Pulak Dutta Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Research Interests

Pulak Dutta's research is focused on nanoscale order in soft materials and at soft-hard interfaces. One area of current research is the structure of liquids near surfaces and interfaces. The properties of liquids near surfaces and interfaces are of relevance to industrial processes, lubrication, wetting, spreading (e.g. of paints or oil spills), tertiary oil recovery, and many other applications.  Insights gained from these studies may help design new materials and systems that enhance these applications. The group is also trying to learn how living organisms use soft surfaces to grow inorganic crystalline materials (e.g. bones, shells), and to thus develop biomimetic methods for making hybrid materials in easier and more energy-efficient ways.Much of this research is done using synchrotron radiation at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, and at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Selected Publications

"Effect of Solvent Polarizability on the Assembly and Ordering of Nanoscale Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane Films", Guennadi Evmenenko, Scott L. Cockroft and Pulak Dutta, Langmuir 30, 196 (2014)

What X-ray reflectivity can tell us about the interface profile of water near hydrophobic surfaces”, Ahmet Uysal, Miaoqi Chu, Benjamin Stripe, Amod Timalsina, Sudeshna Chattopadhyay, Christian M. Schlepütz, Tobin J. Marks, and Pulak Dutta, Phys. Rev. B 88, 035431 (2013).

Charge, stereochemistry or epitaxy? Towards biomimetic nucleation at mixed monolayer templates”, B. Stripe, A. Uysal, B. Lin, M.M. Meron and P. Dutta, Langmuir 28, 572 (2012)


Controlling the growth of self-propagating molecular assemblies”, L. Motiei, M. Feller, G. Evmenenko, P. Dutta, M.E. van der Boom, Chem. Sci. 3, 66 (2012).


Reverse Self-Assembly: (111)-Oriented Gold Crystallization at Alkylthiol Monolayer Templates”, Ahmet Uysal, Benjamin Stripe, Binhua Lin, Mati Meron and Pulak Dutta, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 115503 (2011).


Morphological behavior of thin polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane films at the molecular scale”, Guennadi Evmenenko, Benjamin Stripe and Pulak Dutta, J. Coll. Interf. Sci. 360, 793 (2011).

Orientation and morphology of calcite nucleated under floating monolayers: A magnesium-ion-enhanced nucleation study”, Benjamin Stripe, Ahmet Uysal and Pulak Dutta, J. Crystal Growth 319, 64 (2011).

"How water meets a very hydrophobic surface", Sudeshna Chattopadhyay, Ahmet Uysal,  Benjamin Stripe, Young-geun Ha, Tobin J. Marks, Evguenia A. Karapetrova and Pulak Dutta, Phys. Rev. Lett., 105, 37803 (2010).

"Epitaxy-driven interactions at the organic-inorganic interface during biomimetic growth of calcium oxalate", Ahmet Uysal, Benjamin Stripe, Kyungil Kim and Pulak Dutta, CrystEngComm 12, 2025 (2010).

"Surface order in cold liquids: X-ray reflectivity studies of dielectric liquids and comparison to liquid metals", Sudeshna Chattopadhyay, Ahmet Uysal, Benjamin Stripe, Steven Ehrlich, Evguenia A. Karapetrova and Pulak Dutta, Phys. Rev. B81, 184206 (2010) {PRB Editors' Suggestion}.

"Structural signal of a dynamic glass transition", Sudeshna Chattopadhyay, Ahmet Uysal, Benjamin Stripe, Guennadi Evmenenko, Steven Ehrlich, Evguenia A. Karapetrova and Pulak Dutta, Phys. Rev. Lett103, 175701 (2009).

"Effects of chitosan on the morphology and alignment of calcite crystals nucleating under Langmuir monolayers", Kyungil Kim, Ahmet Uysal, Sumit Kewalramani, Benjamin Stripe and Pulak Dutta, CrystEngComm 11, 130 (2009)  {Cover image).