Kelvin Green ’24


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Electrophoretic and Dielectric Spectroscopy Properties of Individual Clay Nanoparticles in Liquid Water

Presentation Link

View Kelvin's Presentation

Certificate(s): Engineering Physics, Sustainable Energy

I worked to tune a coarse-grained model of an aqueous clay nanoparticle surrounded by sodium counterions. Previous studies of clay nanoparticles have relied on all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, which are computationally expensive to run. In contrast, this new coarse-grained model is simpler and can run much faster, which allows us to probe physics on longer timescales. One application is the investigation of the low frequency limit of the dielectric susceptibility spectrum of clay. Dielectric susceptibility refers to the ability of a material to polarize under an applied electric field. Previous studies have been unable to examine the low frequency limit because of the relatively long timescales required. My role was to develop scripts to calculate the net current of the system (from which the dielectric susceptibility spectrum could be obtained), to tune parameters governing the diffusion of sodium ions and clay particles, and to investigate unexpected discrepancies in the sodium ion density profile. I gained experience in running molecular dynamics simulations on computer clusters, analyzing simulation data, and referencing other studies in the scientific literature. Overall, this internship has motivated me to pursue research in STEM related to sustainability.

Internship Year


Project Category

Water and the Environment


Interfacial Water Group, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey


Ian Bourg, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Thomas Underwood, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Xinyi Shen, Ph.D. candidate, Civil and Environmental Engineering