Researcher Profile

Bryan Boudouris

Robert and Sally Weist Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering

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B. S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004 Ph. D., University of Minnesota, 2009 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 2009 - 2011

Research Interests

Functional macromolecules have attracted increasing attention as applications for these materials have begun to emerge in fields ranging from bioengineering to advanced energy systems. In particular, optoelectronically-active, thermoelectrically-active, and bioelectronically-active polymers have emerged as their own class of materials in recent years due to their promise of offering inexpensive, flexible, and lightweight alternatives to applications previously dominated by inorganic materials. Furthermore, chemically-selective homopolymers and block polymers can be utilized in detection and purification applications as well. Importantly, these types of functional polymers have optical, electronic, and chemical properties that may be tuned by using well-designed chemical synthesis to control precisely the chemical constituents, the distribution of functionality along the polymer backbone, the molecular weight, and the molecular weight distributions of the macromolecules. In our laboratory, we determine how the control of macromolecular design affects the all-important nanoscale structure of these materials. In turn, this provides a handle by which to improve the performance of a variety of thin film applications. Currently, we are examining five specific research thrusts that will utilize the advantages of functional homopolymers and block polymers for the fabrication of next generation organic electronic and advanced separations devices for enhanced energy, water, and health applications. The design and utilization of functional radical polymers for transparent, conducting polymer thin films. The design of novel polymers and polymer composites for thermoelectric and magnetic devices. The creation of macromolecules for flexible and stretchable organic bioelectronic systems. The synthesis and microstructural characterization of functional triblock polymers for enhanced water purification applications. The fabrication of microstructured and nanostructured conducting polymers and composite materials for next-generation sensing platforms. Because we have the ability to change material properties by altering the molecular architecture, an iterative approach to system engineering is used. This allows for the direct correlation of structure-property relationships in five polymer-based projects which, in turn, will drive molecular design for the development of devices with high performance.