Mrudhula Baskaran ’19
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Experimental Studies of Diffusiophoresis with Environmental Applications
I studied diffusiophoresis, which is the motion of charged particles in aqueous solutions due to gradients in solute concentration. I tracked the diffusiophoretic motion of polystyrene (PS) particles and amine-modified PS (aPS) particles in response to externally imposed gradients in a sodium-chloride concentration. I prepared small-height Hele-Shaw chambers using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), experimenting with and optimizing different chamber geometries. I performed fluorescent microscopy and analyzed particle motion using the image-tracking software ImageJ. My contributions to this project included optimizing the experimental setup and learning how different gradients of sodium-chloride concentration can affect particle motion. Through this experience, I learned experimentation skills and how to formulate general trends in data. This internship gave me the opportunity to frame and systematically answer research questions to test a hypothesis. Diffusiophoresis is a concept I enjoyed learning about, and I will continue my research with the Stone Group for my junior independent work.
* This internship is connected to the PEI Water and the Environment Grand Challenges project, “Diffusiophoresis of Control of Particles in Water Systems.”
Water and Health
Complex Fluids Group, Princeton University
Howard Stone, Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering