Mingtao Chen

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.


Justin Sirrine

Synthesis of Low Tg Photocurable Oligomers + Polymers for Microsterolithography

My research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of novel polyester-, polyether- and poly(dimethylsiloxane)-containing oligomers and polymers for mask projection microstereolithography, a subset of additive manufacturing. I am interested in step growth polycondensation, free-radical photocuring kinetics, and interlayer adhesion in 3D printed objects.

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Ryan Mondschein


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.

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Katherine Valentine

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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.

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Philip Scott

Synthetic Design of Novel Elastomers for Additive Manufacturing and Advanced Technologies

My research focuses on the design of novel polymer systems to investigate new opportunities to modern challenges such as additive manufacturing (3D Printing).  I employ a range of controlled polymerization techniques, including anionic polymerization, to synthesize new polymers with tailored chemistry and properties including dual-chemistry photo-reactivity, and phosphonium containing block copolymers.  I am interested in the intersection between chemical structure, microscale morphology, and macroscopic properties.

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Tyler White


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.

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Emily Wilts


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.

Clay Arrington


 Development of High Performance Engineering Thermoplastics for Stereolithography

Josh Wolfgang


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.

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Xi Chen

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Multiple hydrogen-bonding or ionic-bonding containing supramolecular polymers

The dynamic characteristics of hydrogen and ionic bonding contributes to the reversible properties of acrylic polymers, opening new avenues for designing smart materials with flexibility and processability. Incorporation of multiple hydrogen bonding or ionic bonding provides acrylic polymers with enhanced structural and mechanical integrity. In addition, hydrogen bonding or ionic interactions serve as physical crosslinks to induce phase-separation and self-assembly, leading to tunable mechanical properties and interesting morphologies. The resulting polymers have great promise for applications as adhesives, membranes, and thermoplastic elastomers, etc.

Mark Cashman

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Multi-phase Siloxanes for Photocuring and Stereolithography

Chris Kasprzak

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Ion-containing Polymers for Electrochemical Stimuli-Responsive Behavior

For a complete list of student alumni, please visit the Alumni Page