Soft Nanomaterials Laboratory

Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Welcome to the Soft Nanomaterials Laboratory

Our research interests are focused at the intersection of organic and plasmonic nanomaterials. We aim at rational integration of organic (polymeric, biological) materials and plasmonic nanostructures to realize multifunctional materials. Organic materials with responsive and self-assembling properties combined with functional plasmonic nanostructures that exhibit unique optical properties form a powerful materials platform for a wide variety of applications including plasmonic photovoltaics, chemical and biological sensors, adaptive materials, non- or minimally-invasive bioimging and therapy.

Specific research interests include:

  • Unconventional approaches for the fabrication highly efficient surface enhanced Raman Scattering substrates for the detection of chemical and biological analytes.
  • Hierarchical assembly of plasmonic nanostructures into functional superstructures using self-assembling properties of organic materials (e.g., block copolymers, amphiphilic molecules).
  • Organic/inorganic hybrids for physical, chemical and biological sensors and multifunctional surfaces and interfaces.
  • Nanoscale confinement effects on the thermo-mechanical properties of polymer thin films, brushes, membranes, nanocomposites and 3D polymeric structures.​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Postdoc positions available:   Two postdoctoral fellow positions are available immediately. The first project is aimed at understanding biotic/abiotic interfaces at the nanoscale. Specifically, we are interested in understanding the changes in the structure and function of proteins adsorbed on size- and shape-controlled nanostructures. Comprehensive understanding of interfacial structure and function of proteins will enable us to precisely engineer the interface between a biomolecule and synthetic nanostructure, and lead to rapid advances in the field of bio/nano hybrids.  In the second project, we aim to develop a nanobiosensor for multiplexed detection of a panel of protein biomarkers in urine for early and point-of-care diagnosis of acute kidney injury.

We are looking for candidates that are highly motivated, with excellent scientific writing ability and good oral communication skills. The ability to work effectively in multi-disciplinary research teams is critical.  Preference will be given to candidates with prior research experience in soft matter and biotic/abiotic hybrid materials. Training in advanced atomic force microscopy techniques is also desirable.  Applicants should email (singamaneni(at) a brief statement of research interest, CV, and the contact information for three references.

Srikanth Singamaneni, PhD
Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science​

email: singamaneni(at)

Ph: 314-935-5407