Novel responsive block copolymer synthesis through living polymerization
My research focuses on the synthesis of novel responsive polymers with secondary interactions using either controlled radical polymerization (RAFT) or living anionic polymerization. We investigate the morphologies, thermomechanical and rheological properties of block copolymers with either or both hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interaction. Our current study focus on the fundamental understanding of the meso-scale morphological changes of thin electro-responsive films under external voltage. Our research also involves the development of a new environmental-friendly reactive adhesive.
Synthesis of Low Tg Photocurable Oligomers + Polymers for Microsterolithography
My research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of novel polyester-, polyether- and poly(dimethylsiloxane)-
Synthesis and Characterization of High Performance Polyesters and Polyetherimides
Ryan’s current research entails the synthesis and characterization of various polymers including aliphatic and semi-aromatic polyesters, polyetherimides, and phosphonium ionenes. Typical synthesis includes monomer preparation and purification, polymerization techniques including melt polymerization and high temperature solution polymerization, and purification involving precipitation and dialysis. General thermal (DSC, TGA), compositional (SEC, NMR), thermomechanical/rheological (Rheology, DMA, HDT), and mechanical (Tensile, Flexural) characterization are commonly employed to determine structure-property relationships, while more specialty analytical techniques (O2 Permeation, Ion Permeation, in situ FTIR, SEM, TGA-SA, XRD, and POM) enable further fundamental and application specific understanding.
Design and Performance of Novel Liquid Crystalline Polyesters
Liquid crystalline polyesters is a widely utilized area of high performance polymers that has found value in the aerospace and electronic industries. My research focuses on the synthesis of novel semi-aromatic and fully-aromatic liquid crystalline copolyesters through step-growth melt transesterification and acidolysis techniques. Strategic variation of monomers afford a wide range of processing temperatures, morphologies, and mechanical properties. Our primary focus is on the fundamental understanding of these structure property relationships through thermal, structural, and mechanical characterization which will be essential to expanding the use of these unique polymers into new areas.
Bioinspiration as a Template for Designing Functional Materials and Enhancing 3D Printing
Photopolymer synthesis for stereolithography and anionic polymerization of novel copolymers
My research involves synthesis and functionalization of novel copolymers using anionic polymerization and click chemistry. A primary focus has been to develop new photocurable resins for stereolithography 3D printing to increase the mechanical capabilities of printed objects from a synthetic perspective. My interests include anionic polymerization of ion containing polymers, UV curing chemistries, and characterization of soft materials.
Synthesis of Electroactive Polymers and Water-soluble Polyureas for 3D Printing
My research involves the synthesis and characterization of new polymers for extrusion and stereolithography 3D printing. Currently, my focus is on designing electroactive polymers which can be used to 3D print electromechanical transducers. Another area of interest is the synthesis of water-soluble polyureas for use in extrusion-based 3D printing processes. Typical synthetic strategies include step growth polymerizations, conventional free radical polymerization, and monomer synthesis and purification.
Synthesis and characterization of water-soluble and bio-compatible polymers for additive manufacturing
My research focuses on synthesizing novel, water-soluble polymers for binder jetting, stereolithography and fused deposition modeling. Specifically, I am currently employing RAFT and cationic ring-opening polymerization techniques to synthesize polymers for 3D printable pharmaceuticals. Along with synthesizing these materials, I also characterize polymer solutions and polymer melts accordingly to predict printability.
Development of High Performance Engineering Thermoplastics for Stereolithography
Structure-property relationships in engineering thermoplastics
Improving the processability of high-performance polymers advances their utilization in demanding applications. We are investigating the relationships between processability, thermal stability, and mechanical properties as a result of a change in composition.
Hydrogen-bonded supramolecular polymers
My research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of hydrogen-bonded supramolecular polymers. Reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization (RAFT) is used as a main method to synthesize polymers with controlled molecular weight and low polydispersity. Due the reversible characteristic of hydrogen bonding interaction, polymer can exhibit excellent properties and interesting self-assembly behaviors, which can be tailored by the design of polymer compositions, architectures, and monomer molecular structures. The resulted polymers can be applied to adhesives, shape memory and self-healing materials, etc.