Brief History

The Martinez Research Group’s interest lies in studying and developing soft materials and their use in advanced applications, including phase change materials (PCM), chemical sensors, cell encapsulation, and microencapsulation. Prof. Martinez’s interest in soft materials systems started in graduate school, where he studied the stress development of ceramics/polymer films under the guidance of Prof. Jennifer Lewis. He also studied the crystallization of dilute colloidal suspensions composed of micro-and nanoparticles. As an NRC postdoc at NIST, Prof. Martinez fabricated highly sensitive chemical sensors composed of porous shells made with nanoparticles. The sensors achieved parts per trillion (ppt) sensitivities to many gases.

Prof. Martinez was fortunate to spend two years in Prof. Dave Weitz’s group at Harvard University. He focused on fabricating capsules and the encapsulation of cells in alginate matrices from double emulsion drops. Double emulsion-related research served as the foundation for the first projects at Purdue. For example, we used double emulsion drops to fabricate spherical colloidal crystals, cell encapsulation, and the fabrication of ceramic capsules from preceramic polymers. In the past four years, the Martinez group shifted focus towards environmental issues with a project to study emulsion formation in bilge water in collaboration with Prof. John Howarter and Prof. Kendra Erk. Another area of research is the synthesis and encapsulation of bio-based phase change materials for passive temperature control in asphalt in collaboration with Prof. Jeffrey Youngblood and Prof. John Haddock. Also, the group recently started working on ceramic materials with projects on high emissivity high-temperature coatings and hypersonic RF windows in collaboration with Prof. Rodney Trice.

Funding Sources

Our group has been received funding from several government agencies and companies, including ONR, NSF, DTRA, DOD, SERDP, Purdue Research Foundation, INDOT, PPG Corp, and Amore Pacific Korea. Thanks for all your support!

Current Grants (2022)

SERDP: Development of PFAS-Free Fire Extinguishing Foam Based on New Siloxane-based Surfactant Formulations and Time-Released Foam Additives
Project Managers: Dr. Robin Nissan and Braxton Lewis
Co-Managed with Prof. Jeffrey Youngblood
Graduate Students: TBD

Soybean Alliance: Soy-oil based Fatty Acid Amides (FAAm) as Sustainable Biobased Phase Change Materials (PCMs), Lubricants, and Surfactants
Technical Contacts: Corey Crafton and Julie Ohmen
Co-managed with Prof. Jeffrey Youngblood
Graduate Students: Yue Zeng

ONR: Design and Evaluation of Rare-Earth Co-Stabilized Cubic Zirconia for Hypersonic Flight
Program Managers and Technical Contact: Dr. Eric Marineau and Dr. Eric Wuchina
Co-managed with Prof. Rodney Trice
Graduate Students: Abdullah Al Saad