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Dr. Yun Liu's Research

Current Research Interests

  • Structure and dynamics of colloidal systems:


We are recently interested in studying the formation of protein dynamic clusters in solutions. The results will benefit the understanding of colloidal systems with both a short-range attraction and an electrostatic repulsion that are ubiquitous in many biologically relevant systems.


Dendrimers are regularly branched spherical macromolecules that can have many potential applications such as "artificial blood", drug delivery carriers. We are interested in understanding its conformation change and its encapsulation properties in solutions.


The presence of solvent/solute components makes it possible to modify the effective interaction between colloidal particles at will so that one can obtain various macroscopic properties. We are interested in understanding how colloidal particles interact with each other by using statistical mechanics theories.



  • Interaction of small molecules on the surface or porous media:



(See research highlights.)


We are interested in studying hydrogen adsorption properties in many materials using neutron scattering techniques by exploring its locations, binding properties, and dynamics.
closeup image of the HKUST-1 metal-organic framework
Credit: Liu/NIST
Porous materials, such as metal-organic frameworks, can be used in gas storage and separations. The adsorption of small molecules (CO2, N2, Ar, C2H2, etc.) in porous media becomes more and more important nowadays. And the adsorbed small molecules in nano-pores can have many different properties when compared to the bulk materials.
I am interested in understanding the structure change of flexible MOFs under various conditions. For example, MIL-53 shows the structure transition as a function of temperature with extraordinarily large temperature hysteresis.



Water structure and dynamics in confined space.



(Coming soon.)

Created December 5, 2009, Updated October 18, 2018