Advanced Polymers and Surfaces from Rational Design


Jeffrey P Youngblood


School of Materials Engineering

Purdue University

501 Northwestern Ave.

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1289


Phone: (765) 496-2294; E-mail:


Advanced materials and surfaces have garnered much interest in the past few years.  The ability to tailor properties to the application of interest rather than adjusting design to the materials at hand could optimize performance in a variety of fields.  In this presentation, an overview will be presented of research into the rational design of soft-materials and their surfaces.  There is great need for new antibiotics and antibacterial surfaces owing to the damage infections cause worldwide.  Here, we present on the design and synthesis of macromolecules possessing such bacteriacidal properties, while improving water-solubility and biocompatibility.  We also present new research on stimuli-responsive surfaces.  While typically surfaces show a single surface energy, molecular design can produce surfaces where dynamics dictate that a surface will show high energies in contact with such fluids as water, but low energies upon wetting with hydrophobic fluids.  As nanotechnology and surface science are intimately related, nanoscience is also impacted.  Current practice has almost exclusively focused on hard substrates such as silicon, silica, and gold.  The techniques used are generally not fit for polymeric substrates which are offer flexibility, toughness, and weight savings.   Methods for the modification of polymeric surfaces and deposition of nanoparticles on the same will be presented.  Development of strategies for selective surface modification, self-assembly of particles, and printing on polymer surfaces will solve key limitations that currently prevent the use of flexible substrates.