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UCL Department of Chemical Engineering

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Dr Stefan Guldin

Dr Stefan Guldin

Associate Professor

Dept of Chemical Engineering

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2014

Research summary

Molecular self-assembly is a common principle of structure formation in natural and synthetic materials. The cooperative assembly of molecular building blocks into ordered super-structures is generally driven by weak, non-covalent intermolecular forces. In our group, we study these formation principles and exploit them for the assembly of responsive nanomaterials with distinct optical properties and adaptive nanomaterials that interact with their environment.

 

The phase separation of block copolymers occurs typically on the length scale of 5 to 50 nm. Fine tuning of structure formation and translation into inorganic thin film architectures allows access to intricate material arrangements that are not feasible by conventional nanofabrication techniques. We are interested in how control over sub-wavelength structural properties, such as pore dimensions, pore volume and film thickness, enables the building of nanoarchitectures with unique material properties. Examples include photoanodes for solar cells and water splitting, porous one- and three-dimensional photonic crystals as well as self-cleaning antireflective optical coatings.

 

Adaptive nanomaterials may even rely on a more precise morphological arrangement for their function. To this end, we study the self-assembly of binary ligand mixtures on gold nanoparticles. Our group has pioneered how nanoparticles may change their solvation properties as a result of interaction with specific stimuli. This can be exploited for a variety of applications in (bio-)chemical sensing and allows specific and quantitative detection by the naked eye, e.g. for off-site dose monitoring of patients or contamination detection in drinking water.

 

Teaching summary

Stefan Guldin teaches the module "From Molecules to Molecular Engineering" (CENG0022) as well as jointly with Dr Stamatakis the module "Advanced Materials Processes and Nanotechnology" (CENGM05P). He is the academic lead for the Integrated Engineering Minor in Applied Chemistry and Molecular Engineering. Dr Guldin is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

 

Biography

Stefan Guldin is currently Associate Professor and the Head of the Adaptive and Responsive Nanomaterials group at UCL. He joined the Department in 09/2014 as a University Lecturer. From 2012 to 2014 he undertook postdoctoral research with Professor Francesco Stellacci at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2012 he obtained a PhD from the University of Cambridge for his work with Professor Ullrich Steiner on “Inorganic nanoarchitectures by organic self-assembly‘, mainly elucidating the structure-function relationship in self-organised materials. Previously, he studied applied physics with an emphasis on soft matter at the TU Karlsruhe and TU Munich.

 

For his work, Stefan Guldin has been awarded by the German Academy of Sciences, the German National Academic Foundation, the Cambridge NanoDoctoralTrainingCentre, Springer Publishing and the European Materials Research Society. His research interests include the self-assembly of soft & hybrid matter, adaptive and responsive materials architectures and light-matter interaction.

Publications