Seeking to improve the quality and scalability of polymer thin films, Dr. Harris’s research program focuses on (1) understanding the behavior of fluids as they are coated onto permeable or impermeable substrates to elucidate the mechanisms that govern process-structure-property relationships and (2) the design and implementation of innovative coating technologies to create discrete patterns and multiple layers as well as to coat with multiple fluids simultaneously.
Her work can be applied to electrochemical devices, such as fuel cells, electrochemical capacitors, electrolysis cells, batteries, and electrodialysis process as well as flexible electronic devices and water filtration systems among others.
The challenges when transitioning lab-scale thin-film coatings to commercial-scale include coating uniformity, controlling wide-area film formation, wetting and rheological issues, and tooling limitations. To ensure material performance does not suffer during scale-up, Dr. Harris’s research program is a synergistic blend of modeling, application technology, scholarly perspective (reviews), and signature breakthroughs in technology development.
- Design and Manufacture: Increase material performance, decrease manufacturing cost, and enhance sustainability of fabricated thin films via R2R processing
- Modeling: Introduce predictive models for limits on impermeable substrates and fluid penetration into porous media
- Scaling: Present technologies that allow for scale-up of high-quality film from complex materials on R2R platforms
- Thin Films: Demonstrate drastic reductions in coated feature sizes and enhanced resolution
- Innovation: Invent groundbreaking technologies for coating materials
Leadership and Awards
- Principal investigator of Georgia Tech’s Polymer Thin Film Processing Laboratory
- 2018 L.E. Scriven Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Coating Science and Technology (ISCST)
- 2010 Lockheed Young Investigator Award from Lockheed Martin
- 2010 NSF CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation