News

Apr 11, 2024

Congratulations to Ruijie Yang and co-authors on publishing the paper titled as "Intercalation in 2D materials and in-situ studies" on Nature Reviews Chemistry, 2024. 

Apr 09, 2024

Our research program related to interfacial solar evaporation for freshwater production and energy generation receives the fund support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) discovery grants program for 5 years. 

Apr 01, 2024

Our collaborative project led by Dr. Yang "Unlocking the power of mRNA for rare neurodevelopment disorders" receives a Branch Award in the inaugural One Child Every Child Strategic Catalyst Award competition! Look forward to our work in applying hydrogels and emulsions into the challenging field. 

Mar 08, 2024 

Congratulations to MD Mehadi Hassan, Cassie Ren, Mojtaba Ebrahimian Mashhadi, Amber Chen, Ruijie Yang for winning the 2024 graduate excellence award in CPE.

Feb 06, 2024

Our research project for next-generation of sodium ion batteries has been awarded seed grant funding by @Volt-Age at @Concordia University under the @CFREF program (Volt-Age, visit https://www.concordia.ca/research/volt-age.html).

sodium ion project

Jan 06, 2024

Congratulations to Xiao and co-authors for publishing the review article "A Review of High Internal Phase Pickering Emulsions: Stabilization, Rheology, and 3D Printing Application" (CIS_103086) on Advances on Colloid and Interface Science.

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Dec 21, 2023

Congratulations to Amber and co-authors for publishing the work "An Adhesive Cellulose Nanocrystal-Reinforced Nanocomposite Hydrogel Electrolyte for Supercapacitor Applications" (GIANT_100230) on Giant (Special Issue on “Hydrogels: from synthesis and properties to functions and applications”).

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Dec 10-13, 2023

Dr Lu joined the 15th International Conference and Exhibition on Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods in USA to learn recent work of materials science and colloid science in nutraceuticals, functional foods and drug delivery systems. Our work "Aqueous Condition-Tolerated High Internal Phase Oil-in-Water Pickering Emulsion for 3D Printing Hydrogel for Controlled Release" was given at the conference as an oral talk.

Dec 06, 2023

Congratulations to Ruijie Yang for winning Alberta Innovates Graduate Student (Doctoral) Scholarship for 2023-2025.

Nov 6, 2023

Very excited to post our lab logo - bright happy sunshine vision. It shows our great passion on interfacial science and advanced materials, and strong efforts on innovations into fields such as sustainable energy, environmental engineering and biomedical engineering. 

lab logo

Nov 2, 2023

Congratulations to Rufan Zhou for his successful PhD defense on the thesis "Development of Nanostructured Catalysts for Efficient Syngas Production from Dry Reforming of Methane". And best wishes for his career after PhD graduation!

defense

Oct 29 - Nov 1, 2023

Glad to attend the Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference (CSChE) 2023 Calgary and learn from the large research community. Thanks to Amber for giving an oral talk "Highly Stretchable, Repairable, and Tough Nanocomposite Hydrogel Physically Cross-linked by Hydrophobic Interactions and Reinforced Hydrophobized Cellulose Nanocrystals", Cassie for giving an oral talk "A Lightweight, Mechanically Strong, and Shapeable Copper-benzenedicarboxylate/Cellulose Aerogel for Wastewater Treatment", and Mehadi for giving a poster talk "Morphology-dependent Antibacterial Activity of Thymol-loaded Polylactic Acid Nano-porous Electrospun Membrane​" at the conference. And Congratulations to Mehadi for winning a poster presentation award at the conference!

Conference

Oct 25, 2023

Congratulations to Ruijie Yang and co-authors for publication "Photocatalysis with atomically thin sheets" on Chemical Society Reviews, 2023 (https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2023/cs/d2cs00205a). 

Abstract: Atomically thin sheets (e.g., graphene and monolayer molybdenum disulfide) are ideal optical and reaction platforms. They provide opportunities for deciphering some important and often elusive photocatalytic phenomena related to electronic band structures and photo-charges. In parallel, in such thin sheets, fine tuning of photocatalytic properties can be achieved. These include atomic-level regulation of electronic band structures and atomic-level steering of charge separation and transfer. Herein, we review the physics and chemistry of electronic band structures and photo-charges, as well as their state-of-the-art characterization techniques, before delving into their atomic-level deciphering and mastery on the platform of atomically thin sheets.

