Professor Reinhold Dauskardt, Stanford University
From Hybrid Films to Human Skin: Understanding Relationships between Structure, Processing and Function of Hybrid Materials
Hybrid films comprising inorganic and organic components tailored at molecular length scales are used in a wide range of emerging technologies. These range from protective transparent coatings for ophthalmic lenses, plastic windows and stretchable electronics, display and photovoltaic devices, membranes in fuel cells, dielectric layers in microelectronics and adhesive layers in high-performance laminates. I will describe our research by showcasing several examples involving high-performance hybrid materials as high-performance adhesive interlayers, as transparent protective coatings for plastics, and as transparent conducting films for flexible electronics. Specifically, I discuss the molecular design of such multi-functional hybrids, new methods for processing using atmospheric plasma processing in air on plastics, and metrologies to characterize the adhesive and degradation processes that are important for reliable application over extended operating lifetimes.
I will conclude by providing an overview of our research on the biomechanical function of human skin, another hybrid material, by describing a suite of quantitative biomechanical models we have established and validated to understand the role of actives and formulations in skin care products. Such biomechanical properties are crucial in understanding the barrier function of skin, its “feel,” firmness and cosmetic appearance. By characterizing from molecular length scales to the level of the tissue itself, we demonstrate how the role of actives and the formulations can be quantitatively understood, modeled and predicted. This represents a new quantitative approach to characterize and model the fundamental biomechanical function of human skin.