Research interests

Multi-scale pores and channels systems

"Pore" and "Channel" are everywhere, e.g, from small biological ion channels to large oil pipelines. The difference between pore and channel is the relationship between its diameter and its depth. If the diameter is greater than its depth, it is referred as Pore, otherwise, Channel. Both “Pore” and “Channel” have a wide range of significant applications on different scales. For example, pipelines which are commonly used in chemical industry, food industry, agriculture, and energy-petroleum transportation, can be treated as macro-scale channels. The problems with such channels center on energy saving, anti-fouling, anti-corrosion, and anti-block. A good example of micro scale channel is the microfluidics, which has great impact in the areas of chemical synthesis, biological analysis, optics and information technology, etc. The developments of biomedicine, biotechnology, food industry, chemical reaction, membrane science and sensors are all benefit from the development of microfluidic systems. The big issues exist for microfluidic systems are energy saving, anti-fouling, anti-corrosion, and anti-block, controllability, and good stability. On the nano-scale, the nanochannels which led to the birth of a whole new area of research, are used for nanofluidics, gas separation and capture, batteries, water purification, energy harvest and DNA sorting. Nanochannel systems bring not only good opportunities for huge developments on biotechnology, nanotechnology, molecular biology, biomimetic system to real-world applications, but also unprecedentedly new challenges of controllability, stability, energy generation and anti-fouling in such confined space.


Dynamic fluidic interfaces

Fluid constitutes structural materials to create dynamic interfaces. Our research focuses on new approaches to design dynamic fluidic interfaces for mass transport and separation, microfluidics, catalysis sensing and 4D printing, etc.


Bioinspired approaches for micro/nano devices

Structures from Nature have remarkable properties, many of which have inspired laboratory research. Bioinspired materials and devices are attracting increasing interest because of their unique properties, which have paved the way to many significant applications. For example, ion channels that exist in living organisms play important roles in maintaining normal physiological conditions and serve as “smart” gates to ensure selective ion transport. Normal body function depends strongly on regulation of ion transport inside these nanochannels. Thus, designing a system that simulates these complex processes in living systems is a challenging task for nanoscience and biotechnology. Nature brings us endless bioinspired physicochemical ideas to better the development of novel artificial materials and micro/nano devices that enable us to potentially overcome these obstacles. Bioinspired approaches owe much of their current development in biology, chemistry, materials science, medicine and engineering to the design and fabrication of advanced devices.


Please feel free to contact me if you have any interests: houx@xmu.edu.cn