Research Interests

Almost all engineering processes involve the transport of material across an interface. These interfacial regions are characterized by changes of composition or density over length scales comparable to molecular dimensions.

Similarly, the composition and structure of a single phase can vary markedly over small distances. Examples are liquid crystals, microemulsions and micelles, some polymeric solutions, vesicles, emulsions, and protein dispersions. The physical properties of such complex fluids make them useful in a multitude of applications. The best use of these materials, however, requires knowledge of the arrangement of the material structure on a molecular scale.

With the goal of developing such an understanding, we have studied several microemulsions, micelles, and vesicular dispersions as well as concentrated colloidal suspensions. The main focus of our work was experimental, but also involved substantial theoretical and computational efforts.


  • 1974 - Presidential Scholar
  • 1977 - Donald S. Clark Award (Cal Tech)
  • 1984-89 - Presidential Young Investigator
  • 1985 - Outstanding Young Men of America
  • 1986-90 - Who's Who in the East
  • 1992 - Who's Who in the East
  • 1994 - Chair, Chemistry at Interfaces, Gordon Research Conference
  • 1995 - ASEE Curtis W. McGraw Research Award
  • 1995 - Visiting Professor, Universität Graz
  • 1998 - ACS Delaware Section Award
  • 1998 - ACS Award in Colloid or Surface Chemistry
  • 1999 - Co-Chair, Supramolecular Chemistry, Gordon Research Conference
  • 2001 - AAAS Fellow
  • 2001 - Ashton Cary Lecturer, Georgia Tech
  • 2002 - Chilton Award, Wilmington AIChE Section
  • 2005 - Chemical Society of Japan Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry's Lectureship Award
  • 2005 - E. Arthur Trabant Institutional Award for Women's Equity
  • 2006 - Kash Mittal Award from the Surfactants in Solution Symposium
  • 2006 - Chair, Colloidal, Macromolecular & Polyelectrolyte Solutions, Gordon Research Conference
  • 2010 - Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • 2010 - Fellow, American Chemical Society
  • 2013 - Bruce A. Finlayson Lecturer, University of Washington
  • 2013 - Fellow, National Academy of Inventors
  • 2014 - American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Selected Publications

  • "Calorimetric Study of the Adsorption of Poly(ethylene oxide) and Poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) onto Cationic Nanoparticles," N.L. McFarlane, N.J. Wagner, E.W. Kaler, and M.L. Lynch, Langmuir, 26, 6262 (2010).
  • "Kinetic Model of Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer Polymerization in Microemulsions," J. O'Donnell and E.W. Kaler, J. Poly. Sci. A, 48, 604 (2010).
  • "Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer in Microemulsions: Effect of Chain Transfer Agent Aqueous Solubility" J. O'Donnell and E.W. Kaler, Macromolecules, 43, 1730 (2010).
  • "Rheology and spatially resolved structure of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide wormlike micelles through the shear banding transition," M. E. Helgeson, P. A. Vasquez, E. W. Kaler, and N. J. Wagner, J. Rheology, 53, 727 (2009).
  • "Phase Behavior and Microstructure Evolution in Aqueous Mixtures of Cetyltrimethylammonium Bromide and Sodium Dodecyl Tri-oxyethylene Sulfate," P.A. Hassan, T.K. Hodgdon, M. Sagasaki, G. Fritz-Popovski, and E.W. Kaler, Comptes Rendus Chimie, 12, 18 (2009).
  • "Microstructure and Shear Rheology of Entangled Wormlike Micelles in Solution," M.W. Liberatore, F. Nettesheim, P.A.Vasquez, M.E. Helgeson, N.J. Wagner, E.W. Kaler, L.P. Cook, L. Porcar, and Y. Hu, J. Rheology, 53, 441 (2009).
  • "Comparative Effects of Salt, Organic, and Polymer Precipitants on Protein Phase Behavior and Implications for Vapor Diffusion," A.C. Dumetz, A.M. Chockla, E.W. Kaler, and A.M. Lenhoff, Crystal Growth & Design, 9, 682 (2009).
  • "Tuning intermicellar potential of Triton X-100-anthranilic acid mixed micelles," G. Verma, V.K. Aswal, S.K. Kulshreshtha, C. Manohar, P.A. Hassan, and E.W. Kaler, Pramana: Journal of Physics, 71, 997 (2008).
  • "Binding of Alkyl Polyglucoside Surfactants to Bacteriorhodopsin and its Relation to Protein Stability," M. G. Santonicola, A. M. Lenhoff, and E. W. Kaler, Biophysical Journal, 94, 3647 (2008).
  • "Effects of pH on protein-protein interactions and implications for protein phase behavior," A.C. Dumetz, A.M. Chockla, E.W. Kaler, and A.M. Lenhoff, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1784, 600 (2008).
  • "Influence of Nanoparticle Addition on the Properties of Wormlike Micellar Solutions", F. Nettesheim, M.W. Liberatore, T.K. Hodgdon, N.J. Wagner, E.W. Kaler, and M. Vethamuthu M, Langmuir, 24, 7718 (2008).
  • "Polarization and Interactions of Colloidal Particles in AC Electric Fields", M. Mittal, P.P. Lele, E.W. Kaler, and E.M. Furst, J. Chem. Phys., 129, #064513 (2008).
  • "Microstructure Evolution and Monomer Partitioning in Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer Microemulsion Polymerization," J. O'Donnell and E.W. Kaler, Macromolecules, 41, 6094 (2008).
Eric Kaler Speaking at Podium


Phone: 612/624-4197

Office: 360

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  • B. S., Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 1978
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1982