School Seminar: Professor Gila Stein, University of Tennessee
Wednesday, 13 April 11:00am – 12:00pm
This seminar will be delivered in Online Zoom Please email email@example.com for zoom link and password.
Speaker: Professor Gila Stein, University of Tennessee
Host: A/Prof. Markus Muellner
Title: Engineering Surface-Active Bottlebrush Polymer Additives for Commodity Polymers
Abstract: The surface properties of commodity polymers can be tailored with surface-active polymeric additives, thereby broadening their applications. In this talk, I will show that highly branched “bottlebrush” polymer additives are strongly attracted to surfaces. This surface attraction emerges from an interplay of enthalpic and entropic contributions that are controlled by the polymer chemistries and architectures, respectively. Surface attraction is observed under surprisingly broad conditions, including systems where enthalpic interactions between the bottlebrush polymer and commodity polymer are attractive, repulsive, or approximately athermal, provided the average chain length of the commodity polymer is much longer than that of the “branches” on the bottlebrush polymer. Uniquely, the bottlebrush additives can be attracted to an air surface even when they incorporate chemistries that are “high energy” relative to the host polymer. We have leveraged these attributes to engineer bottlebrush polymer additives that tailor the surface wettability, substrate adherence, and fouling resistance of commodity polymer films.
Biography: Dr. Gila Stein received her BS in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University in 2002 and obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2006. She then joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where she was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology from 2007-2008. Gila joined the University of Houston as an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2009, received the Henley Professorship in 2012, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015. She joined the University of Tennessee as an Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2016, where she holds the Prados Professorship, and was promoted to Professor in 2020. Gila has served as an Associate Editor of Macromolecules since 2021.