create new materials and devices.

Laboratory for MultiScale Imaging
Research in the Laboratory for MultiScale Imaging (LMSI) centers on the development and application of advanced imaging techniques to study the structure of both engineered and biological materials. The LMSI combines an array of complimenting microscopies (TEM, SEM, AFM, confocal) and enables cross-platform correlative imaging and analysis.

Nanocatalysis Laboratory
Research in the Catalytic Nanoparticles Lab focuses on reaction mechanism studies on surfaces of solid catalysts for petroleum refining and chemical industries. The scale gap between observable reaction rates and catalytic surface reactions on the nanoscale is bridged through iterative cycles of experimental catalyst characterization and testing in combination with DFT calculations.

Soft Materials Lab
Our lab (PI: Pinar Akcora) works on the synthesis of polymers, nanoparticles and characterization of polymer nanocomposites. We are equipped to study the surface structures, rheological properties and characterize the molecular properties of the synthetic polymers.