Water Interfaces Group – UIC Department of Physics


Mark’s group uses X-ray scattering and other techniques to provide a physical description of molecular-level processes at water surfaces and interfaces, with a more recent emphasis on understanding the role of electrostatics in these processes. This has led to a new understanding of the distribution of ions at interfaces, including the role of ion correlations and interfacial structure in determining them. Such distributions underlie the equilibrium and dynamical properties of charged molecules and particles at interfaces and in bulk solution. Ion distributions are relevant to many scientific and industrial processes, including areas of societal relevance such as water treatment and purification. Recent research in Mark’s group includes a fundamental understanding of extractant-assisted ion transfer, which is relevant for environmental remediation, water cleanup, and heavy metal separations. A relatively new area of research in Mark’s group is the voltage-controlled localization and assembly of charged nanoparticles at water-organic interfaces. Other areas of interest include the study of protein interactions with aqueous hydrophilic surfaces, such as membranes, surfactant ordering and interactions at water surfaces and interfaces, and nanoscale aqueous films. The majority of this research is experimental, though theory and simulations have been undertaken in support of the experiments.