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.
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.
Synthesis and Characterization of Electroactive Polymers for 3D Printable Transducers
My current research interests include synthesizing novel electroactive polymers for extrusion and stereolithography 3D printing. Specifically, my research focuses on exploring new ion-containing polymers and dielectric elastomers for use in electromechanical transducers. Typical synthetic methods include melt polycondensation, 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
My current research focus is on synthesis of photoactive polymer precursors which enable processing of high performance step-growth polymers via vat photopolymerization. The inherent properties of aromatic polyimides hinder processing, limiting many polyimides to film form. Development of chemical pathways which enable production of intricate 3D parts may allow for deployment of polyimides in new spaces.
Structure-property relationships in engineering thermoplastics
Improving and understanding the processability of high-performance thermoplastics continues to impact the industrial and academic fields of polymer chemistry. We are investigating the relationships between processability, thermal stability and mechanical properties as a result of a change in composition, architecture and regiochemistry.
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.
Materials Design for Next Generation Additive Manufacturing of Polysiloxanes
My research focuses on the design of polysiloxane-based systems for additive manufacturing. Through the employment of intricate chemistries, functional PDMS-based oligomers can be utilized in the design of next generation elastomers. Lithography-based additive manufacturing of MQ-loaded, telechelic functional, PDMS-based oligomers enables the fabrication of elastomeric nanocomposites. The simultaneous crosslinking and chain extension photocuring mechanism allows for low viscosity, photo-active oligomeric precursors; compatible with conventional stereolithographic printers. Harnessing the thermal decomposition of urea coupled with the high temperatures and high vacuum utilized in the melt polycondensation of traditional polyesters, provides an isocyanate-, solvant- and catalyst-free synthetic method towards PDMS polyureas. This facile and tunable systhesis provides a route towards the molecular design of PDMS-based high performance elastomers, demonstrating potential eligibility as feedstock for melt extrusion additive manufacturing.
Synthetic Design of Multiphase Systems for Additive Manufacturing and Stimuli-Responsive Materials
My research focuses on synthesizing intricate macromolecules to aid fundamental understanding of structure-property-processing relationships in aqueous colloids. Employing knowledge of polymer synthesis, small molecule chemistries, and spontaneous self-assembly allows me to create materials that have applications in additive manufacturing of elastomers, as well as diagnostic polymer nanoparticles, and stimuli-responsive environmental remediation efforts. My research passions lie with bridging the gaps between chemistry and engineering to alleviate societal issues and provide platforms for next-generation materials.
With the improved mechanical performance, functionalized polymers involving non-covalent interactions continues to draw attention for their applications as adhesions, photoelectronics and elastomers. My current research focuses on synthesizing of non-covalent bonding containing polymers including hydrogen bonding incorporated polymers and ionic associated polymers. The non-covalent interaction enables the mechanical integrity under low temperatures, while the reversible nature allows further processing and recycling under high temperatures. Further synthetic tasks involve block copolymerizations of non-covalent bonds containing polymers and low-Tg soft polymers. The self-assembly within the block copolymers results ordered microphase separations giving polymers a potential application as thermoplastic elastomers.
Understanding Structure-Property-Process Relationships for the Development and Adaption of Thermoplastic Polymers in Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing
I research how thermoplastic polymers interact with the three sub-functions of the powder bed fusion additive manufacturing technology. Understanding a polymer’s structure and resulting properties can enable prediction of printability from laboratory scale experimentation if we understand how the input polymer properties interact with the process physics of the manufacturing technology. Often this involves unique approaches to thermal and rheological characterization to best mimic the manufacturing process.
Development of stimuli-responsive bio-compatible polymers for stereolithography.
My research focuses on functionalizing bio-compatible polymers with functional groups that display a response to an outside stimulation such as the pH of their environment. I also investigate the variation in properties that different photo-crosslinking method impart on the materials.
I am interested in a variety of high performance polymers and their ability to be 3D printed. Currently, I am investigating the relationship between polyester structure and liquid crystalline properties.
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