Tonya Kuhl

uc davis coffee center director tonya kuhl

Position Title

  • Chemical Engineering
Bainer Hall 3092

Co-Director, UC Davis Coffee Center

Direct measurements of biological membrane-membrane interactions, ligand-receptor interactions, polymer thin films, small angle scattering studies of interfacial films

Kuhl’s research focuses generally on colloidal science and self-assembly. In particular, the Kuhl group studies a wide range of systems from surfactants, lipids and proteins to polymer coatings, nanoparticles and confined fluids, preaching the common theme of “interfaces are where stuff happens.” They study interfaces by directly measuring the normal interactions (attractive and repulsive) between surfaces and their lateral friction using specialized high-resolution force spectroscopy. These interaction force studies are complemented by structural characterization via x-ray and neutron scattering measurements at national laboratories to enable predictive modeling and rational design of soft materials.