Faculty & Research

John Berg

John C. Berg


John Berg

Rehnberg Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering

Office: 265 Benson
Phone: 206-543-2029
Fax: 206-543-3778
E-mail: spc@uw.edu


  • B.S., Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1960.
  • Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley), 1964.

Research Interests

  • Colloidal and nano-colloidal materials
  • Adhesion phenomena, in particular in composite materials
  • Gels in multi-phase media

Interfacial Phenomena; Surface and Colloid Science


The behavior of many systems, including thin films, fibers, filaments, jets, drops, bubbles, foams, dispersions, and porous media, may be dominated by the properties of their interfaces. We are examining a variety of problems involving interfacial properties and their consequences. For example, we are investigating the interaction between liquids and solid surfaces as they are influenced by acid-base interactions and are applying such understanding to the improvement of contact adhesion, mechanical properties of new composite materials and the performance of absorbent products. We are examining strategies for conversion from solvent-based to water-based coating formulations, requiring new understanding of the mechanisms of electro-steric stabilization in complex colloidal media. Both the kinetics and morphology of floc formation are being studied. We are also investigating improved methods for recycling of mixed paper wastes, including both flotation de-inking and liquid-bridge agglomeration. We are examining the dynamic properties of multicomponent liquids and their interaction with print media in a study of ink-jet printing. The underlying science of interfaces and colloids is leading to the creation of new materials, new strategies for environmental control, and new technologies for industrial production. Background material in interfacial and colloid science is made available in a variety of course offerings in the Department.

Selected Publications

  • Gacek, M., Brooks, G., Berg, J. C. Characterization of mineral oxide charging in apolar media. Langmuir 2012, 28(5), pp. 3032-3036.
  • Rutz, B. H., Berg, J. C. The effect of interparticle stresses on debonding in spherical silica particle-filled composites with a poly(vinyl butyral) matrix. J. Adhesion Sci. Tech. 2011, 25, pp. 2629-2640.
  • Bhosale, P., Chun, J., Berg, J. C. Acoustic electrophoresis of particles dispersed in polymer gel. Langmuir 2011, 27, pp. 7376-7379.
  • Bhosale, P.S., Chun, J., Berg, J.C. Electrophoretic mobility of polu)acrylic acid)-coated alumina particles. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 2011, 358(1), pp. 123-128.
  • Bhosale, P., Berg, J. C. Acoustic spectroscopy for colloids dispersed in a polymer gel system. Langmuir 2010, 26(18), pp. 14423-14426.
  • Poovarodom, S. (Saran), Poovarodom, S. (Sathin), Berg, J. C. Effect of alkyl functionalization on charging of colloidal silica in apolar solvents. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 2010, 351, pp. 415-420.
  • Rutz, B., Berg, J. C. A review of the feasibility of lightening structural polymeric composites with voids without compromising mechanical properties. Adv. Colloid Interface Sci. 2010, 160, pp. 56-75.
  • Poovarodom, S., Berg, J. C. Effect of particle and surfactant acid-base properties on charging of colloids in apolar media. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 2010, 346(2), pp. 370- 377.
  • Bhosale, P. S., Berg, J. C. Poly(acrylic acid) as a rheology modifier for dense alumina dispersions in high ionic strength environments. Colloids and Surfaces A 2010, 362, pp. 71-76.
  • Berg, J. C. An Introduction to Interfaces and Colloids: The Bridge to Nanoscience, World Scientific Publishers, Singapore, 2010.