Sophia grew up in Tainan, an ancient little city in Taiwan. Having grown up in the semiconductor tech hub of Taiwan, she has always had a soft spot for the science behind electronic devices. During undergrad, she developed a love for polymer and biomedical materials, which became the focus of her undergraduate research project. She later worked on organic optoelectronic devices for her Masters at NTU and her internship at the National Institute of Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan. In her spare time, Sophia has started growing a lot of houseplants and building a spreadsheet of recipes.
Chemical engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei (2018)
Advisor: Professor Wen-Chang Chen
Chemical engineering, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan (2016)
Advisor: Professor Jui-Che Lin
"Anything is possible. It’s explaining that’s the tricky part."
Sophia has been working on piezoelectric/polymer composite materials that can self-strengthen while being mechanically agitated. Mechanical energy is one of the most common and ubiquitous source of energy. Everything vibrates. Usually, materials break over time with mechanical duress, but the Esser-Kahn lab has created a material system that remodels autonomously while mechanically vibrated. The goal is to prolong the lifetime of materials so that costly maintenance and replacements can be avoided, such as with potholes, aircrafts, and undersea pipelines, etc. Sophia works specifically in exploring the fundamental mechanisms involved in achieving this material system.
100th Anniversary of Macromolecular Science Viewpoint: Piezoelectrically Mediated Mechanochemical Reactions for Adaptive Materials
Jorge Ayarza, Zhao Wang, Jun Wang, Chao-Wei Huang, and Aaron P. Esser-Kahn. ACS Macro Lett. 2020, 9, 9, 1237–1248 Aug. 17, 2020. doi: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00477