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Oct 12-15, 2023

Dr. Lu attended the 7th International Conference of Bionic Engineering & the International Youth Conference of Bionic Science and Engineering 2023 (ICBE & IYCBSE 2023) online to learn exciting progress in the bionic research fields and get connected to international bionic scholars. Our work on "Wood-inspired polypyrrole/cellulose aerogel for efficient interfacial solar evaporation" was presented at the conference as an oral talk. 

Sept 18, 2023

Thanks to Dr. T. Dong from Southern University of Science and Technology for giving an excited talk for us on "Engineering of a bacterial protein secretion machine for protein cargo delivery". 

Sept 13, 2023

Dr. Lu attended the workshop "Let's Talk Quantum" organized by the Quantum City team at Hunter Hub Collision Space, 4th Floor Hunter Student Commons (HNSC), University of Calgary to have a better understanding of Quantum City - Calgary's new quantum innovation hub, the Quantum City's qLab and its research potential, quantum computing at Mphasis, and have some networking opportunities related to our 2D quantum material project. 

 

Sept 11, 2023

Congratulations to Xiaoyan and Mehadi and co-authors for publication "Thymol-loaded polylactic acid electrospun fibrous membranes with synergistic biocidal and anti-bacterial adhesion properties via morphology control"  on Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 2023, 677, 132360 (https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1hkkU3IywUPian). 

Abstract: Antibiotic resistance is a growing challenge in modern medicine, highlighting the urgent need for alternative antimicrobial strategies. The combination of synergistic sterilization and inhibition of bacterial adhesion presents a promising approach for achieving a long-lasting antibacterial effect. Herein, we report the fabrication of thymol-loaded polylactic acid (Thy-PLA) porous fibrous membranes that exhibit both bacteria-killing and bacteria-repellent functions, accomplished through control of microstructure and morphology during the electrospinning process. Notably, we employed the breath figure method, a humidity-induced morphology control technique, which significantly increased the surface roughness of the Thy-PLA fibers and resulted in a nano-porous structure for bacterial repulsion. Additionally, this method facilitated the enhanced release of thymol, thereby enabling efficient sterilization. By simply modifying the morphology, we achieved bacterial reduction rates of up to 99.92 % and 99.87 % for Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively, and robust mechanical properties (ultimate tensile stress of 20 MPa and elongation at break of 822.7 %). Furthermore, the fibrous membranes exhibited an impressive oil/water absorption capacity (∼36.7 g/g in 90 s) thanks to the interior and surface porosity. The porous fibrous membranes with synergistic antimicrobial efficiency and tunable mechanical properties demonstrate great potential for diverse applications, particularly in wound dressing and oil/water filtration.

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Sept 4, 2023

Check our publication "Blowing-inspired ex situ preparation of ultrathin hydrogel coatings for visibly monitoring humidity and alkaline gas" on Nanoscale (Nanoscale, 2023, 15, 13952 - 13964, outside front cover. http://xlink.rsc.org/?DOI=D3NR02821F or https://pubs.rsc.org/en/journals/journalissues/nr); twitter: Nanoscale journal family @nanoscale_rsc; LISAM Lab Interfacial Science Advanced Materials @Lu_Lab_LISAM). 

Just like blowing a soap bubble in people’s childhood, the ultra-thin hydrogel film can be prepared by the blowing method, which shows concentric rings with interference colours for visible sensing. 

