Polymer Materials, Molecular Fluidics, and Atomic Force Microscopy
Materials science strives for intelligent polymer materials that are able to sense, process, and response to impacts from the surrounding environment. The range of applications ranges from drug delivery and microelectronics to oil recovery and climate change.
Within this broad area of research, we are particularly interested in the design and physical properties of interactive macromolecules and molecular assemblies. We want to develop molecular systems that would enable lithography on sub-50 nm length scales, activation of specific chemical bonds within large macromolecules, and enhancement of the acoustic signal for oil detection. We also intend to develop a new direction in chemistry, wherein chemical bonds are activated by mechanical tension intrinsically generated inside macromolecules, which mimics functioning principles of life objects. Unlike traditional mechanochemistry, our strategy does not require external fields and devices, yet allows accurate control of tension in a broad range from 1 pN to 10 nN.
The studied systems include monomolecular layers, single macromolecules, molecular brushes, block-copolymer micelles, and emulsions. We are using scanning force microscopy, SFM, light scattering, fluorescence optical microscopy, Langmuir-Boldget and contact angle techniques to investigate molecular properties both in solution and at interfaces. One of our strengths is the ability to image individual molecules and in-situ monitor their conformation and motion on surfaces.
Fellow, American Physical Society, 2010, Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001-present, Habilitation - University of Ulm, Germany, 2001, Postdoctoral Fellow - University of Twente, The Netherlands, 1991-1993, PhD - Institute of Chemical Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 1991, BS - Moscow Physico-Technical Institute, 1986.