Fluid dynamics are generally studied in the framework of classical physics. Yet, at a solid-liquid interface, a fluid becomes sensitive to the quantum dynamics of the solid’s electrons. For fluids flowing near atomically-smooth surfaces, this results, in particular, in a quantum contribution to the hydrodynamic friction. My current research aims at developing theoretical methods and designing experiments for probing the coupling between fluids and electrons at solid-liquid interfaces.
The properties of electrolytes confined to nanometre-scale channels are of fundamental importance in a variety of systems, ranging from ultra-filtration membranes to biological nanopores. In such narrow channels, ions interact stronger than in the bulk, leading to enhanced ionic correlations. Using statistical mechanics tools beyond mean-field theory, I aim at understanding the peculiar transport phenomena resulting from these correlations, ranging from ionic Coulomb blockade to memory effects.
Moving things with light
I insist on dedicating time to curiosity-driven research. The projects I have undertaken so far all involve light-driven manipulation of matter. I have studied little floating marbles that move against flows, and, more recently, not-so-small vials that jump away from infrared light.