Exploring the Solution Behaviors of Fully Rigid Macromolecules

How to Apply

Interested in participating in this research project? Contact the professor or graduate student listed below.


Dr. Tianbo Liu (Polymer Science) | tliu@uakron.edu

Graduate Student

Jiancheng Luo | jl160@zips.uakron.edu

Project Description

The rich solution behaviors of block copolymers, especially the self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers in selective solvents, have been extensively explored in past decades. In solution, the polymer chains are usually flexible random coils and various interesting self-assembled nanostructures (such as spherical micelles, work-like micelles, vesicles and bilayers) have been observed in flexible macromolecule systems. After extensively exploring the flexible block copolymers, it is reasonable to ask the next question: how do the block copolymers behave in solutions if both hydrophilic and hydrophobic blocks are rigid with probably well-defined sizes and shapes? Our lab currently focuses on studying a new type of “block copolymers” possess rigid structure, which are based on sphere-rod shaped hybrid macromolecules.

Unlike the traditional flexible copolymers, the rigid macromolecules are shape-persistent in solution, therefore, their conformations might not compromise the molecular packing in self-assembled nanostructures. If so, what will be the distinctive approach for rigid macromolecules to satisfy the packing in nanostructures? And what will be the consequence of this distinctive approach to achieve novel self-assembled nanostructures?

The participants will have experience on the synthesis of macromolecules and several advanced characterization techniques such as light scattering, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscope (AFM), etc.

Project Dates

Fall 2019 or Spring 2020

Search Terms

Advanced Materials, STEM