College of Engineering,
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department,
Nano Research Area
- Health & Bio-Nanotechnology
- Nano-Materials & Engineering
The Genzer group research interests include: (1) materials self-assembly and directed assembly and (2) the behavior of polymers at surfaces, interfaces, and in confined geometries. While our core research program encompasses mostly experimental approaches, we also utilize simple chemical synthesis routes and computer simulation/theory.
Our research activities can be divided into three areas:
- Pattern recognition by copolymers. We have developed 3D self-consistent field theory and Monte Carlo simulation approaches to study the interplay between the spatial distribution of the surface chemical heterogeneities and the monomer sequence distribution in the copolymer.
- Directed assembly of oligomers and polymers on elastomeric substrates. We have pioneered a method for fabricating "mechanically assembled monolayers" (MAMs); structures that are built by combining self-assembly of surface grafting molecules with mechanical manipulation of the grafting points on the underlying elastic surface.
- Molecular gradients on substrates. Our interest in preparing molecular density gradients on surfaces, based on vapor diffusion of organosilanes, is motivated by: (1) the ability of these gradients to form continuous molecular templates for assembly of polymers and non-polymer clusters (e.g., nanoparticles), (2) studying the mechanism of formation of self-assembled monolayers, and (3) utilizing the gradient substrates in multivariant studies of polymer interfacial behavior.