The 2016 Ruckenstein Lecture Series

Dr. Ashutosh Sharma

Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur | Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India Department of Chemical Engineering

SELF-ORGANIZATION ON NANO SCALES: Fabrication beyond the Top-down and Bottom-up by Harnessing Thin Film Instabilities

Image of Ashu Sharma.

Inexpensive, fast and large-area nanofabrication across a variety of materials remains a challenge which impacts important advances in functional interfaces, energy, electronics, health and environment. This talk will summarize some of our recent work on understanding and control of selforganization and instabilities in thin soft films. The focus will be on fabrication of large area nano/micro patterns and structures by harnessing of self-organized instabilities. I will illustrate the basic principles by examples from Directed Dewtting of thin (5 nm-100 nm) polymer liquid films, Elastic Contact Instability of soft solid films, Electric Field Modulation of Interfaces, Directed Electrospinning and Diffraction Patterned Induced Self-organization. An important point discussed will be a unique strategy to reduce the length scale of physical self-organizational processes from tens of micrometers to sub-100 nm levels that are characteristic of chemical self-assembly. Applications range from textured coatings, multiscale composites, cell-scaffolds, supported catalysis, nanolens and nanowire arrays to a reusable pressure sensitive adhesive with a nano-skin. This talk will be atribute to the pioneering work initiated by Prof. Ruckenstein and his coworkers on thin films in the 70s and 80s. Dr. Sharma will also share his experience working as Secretary, Dept. of Science and Technology, Government of India.


1988 UB CBE PhD graduate Dr. Ashutosh Sharma is Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Dr. Sharma credits his time at UB and his mentor, Dr. Eli Ruckenstein in large part for his success post-UB. “I certainly owe UB and Eli a great deal in shaping my story. The strong research ethos there encouraged me to think independently and take multidisciplinary approaches. His advocacy and personal example of hard work, creativity and overall excitement about the research were my inspiration. UB CBE also offered me strong graduate courses and splendid learning opportunities in the form of weekly seminars presented by outstanding researchers.” Dr. Sharma was an Institute Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, where he also established a Nanoscience Center. He is best known for his pioneering research work in the areas of colloids, soft thin films, interfaces, adhesion, patterning, and in the fabrication and application of self-assembled nano-structures. His current interests are in nanofabrication and nanomaterials for energy, environment and health. Dr. Sharma is also the UB Alumni Association Distinguished International Alumni Award recipient for 2016.