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  • Professor Stuart Rowan
    11/07/17 - 9:45 AM to 11:00 AM

    Dow Lecture Series: Professor Stuart J. Rowan

    Dow Lecture Series

"Design and Synthesis of Adaptive Polymeric Materials"

The dynamic bond can be defined as any class of bond that selectively undergoes reversible breaking and reformation, usually under equilibrium conditions. The incorporation of dynamic bonds (which can be either covalent or non-covalent) allows access to structurally dynamic polymers and composites. Such materials can exhibit macroscopic responses upon exposure to an environmental stimulus, on account of a rearrangement of the polymeric architecture. In such systems, the nature of the dynamic bond not only dictates which stimulus the material will be responsive to but also plays a role in the response itself. Thus, such a design concept represents a molecular level approach to the development of new stimuli-responsive/adaptive materials. We have been interested in the potential of such systems to access new material platforms and have developed a range of new mechanically stable, structurally dynamic polymer and nanocomposite films that change their properties in response to a given stimulus such as temperature, light or specific chemicals. Such adaptive materials have been targeted toward applications that include healable plastics, responsive liquid crystalline polymers, adhesives, chemical sensors, and shape memory materials. Furthermore, we have also been interested in other potential uses of such materials and have initiated a program aimed at investigating their uses as templates for more complex polymer architectures. Our latest results in these areas will be discussed.

Open Forum

“Publishing in ACS Journals-Ask the Experts”
5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7
Kate & Michael Bárány Conference Room

117/119 Smith Hall


Rowan’s research group studies the properties and construction of structurally dynamic polymeric materials. Working with supramolecular polymers, he investigates self-healing materials, stimuli-responsive material and nanocomposites, and metal containing polymers, gels, and biomaterial. His group is developing new synthetic methods for the construction of complex polymeric architectures. He group studies the synthesis of metallosupramolecular and stimuli responsive polymers; isolation and utilization of cellulose nanocrystals in biomimetic and porous systems; and reversible covalent chemistry. In addition, Rowan has developed numerous new methods for the construction of interlocked species, specifically using dynamic covalent chemistry and surrogate stoppers.

Professor Rowan (updated CV)

Professor Rowan was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1969 and grew up in Troon, Aryshire, on the west coast of Scotland. He received his Bachelor of Science (Honors) in chemistry in 1991 from the University of Glasgow. He stayed there for his doctorate where he worked on supramolecular crystal engineering of inclusion compounds in the laboratory of David D. MacNicol, Ph.D., receiving his doctorate in 1995. In 1994, he moved to the Chemistry Department at the University of Cambridge to work with Professor Jeremy K. M. Sanders. There he carried out research on the development of dynamic combinatorial libraries focusing on the transesterification reaction. In 1996, he was appointed a research associate at Girton College, Cambridge. In 1998, he moved across the Atlantic (and the continental United States) to continue his post-doctoral studies with Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart at the University of California, Los Angeles. While in California, he developed numerous new methods for the construction of interlocked species, specifically using dynamic covalent chemistry and surrogate stoppers. In 1999, he was appointed as an assistant professor to the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2005 and became a full professor in 2008. In 2016, he joined the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago.

He is a American Chemical Society Mark Scholar Award, National Science Foundation CAREER awardee, received the CWRU School of Engineering Research Award in 2008, the Morley Medal in 2013 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is the deputy editor of the ACS Macro Letters, and on the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, Chemical Science, J. Macromolecular Sci, and Pure & Applied Chem. He has published more than 125 scientific papers and reviews. 

  • Event Details

    Location: 331 Smith Hall
    Host: Professor Timothy Lodge
    • Professor Stuart Rowan
    • Stuart Rowan
    • Institute for Molecular Engineering
    • University of Chicago

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