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Polymer Physics

Polymer Physics Research


Our Mission: Keeping our long-standing tradition of excellence in polymers, the major activity of the polymer physics group at The University of Akron is on fundamental and applied research in polymeric materials in the areas of composites, polymer blends, hybrid and nanocomposite materials. Furthermore, the preparation of students that are well-versed in broad areas of polymer physics is also our core mission.

Technical Focus: The polymer physics group brings together faculty with diverse backgrounds but overlapping research interests that span a spectrum of topics on surface/interfacial properties to bulk properties of polymers and macromolecules. The group utilizes new generations of experimental techniques and state-of-the art computational tools to reveal the intricacies of complex macromolecule systems. Go to the faculty list below to find more detailed information about each faculty’s current research interest.

Why Akron: Students in the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at The University of Akron work very closely with an interdisciplinary team of scientists on cutting-edge research that prepares them for careers in industry and academia.



Representative Publications

  • Pantoja, M.; Jian, P.-Z,; Cakmak, M. Cavicchi, K.A. Shape Memory Properties of Polystyrene-block-Poly(ethylene-co-butylene)-block-Polystyrene (SEBS) ABA Triblock Copolymer Thermoplastic Elastomers. ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2019, 1, 414-424. DOI:10.1021/acsapm.8b00139
  • Pantoja, M.; Alvarado, T.; Cakmak, M.; Cavicchi, K.A. Stearic Acid Infused Polyurethane Shape Memory Polymer Foams. Polymer, 2018, 153, 131-138.
  • Dalvi, S.; Gujrati, A.; Khanal, S.R.; Pastewka, L.; Dhinojwala, A.; Jacobs, T.D.B. Linking energy loss in soft adhesion to surface roughness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences2019, 116 (51) 25484-25490
  • Xiao, M.; Hu, Z.; Gartner, T.E.III; Yang, X.; Li, W.; Jayaraman, A.; Gianneschi, N.C.; Shawkey, M. D.; Dhinojwala A. Experimental and theoretical evidence for molecular forces driving surface segregation in photonic colloidal assemblies. Sci. adv.2019, EAAX1254.
  • Zhu, T.; Zheng, L.; Yi, C.; Yu, T.; Cao, Y.; Liu, L.; Gong, X. Two-Dimensional Conjugated Polymeric Nanocrystals for Organic Electronics. ACS Appl. Electron. Mater, 2019, 1, 1458-1464.
  • Zhu, T.; Zheng, L.; Xiao, Z.; Meng, X.; Liu, L.; Ding, L.; Gong, X. Functionality of Non-Fullerene Electron Acceptors in Ternary Organic Solar Cells. Sol. RRL, 2019, 1900322.
  • Perego, A.; Khabaz, F. Volumetric and Rheological Properties of Vitrimers: A Hybrid Molecular Dynamics and Monte-Carlo Simulation Study. Macromolecules, 2020, 53, 19, 8406–8416.
  • Perego, A.; Khabaz, F. Thermodynamics, Dynamics, and Rheology of Fuel Surrogates: Application of Time-Temperature Superposition Principle in Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Energy & Fuels, 2020, 34, 9, 1061-10641.
  • Shahrokhian, A.; Feng, J.; King, H.  Surface morphology enhances deposition efficiency in biomimetic, wind-driven fog collection. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 2020 17, 20200038.
  • Weiner, N.; Bhosale, Y.; Gazzola, M.; King, H. Perspective: Mechanics of randomly packed filaments – the ’bird nest’ as a metamaterial. Journal of Applied Physics, 2019 127, 050902.
  • Cao, J.; Piedrahita, C. R.; Kyu, T. Mechano-Electrical Energy Conversion in Flexoelectric Polymer Membrane. Macromol. Mater. Eng., 2019, 1800777 (1-7).
  • Feng, C.; Rajapaska, C.P.H.; Cedillo, J. M.; Piedrahita, C. R.; Cao, J. W.; Kaphle, V.; Lüssem, B.; Kyu, T.; Jakli, A. Electro Responsive Ionic Liquid Crystalline Elastomers. Macromol. Rapid Comm., 2019, 1900299 (1-6).
  • Mao, X.; Liu, C.; Hesari, M.; Zou, N.; Chen, P., Super-resolution imaging of nonfluorescent reactions via competition. Nat. Chem., 2019, 11, 687-694.
  • Liu, C.; Kubo, K.; Wang, E.; Han, K. S.; Yang, F.; Chen, G.; Escobedo, F. A.; Coates, G. W.; Chen, P., Single Polymer Growth Dynamics. Science, 2017, 358, 352-355.
  • Chen, J.; Bera, M. K.; Li, H.; Yang, Y.; Sun, X.; Luo, J.; Baughman, J.; Liu, C.; Yao, X.; Chuang, S.S.C; Liu, T. Accurate Determination of the Quantity and Spatial Distribution of Counterions around a Spherical Macroion. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2021, in press.
  • Luo, J.; Liu, T.; Qian, K.; Wei, B.; Hu, Y.; Gao, M.; Sun, X.; Lin, Z.; Chen, J.; Bera, M.K.; Chen, Y.; Zhang, R.; Mao, J.; Wesdemiotis, C.; Tsige, M.; Cheng, S.Z.D.; Liu, T.  Remarkable Continuous Curvature Change into Controllable and Responsive Onion-like Vesicles by Rigid Sphere-Rod Amphiphiles. ACS Nano, 2020, 14, 1811-1822.
  • Ma J.; Liu X.; Zhou, Z.; Nagashima, H.; Hong, Y.-L.; Miyoshi T. Selective Observations of Heteregeneous Chemical Strucutres of Heat-treated Poly(Acrylonitrile) Films at the Surface and Core Regions by Solid-State NMR. Macromolecules, 2019, 52, 8384-8393.
  • Wang, S.; Yuan, S.; Chen. W.; He, Q.; Hong, Y.-L.; Miyoshi, T. Intramolecular and Intermolecular Packing in Polymer Crystallization. Macromolecules, 2019, 52, 4739-4748.
  • Yang, F.; Presto, D.; Pan, Y.; Liu, K.; Zhou, L.; Narayanan, S.; Zhu, Y.; Peng, Z.; Soucek, M. D.; Tsige, M.; Foster, M. D. Proximity to Graphene Dramatically Alters Polymer Dynamics. Macromolecules, 2019, 52, 5074-5085.
  • Modi, A.; Karim, A.; Tsige, M.  Solvent and Substrate Induced Synergistic Ordering in Block Copolymer Thin Films. Macromolecules, 2018, 51, 7186-7196.
  • Wang, J.; Wang, R.; Gu, Y.; Sourakov, A.; Olsen, B. D.; Johnson, J. A. Counting loops in sidechain-crosslinked polymers from elastic solids to single-chain nanoparticles. Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 5332-5337.
  • Wang, J.; Lin, T-S.; Gu, Y.; Wang, R.; Olsen, B. D.; Johnson, J. A. Counting secondary loops in polymer networks is required for accurate prediction of network elasticity. ACS Macro. Lett., 2018, 7, 244-249.
  • Wang, S.-Q.; Cheng, S.W.; Liu, P.P.; Li, X. A phenomenological molecular model for brittle-ductile transition and yielding of polymer glasses J. Chem. Phys., 2014, 141, 094905. DOI: 10.1063/1.4893765
  • Wang, S.-Q. Nonlinear Polymer Rheology: macroscopic phenomenology and molecular foundation, Wiley (2018). ISBN 9781119029052.


Dr. Mesfin Tsige
Phone: 330-972-5631