This program focuses on the interfacial formation, assembly and jamming of nanoparticle surfactants (NPSs) assemblies at liquid-liquid interfaces to kinetically trap the liquid in non-equilibrium shapes and to functionalize the nanoparticles with ligands to impart an adaptability to the assemblies in response to external stimuli. The control of the interfacial packing of the NPSs ushers in a new class of emergent materials, Structured Liquids, that synergistically combines the desirable characteristics of fluids—rapid transport of energy carriers, conformability to arbitrary shapes, and controlled dissipation of mechanical energy—with the structural stability of a solid. Structured liquids have spatial characteristics that span from nanoscopic to macroscopic length scales, with dynamics that cover many orders of magnitude in time. 

The program aims to quantify the interfacial NPS assemblies, their dynamics, and their response to external stimuli. Dynamic covalent bonding chemistries and inclusion of active, conductive and magnetic materials are being developed to produce all‐liquid, energy‐relevant systems that can be reshaped and potentially evolve in shape. Revolutionary design strategies are emerging for directing flow of mechanical, electrical or optical energy in materials or systems.