Photopolymerizations are chain reactions in which a liquid monomer is converted to a solid, durable polymer in a process triggered by light of the appropriate wavelength. The use of light, rather than heat, to drive a polymerization reaction offers advantages in developing new processes or products. The department's research in this area focuses on comprehensive characterization of the kinetics, mechanisms, structure, and properties of photopolymerizations.
Work includes the following types of studies: characterization of the photochemical processes by which polymerizations may be initiated; kinetic characterization of cationic photopolymerization; development of methods for photopolymerization of thick polymers and composites; development of photopolymerization systems based upon agricultural feedstocks; new methods for monitoring high-speed photopolymerization reactions; nanostructured materials through photopolymerization; biomedical devices formed by photopolymerization; and influence of order on photopolymerization reactions.
Projects range from development of methodologies for compound semiconductor processing and medical device development to the construction and patterning of coatings on materials.
Environmental fate and risk assessment of emerging pollutant classes; development of material-based technologies that promote resource sustainability.
Treatments for persistent bacterial infections in the lungs; new tools to evaluate biointeractions; aerosol interactions with lung fluids; dry powder and aerosol formulations to treat skin infections.
Photopolymerization with emphasis on role that polymerization reactions play on properties and structures of polymers. Projects involve lyotropic liquid crystals, polymerizable surfactants, and nanostructured materials based on lyotropic liquid crystals.
Electrochemical synthesis of functional nanomaterials, solar fuels and chemicals, plasmon-based energy conversion systems, and energy-efficient water treatment systems.
Materials science and engineering education.
Exploring better ways to engage and effectively train students in chemical safety and engineering tactics; promoting the usage and investigation of additive manufacturing (3D printing); advancing the industrial use of photopolymerization.
Spectroscopic methods for the characterization of polymers and polymerization kinetics and reaction engineering.