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Faculty - Jan Genzer

Jan Genzer photo
bullet Celanese Professor
bullet Associate Department Head

B.S. (Dipl. Ing.) Materials Science and Chemical Engineering,Prague Institute of Chemical Technology, Czech Republic (1989)
Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania (1996)
jan_genzer (@ncsu.edu)
919-515-2069 (phone)
919-515-3465 (fax)
Engineering Building I (EB1) - 2088H (office)
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Focus Areas
Behavior of Polymers at Surfaces and Interfaces. Polymer Thermodynamics. Materials Self-assembly.

Current ProjectsThe Genzer group research interests include: (1) materials self-assembly and directed assembly, and (2) the behavior of polymers at surfaces, interfaces and in confined geometries. While the core program of our research encompasses mostly various experimental approaches, in our work we also utilize simple chemical synthesis routes and computer simulation/theory. Our current research activities in the group can be broadly divided into three main areas.

Pattern Recognition by Copolymers
We have developed
3D self-consistent field theory and Monte Carlo simulation approaches to study the interplay between the spatial distribution of the surface chemical heterogeneities and the monomer sequence distribution in the copolymer. Our results demonstrate that when the chemically heterogeneous motifs on the substrate are detected by the copolymer adsorbing segments, the copolymers can transcript them with high fidelity into three dimensions. The way the surface pattern gets transferred is dictated by the monomer sequence distribution. Relative to alternating copolymer block copolymers are generally better in capturing the chemical pattern shape, "lifting it off" the substrate, and transcribing it into the bulk. Moreover, block copolymers with shorter adsorbing blocks are capable of better recognizing the substrate motifs. On the experimental front, we are developing simple chemical routes allowing us to control (to some extent) the sequence distribution of monomers in the copolymer.

Directed Assembly of Oligomers and Polymers on Elastomeric Substrates
We have
pioneered a method for fabricating "mechanically assembled monolayers" (MAMs); structures that are built by combining self-assembly of surface grafting molecules with mechanical manipulation of the grafting points on the underlying elastic surface. We have shown that MAMs prepared by mechanically assembling semifluorinated alkanes posses long lasting barrier properties. We have also extended the MAMs technology to prepare polymer brushes with high grafting densities and with tunable physico-chemical properties by utilizing "mechanically assisted polymer assembly" (MAPA).

Molecular Gradients on Substrates
We are interested in
preparing molecular density gradients on surfaces, based on vapor diffusion of organosilanes. Our primary interest in preparing theses structures and studying their properties is motivated by: (1) the ability of these gradients to form continuous molecular templates for assembly of polymers and non-polymer clusters (e.g., nanoparticles), (2) studying the mechanism of formation of self-assembled monolayers, and (3) utilizing the gradient substrates in multivariant studies of polymer interfacial behavior. We are also investigating the possibilities of using the molecular gradient substrates as novel means of controlling the motion of liquids and particles.

Honors & Awards
bullet 2016 Alcoa Foundation Distinguished Engineering Research Award
bullet 2016 Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor
bullet 2010 Distinguished Speaker Award from the NC Chapter of the American Chemical Society
bullet 2009 Celanese Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
bullet 2007 NCSU Alumni Outstanding Research Award
bullet 2007 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS)
bullet 2006 Special Creativity Award from the Division of Materials Research of the National Science Foundation
bullet 2006 Academy of Outstanding Teachers
bullet 2005 John H. Dillon Medal from the American Physical Society
bullet 2002 Alcoa Foundation Engineering Research Achievement Award
bullet 2002 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award
bullet 2002 Elected to Sigma Xi Honor Society
bullet 2002 Sigma Xi Research Award
bullet 2001 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award
bullet 2001 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
bullet 1999 NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award