Engineering Large Molecules
Polymeric materials provide integral structures in advanced technologies such as fuel cells, organic photovoltaics, nanopatterned hard drives, and biomedical devices. Nature also uses polymers to produce ultra-strong spider silk fibers, tough organic/inorganic composites, and some of the most efficient catalysts (enzymes). The unique physical properties of these materials arise from the large size of the polymer molecules and its effect on molecular structure and dynamics.
Our research in polymer science attempts to understand the statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, and transport properties of these large molecules and to apply this understanding to the intelligent design of biofunctional and bioinspired polymeric materials with new and interesting properties for applications in biotechnology, energy, and sustainability.