ChEMS SEminar: From Nature to Engineering: Biomimetic and Bio-inspired Materials
David Kisailus, Ph.D.
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Riverside
There is a growing need for the development of new light-weight structural materials with high strength and durability that are low-cost and recyclable. Nature has evolved efficient strategies, exemplified in the crystallized tissues of numerous species, to synthesize materials that often exhibit exceptional mechanical properties. These biological systems demonstrate the ability to control nano- and microstructural features that significantly improve the mechanical performance of otherwise brittle materials. In this work, we investigate a variety of organisms, specifically, the hyper-mineralized combative dactyl club of the stomatopods, a group of highly aggressive marine crustaceans, and the heavily crystallized radular teeth of the chitons, a group of elongated mollusks that graze on hard substrates for algae. In addition, we will discuss developments in a bioluminescent and ultrahard mollusk.
From the investigation of structure-property relationships in these unique organisms using modern chemical, morphological and mechanical characterization techniques, we are now developing and fabricating cost-effective and environmentally friendly engineering composites with impact resistance and biologically inspired nanomaterials for energy conversion and storage.
Bio: David Kisailus is an associate professor and the Winston Chung Endowed Professor in Energy Innovation at UC Riverside, the Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (2014-), and project leader of a multi-university research initiative on bio-inspired materials (2014-present). He earned his doctorate at UC Santa Barbara in 2002. His research interests are in biomimetics and bio-inspired materials synthesis of semiconducting materials, structure-functional analyses and biomimetic demonstration of impact and abrasion resistant materials, solution phase precursor synthesis of ceramic and semiconducting materials for photo-catalytic membranes, nanoparticle synthesis and self-assembly.