Abstract: Compared with the in situ preparation of ultrathin hydrogel coatings through successive yet tedious steps, ex situ strategies decouple the steps and greatly enhance the maneuverability and convenience of preparing hydrogel coatings. However, the difficulty in preparing sub-micron-thick coatings limits the applicability of ex situ methods in nanotechnology. Herein, we report the ex situ preparation of centimeter-scale ultrathin hydrogel coatings by applying omnidirectional stretching toward pre-gelated hydrogels with necking behaviors. This process involves blowing a bubble directly from a pre-gelated hydrogel and subsequently transferring the resulting hydrogel bubble to different substrates. The as-fabricated coatings exhibit peak-shaped thickness variations, with the thinnest part as low as ∼5 nm and the thickest part controllable from ∼200 nm to several microns. This method can be universally applied to hydrogels with necking behavior triggered by internal particles with partial hydrophobicity. Due to the overall near- or sub-micron thickness and unique thickness distribution, the coatings present concentric rings of different interference colors. With such an observable optical characteristic, the as-prepared hydrogel coatings are applied as sensors to visibly monitor humidity changes or alkaline gas through the visibly observable expansion or contraction of concentric interferometry rings, which is triggered by adsorbing/desorbing the surrounding water or alkaline molecules and the resultant swelling/deswelling of the coatings, respectively. With the universality of the method, we believe that the ex situ strategy can be used as a simple yet efficient environmental nanotechnology to fabricate various types of nanometer-thick hydrogel coatings as detectors to sensitively and visibly monitor surrounding stimuli on demand.

Outside front cover
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Aug 30, 2023

Welcome new student Brett Conners to the group! Wish he a wonderful time and great performance in our group!

And Say farewell to our summer students Anton and Billy. They have had great experience in our lab! Wish them the best for their future study, career and life! 

Anton
Billy

Aug 22, 2023

Congratulations to Cassie and co-authors on the publication of "Wood-inspired Polypyrrole/Cellulose Aerogel with Vertically Aligned Channels Prepared by Facile Freeze-casting for Efficient Interfacial Solar Evaporation"  on Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2023, 11, 17748 - 17758. 

Abstract: Interfacial solar evaporation has drawn increasing attention in recent years due to its high efficiency, clean energy source and adaptability to a wide range of water sources. Herein, a solar evaporator was fabricated using a cellulose aerogel (CA) as the support by facile freeze-casting and polypyrrole (PPy) as the solar-thermal-conversion material by in situ growth. The cellulose aerogel showed unique morphology of a porous honeycomb-like structure at cross-section and vertically aligned channels, not only benefiting fast water delivery to the evaporator surface, but also alleviating the salt precipitation problem. With the growth of PPy nanoplates, the composite aerogel exhibited a high evaporation rate (∼3.16 kg m−2 h−1) and energy conversion efficiency (∼90.25%) under one sun illumination and great stability indicated by continuous long-term evaporation in saline water. The interaction between composite aerogels and water molecules could decrease water vaporization enthalpy to around 1400 kJ kg−1 after stabilization, which plays an important role in enhancing evaporation performance. The impact of the cellulose concentration and PPy coverage percentage during preparation, saline concentration, and exposure height of the solar evaporator on evaporation performance was also investigated. Finally, the purified water was collected using a purpose-made collector with a collecting rate of 1.27 ± 0.08 kg m−2 h−1 and the condensed water showed high purity from various water sources. Attributed to its excellent light-harvesting ability, unique structure for fast and sufficient water transport and decreased water vaporization enthalpy, this cellulose-based aerogel shows great potential in clean water production.

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Aug 8, 2023

Dr. Lu gave a talk "Materials innovation by learning from Nature: bio-based, bio-derived, bio-mimetic strategies" at the University of Toronto. 

Aug 04, 2023

Dr. Lu served as the external examiner for Weinan Zhao's PhD thesis on "Superwetting surfaces derived from sustainable materials for environmental and energy applications" at the University of Waterloo.

Aug 03, 2023

Dr. Lu gave a talk "Materials innovation by learning from Nature: bio-based, bio-derived, bio-mimetic strategies" at University of Waterloo. 

lu

May 31, 2023

Congratulations to Amber Chen for successfully defending her MS thesis "Cellulose Nanocrystal-Reinforced Nanocomposite Hydrogel Electrolyte for Supercapacitor". Amber will continue her PhD study in our group. Wish her great performance for her PhD study here. 

defense

May 04, 2023

Congratulations to Mehadi and co-authors for the publication "Novel Nanoarchitecture of 3D ion Transfer Channel Containing Nanocomposite Solid Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Based on Holey Graphene Oxide and Chitosan Biopolymer" in Chemical Engineering Journal, 2023, 466, 143159.

