Multiphase and dispersed systems include but not limited to aerosols (liquid droplets in gas), suspensions (solid particles dispersed in gas or liquid), emulsions (liquid droplets dispersed in another liquid), bubbly liquids (bubbles dispersed in liquid), and various combinations of those. Due to its practical importance, multiphase and dispersed systems in conventional (macro) scale were studied for many years by many research groups all over the world and were successfully used to solve engineering problems of nuclear, petroleum, chemical, and environmental engineering.
The advent of new emerging technologies and applications during recent years, along with new experiemental tools, as well as substantial progress in high performance computing, have resulted in a growing research thrust directed to understanding of the nature of the multiphase and dispersed system in micro- and nanoscale.
Professor Akhatov's research is motivated by materials, energy, and bio/nanotechnology applications. His research method can be formulated as "theory based experiement". Currently, the following set of research projects are being conducted that can be summarized under one title - "Fluid Dynamics of Materials Deposition":
Aerosol Beam and its Application to Direct-Write Technology: It is shown that under proper conditions an aerosol flow through micro-capillary reveals new manifestation of microfluidics: the Saffman force acting on aerosol particles in gas flowing through a micro-capillary becomes significant thereby causing noticeable migration of particles toward the center line of the capillary. This finding opens up new opportunities for aerosol focusing, which is in stark contrast to the classical aerodynamic focusing methodologies. The lines deposited by this method are shown to exhibit widths of 5 μm - superior to ink-jet.
Capillary - based Liquid Droplet Deposition: The application of pressure into the capillary causes a liquid meniscus to form at the outlet. Touching the substrate with the liquid meniscus and subsequent capillary retraction gives liquid deposition on the substrate. Capillary-based deposition has been employed for the fabrication of a range of materials including electronic ceramics, ceramic structures, stretchable metal electrodes, and biomaterial tissue scaffolds. Challenge is in finding the regimes that are scalable down to nanoscale deposition.
Cold Spray: The basic principle of the cold spray process is very simple. A high velocity gas jet is used to accelerate powder particles and spray them onto a substrate. The kinetic energy of the particles helps these particles to plastically deform on impact and form splats, which bond together to produce coatings. Cold Spray is a relatively young process and still considerable efforts are needed to understand and control the process, as well as develop engineered coatings with desired properties for specific applications.
Atmospheric Pressure Plasma - assisted Materials Deposition: Plasma processing is presently used in many manufacturing steps such as corona discharge cleaning and surface energy modifications. The Atmospheric Pressure Plasma technology will allow low-temperature deposition of electronic materials. An advanced combined theoretical/experimental approach is needed to define the chemical physics of cold plasma and optimize material deposition process.
Present Research Grants
Grant of the Government of the Russian Federation for state support of research conducted under the guidance of leading scientists in the Russian educational institutions, "Center for Micro- and Nanoscale Dynamics of Dispersed Systems" at Bashkir STate University, Ufa, Russia - PI.
NSF, CMMI, Nano and Bio Mechanics, "Collaborative Research: Tribologically Durable UHMWPE Nanocomposites for Total Joint Replacements: Nano-mechanics and Bio-tribological Modeling" - Co-PI. In collaboration with Drs. Annie Tangpong (NDSU) - PI, and Katie Zhong (Washington State University) - Co-PI.
DoE (NDSU Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology), "Theoretical Analysis and Computer Simulation of Plasma-Assisted Material Deposition" - Co-PI. In collaboration with Drs. Yechun Wang - PI, and Doug Schulz - Co-PI.
DoD- Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA), “Electronics
and Materials for Flexible Sensors and Transponders (EMFST)”
– Task Leader. Dr. Larry Pederson - Program Manager (NDSU Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering).
NSF, EPSCoR, RII, "Flexible Electronics and Materials (FlexEM) - Statewide Reserach Initiative" - Co-PI. In collaboration with Drs. P. Boudjouk and D. Schulz - PIs; and D. Webster, S. Rasmussen, K. Katti, D. Katti, S. Croll, X. Dai - Co-PIs.
Past Research Grants
Research: Direct In-plane Formation of Large Organic Crystals
for Active Nanostructured Devices” –
Co-PI. In collaboration with Drs. Debra Mascaro (University
of Utah) – PI, and Vladimir Bulovic (MIT) –
DoD- Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA), “Center
of Excellence for Microsensors and their Fabrication with NanoBlock
and Fluidic Self Assembly Technology” – Task
Leader. Dr. Bill Davis - Project Engineer (DMEA), and Dr. Greg McCarthy – Program Manager (CNSE).
NSF, EPSCoR, "Spintronics" - Co-PI. In collaboration with Drs. Philip Bourdjouk and
Doug Schulz (NDSU) - PIs, and Drs. Dean Webster (NDSU) and Seth Rasmussen (NDSU) - Co-PIs.
NSF, “NER: Vibrating
Nanotube-based Nano Powder Production System” – PI. In collaboration with Dr. Bor Jang (NDSU) – Co-PI.
NSF, “STTR Phase I: Local Vapor Fuel Cell” (DMI-0419578) – Co-PI. In collaboration with Dr. Wayne Huang (Nanotek Instruments, Inc.) – PI.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, R&D Fund, “Drug Delivery Enhancement by Ultrasound: Physical Mechanisms and Mathematical Modeling” (2001).
NYSRDA - New York State Energy Research & Development Authorities, “Bubble Fusion Research” (2002).
DOE NEER “Multidimensional Analysis of Forced Bubble Dynamics” (2001-2002).
ORNL UT-Battelle LLC “Analysis of Bubble Fusion Scale up” (2001-2002).
NSF/COBASE “Acoustic and rheological processes in aqueous foams” (1999).
DLR, Int. Dept., Contract RUS-133-97 “Dynamics of sonoluminescing bubbles” (1997-2000).
DLR, Int. Dept., Contract X222.31 “Nonlinear structure formation in acoustic cavitation” (1994-1996).
DFG (SFB-185) “Mathematical modeling of nonlinear phenomena and chaos in hydrodynamics of non-Newtonian fluids” (1993).
DAAD “Nonlinear waves in multiphase fluids” (1992).