de Pablo Group

Antonio Tavera-Vázquez

  • Postdoctoral Researcher

Antonio was born in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. He obtained his BS degree in physics and mathematics from the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (UMSNH) working on phenomenological models to study high energy cosmic rays as part of the KASKADE-Grande collaboration, with the supervision of Professor Juan Carlos Arteaga. After that, he moved to Mexico City and got his MS degree in physics in 2014 at the Institute of Physics from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). At the same place he pursued a PhD degree in physics where, under supervision of Professor Rolando Castillo, his experimental research focused on the study of mechanical and dynamical responses of thread-like morphologies in complex fluids by rheology, microrheology with dynamic light multi-scattering, and static scattering techniques. These experiments allowed him to figure out the self-assembly processes and hierarchical structures of worm-like micelles (made of surfactants and copolymers), polyelectrolytes, and carbon nanotubes systems. In January 2019 Antonio earned his PhD degree with honors and right after he joined Professor Juan de Pablo’s group at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. In his spare time, he enjoys sports, mostly biking, swimming, and playing soccer. He is also interested in universal history, geography, and the human cultural mixtures as a result of these.

Antonio is developing experimental research in liquid crystalline systems. The emphasis of his research lies in the study of the dynamics of light activated colloidal micro-swimmers embedded in thermotropic liquid crystals. This research could offer new insights on the understanding of heat diffusivity processes in structured liquids, as well as the mechanisms of self-propulsion of colloids during the nematic-isotropic phase transition phenomena. In addition, he also studies the behavior of thermotropic liquid crystals in contact with two-dimensional materials that exhibit uncommon mechanical, electronic, and optical properties. Moreover, he is also interested in the study of active lyotropic liquid crystals made of actin filaments.