Polymer/Materials Research

Many challenging problems in the modern science and technology are related to preparation, properties, and utilization of novel functional materials. The polymer chemistry and the chemical microelectronics programs represent parts of the multidisciplinary effort in this field. The many-pronged approach includes: synthesis and molecular characterization of well-defined block and graft copolymers; preparation of new engineering thermoplastics and liquid crystalline materials; synthesis, modification and processing of polymers in super-critical carbon dioxide; chemical design of hybrid polymers for catalysis and photoredox activity, polymers for microelectronics applications including 193 nm and 157 nm photoresists and low-k dielectrics, and defined microstructures.

Research projects span a wide range of chemical analysis science and include, but are not limited to, biosensors, nanoscopic materials, neurochemistry, microvolume separations and analysis, protein adsorption, supercritical fluids and single-molecule analysis; for examples of currently active research projects please see the list below. The division has strong relationships with a large number of companies in the pharmaceutical, chemical and scientific instrumentation industries, which provide continued support of research fellowships and the Analytical Seminar series.

Recent Research Results

Polymer Fluorination

Fluorination of the donor polymer is a widely accepted method to improve the power conversion efficiency of organic...

Conjugated Polymer Brushes

Researchers in the You Group, in collaboration with scientist from UNC's Department of Physics and Astronomy...

Better Solar Cells

Researchers from North Carolina State University, in collaboration with the You Group here at...

Representative Publications

A Universal Platform for the Electrodeposition of Ligand-Free Metal Nanoparticles from a Water-in-Oil Emulsion System.
Matthew William Glasscott, Andrew David Pendergast, and Jeffrey E. Dick.
ACS Appl. Nano Mater., Just Accepted Manuscript

Chameleon-Like Elastomers with Molecularly Encoded Strain-Adaptive Stiffening and Coloration.
Mohammad Vatankhah-Varnosfaderani, Andrew N. Keith, Yidan Cong, Heyi Liang, Martin Rosenthal, Michael Sztucki, Charles Clair, Sergei Magonov, Dimitri A. Ivanov, Andrey V. Dobrynin, Sergei S. Sheiko.
Science 30 Mar 2018, Vol. 359, Issue 6383, pp. 1509-1513

Mimicking Biological Stress–Strain Behaviour with Synthetic Elastomers.
Mohammad Vatankhah-Varnosfaderani, William F. M. Daniel, Matthew H. Everhart, Ashish A. Pandya, Heyi Liang, Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Andrey V. Dobrynin & Sergei S. Sheiko.
Nature volume 549, pages 497–501 (28 September 2017)

The Curious Case of Fluorination of Conjugated Polymers for Solar Cells.
Qianqian Zhang, Mary Allison Kelly, Nicole Bauer, and Wei You.
Acc. Chem. Res., 2017, 50 (9), pp 2401–2409

Surpassing 10% Efficiency Benchmark for Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells by Scalable Coating in Air from Single Nonhalogenated Solvent.
Long Ye, Yuan Xiong, Qianqian Zhang, Sunsun Li, Cheng Wang, Zhang Jiang, Jianhui Hou, Wei You, Harald Ade.
Advanced Materials, Volume 30, Issue 8, February 22, 2018, 1705485

Morphology, Structure, and Enhanced Intramolecular Conduction in Ultralong Conjugated Polymer Brushes.
Ian A. VonWald , Mark M. Moog, Travis W. LaJoie, Joshua D. Yablonski, Dean M. DeLongchamp, Jason Locklin, Frank Tsui, and Wei You.
J. Phys. Chem. C, 2018, 122 (14), pp 7586–7596

Mie-Coupled Bound Guided States in Nanowire Geometric Superlattices.
Seokhyoung Kim, Kyoung-Ho Kim, David J. Hill, Hong-Gyu Park & James F. Cahoon.
Nature Communications, Volume 9, Article number: 2781, (2018)

Experimental Demonstration of an Electride as a 2D Material.
Daniel L. Druffel, Kaci L. Kuntz, Adam H. Woomer, Francis M. Alcorn, Jun Hu, Carrie L. Donley, and Scott C. Warren.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (49), pp 16089–16094

Panchromatic Sequentially Cast Ternary Polymer Solar Cells.
Masoud Ghasemi, Long Ye, Qianqian Zhang, Liang Yan, Joo‐Hyun Kim, Omar Awartani, Wei You, Abay Gadisa, and Harald Ade.
Adv. Mater. 2017, 29, 1604603.

Control of Surface and Edge Oxidation on Phosphorene.
Kaci L. Kuntz, Rebekah A. Wells, Jun Hu, Teng Yang, Baojuan Dong, Huaihong Guo, Adam H. Woomer, Daniel L. Druffel, Anginelle Alabanza, David Tománek, and Scott C. Warren.
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9 (10), pp 9126–9135

Material Informatics Driven Design and Experimental Validation of Lead Titanate as an Aqueous Solar Photocathode.
Taylor Moota, Olexandr Isayev, Robert W. Call, Shannon M. McCullough, Morgan Zemaitis, Rene Lopez, James F. Cahoon, and Alexander Tropsha.
Materials Discovery, Volume 6, 2016, Pages 9-16, ISSN 2352-9245.

Self-Catalyzed Vapor-Liquid–Solid Growth of Lead Halide Nanowires and Conversion to Hybrid Perovskites.
Jonathan K. Meyers, Seokhyoung Kim, David J. Hill, Emma E. M. Cating, Lenzi J. Williams, Amar S. Kumbhar, James R. McBride, John M. Papanikolas, and James F. Cahoon.
Nano Lett., Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b03514, Publication Date (Web): November 7, 2017

Donor Polymer Fluorination Doubles the Efficiency in Non-Fullerene Organic Photovoltaics.
Nicole Bauer, Qianqian Zhang, Jingshuai Zhu, Zhengxing Peng, Liang Yan, Chenhui Zhu, Harald Ade, Xiaowei Zhan and Wei You.
J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 22536-22541