We currently have open postdoctoral (1), visiting scientist (multiple), PhD student (1-2), and undergraduate research assistant (multiple) positions. For the postdoctoral position, the candidate should have good polymer synthesis, or polymer scattering/microscopy skills and an understanding and knowledge of polymer science. Knowledge/experience of nanoparticle synthesis/properties is a plus. For other positions, the students need to be highly motivated to do research.
One project is generally on the interaction between nanoparticles and crystalline polymer/block copolymers, and the focus of the other project is on understanding the mechanism of ion transport in polymer electrolyte membranes. For more information, please contact Prof. Li at email@example.com.
The orientation and spatial distribution of nanocrystals in the organic matrix are two distinctive structural characteristics associated with natural bone. Synthetic soft materials have been used to successfully control the orientation of mineral crystals. The spatial distribution of minerals in a synthetic scaﬀold, however, has yet to be reproduced in a biomimetic manner. Herein, we report using block copolymer-decorated polymer nanoﬁbers to achieve biomineralized ﬁbrils with precise control of both mineral crystal orientation and spatial distribution. Exquisite nanoscale structural control in biomimetic hybrid materials has been demonstrated. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/nn403742f
Lithium-ion batteries are the systems of choice for portable electronic devices because they offer high-energy density, flexible and lightweight design and long lifespan. If lithium metal is used to form lithium-metal battery, even higher power densities can be achieved. However, the system proved to be not viable, because the liquid electrolytes currently used can lead to explosion hazards. In order to achieve safe operation for lithium-metal battery, mechanically strong polymer electrolyte membranes with good room temperature ionic conductivity are needed. This grant provides funding for development of a novel nanomanufacturing process, i.e. holographic polymerization, to fabricate such membranes. If successful, this three-year, $375K project will lead to a library of unprecedented polymer electrolyte membranes that enable safe operation of lithium batteries.