Abstract: In the arena of three-dimensional (3D) nanoarchitecture, holey graphene oxide (HGO)—a class of two-dimensional (2D) graphene oxide porous nanosheet, has emerged as a promising choice of additive material to design advanced 3D nanocomposite for energy and environmental applications. With a facile and cost-effective solution-casting technique, we fabricated here a flexible, wearable, free-standing, and super-thin (∼0.08 mm) solid polymer electrolyte membrane (SPEM) consisting of 2D-HGO, lithium bis(trifluromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) salt, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) polymer binder, and chitosan (CH) biopolymer. SPEM exhibited impressive ionic conductivity of 2.76 × 10-3 S⋅cm−1 at room temperature (RT = 23 °C) which is comparable to liquid electrolytes. Robust mechanical property (5.87 MPa) and easy lithium-ion diffusion capability of SPEM were identified by the ultra-low activation energy (Ea) of 0.089 eV, which is one of the best values among the reported solid polymer electrolytes. Good lithium-ion transference number (tLi+= 0.76) and wide electrochemical stability window (ESW = 4.4) indicated single ion conduction and stable battery operation voltage capability of SPEM. Moreover, fast ion transfer mechanism of SPEM was proposed according to the comprehensive characterizations; mostly relating to uniform and strong interconnecting novel 3D ion transferring routes. Temperature and frequency responsive charge carrier mobility trend were also investigated with an in-depth dielectric study. Promising RT galvanostatic Li plating-stripping performance was observed at 5 mA⋅cm−2 with a hybrid symmetric cell. Using Li metal as anode, SPEM, and LiCoO2 as cathode in the full cell, a good RT specific discharge capacity of 142.8 mA⋅h⋅g−1 was achieved at 0.1 C rate.

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Group Activities

2023 Dec

2023 Dec

2023 Nov

Rufan graduation

2023 August

2023 August

2022 August

202208
Paddle Board
skiing
pizza meet
hiking
BBQ
boating
campus meet
graduation
2018
  • October 2019 – Welcome to Dinesh Mishra to our group! 
  • September 2019 – Welcome to Mehadi Hassan and Maryam Razi to our group! 
  • May 2019 – Welcome to Cassie Ren, Rufan Zhou and Mingdong Yu to our group! 
  • January 2019 – Welcome to Kailun Zhang, Xinyao Liu and Lu Lai to our group! 
  • December 2018 – Welcome to Qinghong Li and Yaohua Dong to our group! 
  • November 2018 – Welcome to Bo Yang to our group! 
  • September 2018 – Welcome to Mozhu Li to our group! 
  • July 2018 – Welcome to Adedoyin Aderounmu to our group! 
  • May 2018 – Welcome to Josh Zhang and Ningxin Chen to our group! 
  • February 2018 – Welcome to Dr. Simone Rodrigues to our group! 
  • January 2018 – Welcome to Serena Liu to our group! 
  • December 2017 – Welcome to Dr. Li Zhang to our group! 
  • October 2017 –Welcome Dr. Ping Song to the group! Her project is supported by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF)!
  • September 2017 - Welcome to Yecan Wang to the group! 
  • September 2017 – Congratulations to Omar Man who received the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate (Master's) Scholarships September 1, 2017 
  • May 2017 – Welcome to Shiyu Lu to the group.
  • April 2017 – Dr. Qingye (Gemma) Lu gets awarded the NSERC Discovery Grant on bio-inspired nanocomposite materials for 5 years.
  • February 2017 – Dr. Qingye (Gemma) Lu attended Annual Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Graduate Student Conference and worked as Oral Presentation Judge the student oral presentation test.
  • October 2016 – Dr. Qingye (Gemma) Lu attended Alberta Biomedical Engineering Conference and worked as Poster Judge for the student poster contest. 
  • September 2016 – Welcome to Omar Maan to the group.
  • July 2016 – Dr. Qingye (Gemma) Lu joined the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at University of Calgary, Canada.