Advanced Materials & Interfacial Engineering


Leveraging our excellence in nanoscale and molecular engineering and science, UW ChemE labs produce a huge range of new materials – from biocompatible and antifouling coatings to plasmonic nanoparticles to complex self-assembling structures — for applications in medicine, energy, and beyond. Our labs are renowned for their expertise in biomaterials, interfaces, and surface chemistry, and are pioneering methods in directed assembly, defect engineering, and surface characterization.

Image: Cross-polarized light shining through a single carbon fiber within an epoxy matrix. The rainbow colors come from the strain fields within the matrix. Created by Luke Khoury for the 2018 Science & Engineering as Art Competition

Research Topics

  • Biocompatible materials
  • Antifouling materials
  • Bio-inspired materials
  • Surfaces and interfaces
  • Transport properties
  • Drug delivery
  • Nanostructured materials
  • Quantum materials
  • Defect engineering
  • Luminescent and plasmonic materials
  • Hybrid and hierarchical materials
  • Directed assembly

Campus Opportunities

Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute
MolES serves as a physical incubator and an intellectual accelerator for translational molecular-level research in clean tech and biotech. It houses the Molecular Analysis Facility and NESAC/BIO, a surface analysis instrumentation and research facility for biomedical research.

Institute for Nano-Engineered Systems
NanoES supports research in the design, fabrication, and integration of scalable nano-engineered devices and systems in information processing, energy, health, and interconnected life. It houses the Washington Nanofabrication Facility.

The Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales
A DOE Energy Frontier Research Center, CSSAS aims to define the rules that govern how molecular-scale building blocks assemble into ordered structures.

Molecular Engineering Materials Center
MEM·C coordinates research efforts among two colleges and five departments across UW’s campus and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to address major trans-disciplinary challenges in materials research.

In the Curriculum