Smart and Functional Materials can be engineered to be dramatically stronger, conductive, reactive, reflective or optically tuned. Our scientists and engineers are working from the fundamentals and applying their thorough knowledge and expertise to development such materials.
This includes but is not limited to fundamental condensed matter physics, soft matter, materials characterization, nanomaterials, graphene and other 2D materials, quantum materials, nanoparticles, quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, DNA self-assembly, biomaterial and nanocellulose, new materials for additive manufacturing (i.e., 3D printing), protein, enzymes, biopolymers, biomaterials, electronic and photo-active materials.
Theme Leads and Co-Leads
This group is by far the largest and most diverse in terms of research areas, and therefore it organizes itself via a group of seven faculty members serving as a committee:
Michael Tam (ChE) – Professor Tam received his PhD degree from Monash University in Australia in 1991, held full professor position at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and then joined UWaterloo in 2007. His most recent research interests are novel chemistries and
applications of cellulose nanocrystals.
Hany Aziz (ECE) joined University of Waterloo in 2007 as Industry Research Chair in OLED Displays. After receiving his PhD degree from McMaster University in 1999, Professor Aziz worked as a Research Scientist at Xerox Research Centre of Canada for eight years.
Boxin Zhao (ChE) received his PhD from McMaster University in 2004. His research involves adhesion phenomena on the nanoscale and biomimicry.
John Honek (Chem, cross-appointed with Pharmacy) received his PhD in 1984 at McGill University and joined the University of Waterloo in 1986 in the Department of Chemistry. Working at the interface of chemistry and biochemistry, John’s research involves applying chemical and biochemical principles and techniques to the problems of protein and enzyme structure/function, and their applications for bionanotechnology in medicine.
Yuning Li (ChE, cross-appointed with Chemistry) obtained his PhD from the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) in 1999, after which he worked in both academic and industrial environments, including Xerox Research Centre of Canada. Professor Li joined the University of Waterloo in 2010. Currently Professor Li’s lab focuses on the development of printable electronic materials including polymer semiconductors, polymer conductors, polymer binders, and various nanomaterials for thin film transistors (flexible displays, RFID tags, smart labels, sensors, and wearable electronics), photovoltaics (solar cells and photodetectors), and batteries (lithium batteries).
Carolyn Ren (MME) received her PhD from the University of Toronto in 2004, and shortly after joined the University of Waterloo. Her research involves development of advanced microfluidic devices, which are the basis for lab-on-chip applications in healthcare (e.g., point-of-care diagnostics) and real-time water quality monitoring.