Dr. Ali Dhinojwala

Dr. Ali Dhinojwala

Title: H.A. Morton Professor
Dept/Program: School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering
Office: GDYR 423
Phone: 330-972-6246
Fax: 330-972-5290
Email: ali4@uakron.edu
Website: https://uakron.edu/polymer/dhinojwala/


Dr. Ali Dhinojwala, H.A. Morton Professor of Polymer Science, has been a part of the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (SPSPE) for over twenty years, first serving as a professor and then as the Department Chair from 2008-2012. He has served as the co-Principal Investigator of the Biomimicry Research Innovation Center (BRIC) since its inception in 2011, and during his time at the University has helped to hire several faculty members who teach here still today. His participation in the School as well as his dedication to building a successful team of faculty and staff made him a perfect fit as director.

Dr. Dhinojwala obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and spent two years as a research scientist at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After spending one year at GE Plastics, he joined The University of Akron in 1997.

His current research is in the areas of adhesion, friction, and wetting. His group has developed unique surface technique to study buried polymer interfaces. His recent interest is in understanding how geckos and spiders use adhesives for locomotion and prey capture. These studies have led his team to develop synthetic adhesives using aligned carbon nanotubes. His latest passion is on developing structural colors, a strategy inspired by bird colors.


Dhinojwala’s research is focused in the area of interfacial science. His group is using infrared-visible sum-frequency-generation spectroscopy (SFG) techniques to study fundamental problems in adhesion, wetting, and friction. They have developed approaches to couple SFG and mechanics together to relate macroscopic properties such as adhesion and friction with the structure and dynamics of interfacial molecules. His group is applying this fundamental knowledge of interfacial science to design new materials inspired by nature.

As part of the Biomimicry Research Center (BRIC) at the University of Akron and in collaboration with faculty members in the BRIC program, his group works on gecko adhesion, spider silk, mussel adhesion, and structural colors inspired by birds and other organisms. His research work is supported by National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Industries.


Google Scholar | ResearchGate | Ohio Innovation Exchange

  • Echeverri M. Patil A., Hu Z., Shawkey M. D., Gianneschi N. C., Dhinojwala A., “Printing a Wide Gamut of Saturated Structural Colors Using Binary Mixtures, With Applications in Anticounterfeiting”, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2020 12, 19882−1988 Link

  • Wang Z., Tschirhart T., Schultzhaus Z., Kelly E. E., Chen A., Oh E., Nag O., Glaser E. R., Kim E., Lloyd P. F., Charles P. T., Li W., Leary D., Compton J., Phillips D. A., Dhinojwala A., Payne G. F. Voraa G. J., “Melanin Produced by the Fast-Growing Marine Bacterium Vibrio natriegens through Heterologous Biosynthesis: Characterization and Application”, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2020 86 (5) e02749-19 Link

  • Behrendt L, Trampe E. L., Nord N. B., Nguyen J., Kühl M., Lonco D., Nyarko A., Dhinojwala A., Hershey O. S., Barton A., “Life in the dark: far-red absorbing cyanobacteria extend photic zones deep into terrestrial caves”. Environmental Microbiology 2020 22 (3), 952–963 Link

  • Diaz C, Maksuta D, Amarpuri G, Tanikawa A, Miyashita T, Dhinojwala A, Blackledge TA. , “The moth specialist spider Cyrtarachne akirai uses prey scales to increase adhesion”. J. R. Soc. Interface 2020. 17: 20190792. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0792 Link

  • Yang Zhou, Brenna Rossi, Qixin Zhou, Lloyd Hihara, Ali Dhinojwala, and Mark D. Foster, Langmuir, “Thin Plasma-Polymerized Coatings as a Primer with Polyurethane Topcoat for Improved Corrosion Resistance” 202036 (4), 837-843DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b0258 Link

  • Saranshu Singla, Amanda J Stefin, He Zhu, and Ali Dhinojwala, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, “Heads or Tails: Surface Freezing of Long-Chain Amphiphiles” J. Phys. Chem. C 2020 124 4128-4133 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b10925 Link

  • Robert M. Ziolek, Franca Fraternali, Ali Dhinojwala, Mesfin Tsige, and Christian D. Lorenz, “Structure and Dynamics of Nanoconfined Water Between Surfactant Monolayers”  Langmuir 2020 36 (1), 447-455 Link 

  • Wei Cao, Naneki C. McCallum, Qing Zhe Ni, Weiyao Li, Hannah Boyce, Haochuan Mao, Xuhao Zhou, Hao Sun, Matthew P. Thompson, Claudia Battistella, Michael R. Wasielewski, Ali Dhinojwala, Matthew D. Shawkey, Michael D. Burkart, Zheng Wang, Nathan C. Gianneschi, “Selenomelanin: An Abiotic Selenium Analogue of Pheomelanin” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020 142 (29), 12802-12810 Link

  • Amal Narayanan, Ying Xu, Ali Dhinojwala, Abraham Joy, “Advances in Photoreactive Tissue Adhesives Derived from Natural Polymers” 2020 4 (2) 32 Link

  • Amal Narayanan, Joshua R. Menefee, Qianhui Liu, Ali Dhinojwala, Abraham Joy, “Lower Critical Solution Temperature-Driven Self-Coaceravation of Nonionic Polyester Underwater Adhesives” ACS Nano 2020, 14 (7), 8359–8367 Link


  • 1994 Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University
  • 1986 B.Tech., Chemical Eng., Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India