476424 Engineering Discrete Functional Building Blocks at Molecular Scale for Human-scale Applications

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Continental 4 & 5 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Jimmy Lawrence, Department of Materials, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Research Interests:

The preparation of synthetic polymers and nanocomposites with structures, functions and properties that are precise and accurate remains a grand challenge for polymer and material chemists. Synthetic polymers and other material building blocks prepared using bottom-up approach are generally polydisperse, and their use as a statistical ensemble of molecular weights/sizes can be highly problematic in biological and nanoscale applications due to size-dependent effects, aggregations and phase separations.

My research program will focus in the development of an efficient and scalable synthesis of discrete polymer-based materials for applications on a human scale. In specific, there are three areas of research. (1) Synthesis of discrete oligomers/polymers and the utilization of their pendent groups and/or chain-ends to produce discrete macromolecular architectures. Such structures are expected to exhibit accurate and precise properties leading to specific functions. (2) Engineering of discrete polymer building blocks in conjunction with molecules containing swellable, photoswitchable, or degradable moieties to construct designer stimuli-responsive structures (UV, pH, toxic chemicals). (3) Engineering of discrete polymer building blocks with inorganic complexes and nanoparticles to construct hierarchical nanostructures for applications in separation and sensing. Mid-long term goal includes the development of biocompatible nanocarriers containing discrete materials for drug-delivery applications. As such, my research program attempts to address fundamental and technological challenges at the interface of chemical engineering, chemistry, material science and biology.

Postdoctoral Projects:

Department of Materials, University of California Santa BarbaraSupervisor: Prof. Craig J. Hawker

- “Synthetic Oligomers and Polymers with Discrete Structures and Hierarchical Architectures”

(1 completed, several sub-projects ongoing)

 - ”Polymer Brush Nanostructures Using Visible-Light-Mediated Metal-Free Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization ” (completed)

PhD Dissertations:

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts AmherstSupervisor: Prof. Todd Emrick

- “Functional Nanostructures from Nanoparticle Building Blocks”

Research Experience:

Briefly, my postdoctoral work under the guidance of Prof. Craig J. Hawker at UCSB primarily involves the synthesis and development of novel polymer architectures via controlled polymerization techniques, and the preparation of discrete oligomers/polymers. In my PhD work under the guidance of Prof. Todd Emrick at UMass Polymer Science and Engineering, I focused on the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials and multifunctional polymer-based ligands for making nanostructures using directed self-assembly and covalent assembly techniques. I also investigated the synthesis of zwitterionic polymer covered nanomaterials and their potential applications as nonfouling nanomaterials and photothermal therapeutic agents for in vivostudies. Before joining UMass, I was a Research Scientist at Schlumberger Research (Boston) developing optochemical and electrochemical sensing, membrane separation and microfluidic platforms for downhole technologies. I obtained my master and bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tokyo under the guidance of Prof. Takeo Yamaguchi, Prof. Steven Kraines and Prof. Hiroshi Komiyama.

Teaching Experience:

I served as a teaching assistant in the Polymer Synthesis Laboratory in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at Univ. of Massachusetts for 2 years, teaching various polymer synthesis to 1styear graduate students. Over my career I have been fortunate to directly mentor 7 undergraduates, 8 graduate students and am currently leading a team of several post-docs and PhD students.

Teaching Interests:

I am comfortable teaching Polymer Chemistry, Polymer Synthesis and Characterization, Polymer Physics, Transport Phenomena, Materials Science, Nanomaterials, and Computational Chemistry.


- Dow Materials Institute Travel Award 2015

- Dow Materials Institute Travel Award 2016

- 6 US Patents

- Monbusho Full Scholarship, Japanese Ministry of Education (1998–2003, 2005–2007)


1. Lawrence, J.; Lee, S.-H.; Abdilla, A.; Nothling, M. D.; Ren, J. M.; Knight, A. S.; Fleischmann, C.; Li, Y.; Abrams, A. S.; Schmidt, B. V. K. J.; et al. A Versatile and Scalable Strategy to Discrete Oligomers. JACS, 2016, 138, 6306

2. Discekici, E.; Pester, C.; Treat, N.; Lawrence, J.; Mattson, K; Narupai, B.; Toumayan, E.; Luo, Y.; McGrath, A.; Clark, P.; Read d. A. J.; Hawker, C. A Simple Bench Top Approach to Polymer Brush Nanostructures Using Visible Light Mediated Metal-Free Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization. ACS Macro Letters, 2016, 5, 258.

3. Lawrence, J.; Emrick, T. Pentafluorophenyl Ester-Functionalized Nanoparticles as a Ver- satile Platform for Selective and Covalent Inter-Nanoparticle Coupling. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2016, 8, 2393.

4. Liu, Y.; Chen, Y-C.; Hutchens, S.; Lawrence, J.; Emrick, T.; Crosby, A. J. Directly Measuring the Complete Stress-Strain Response of Ultrathin Polymer Films. Macromolecules, 2015, 48, 6534.

5. Lawrence, J.; Yamashita, K.; Yamaguchi, T. Correlating electronic structure and chemical durability of sulfonated poly (arylene ether sulfone)s. Journal of Power Sources, 2015, 279, 48.

6. Puodziukynaite, E.; Wang, H.W.; Lawrence, J.; Wise, A. J.; Russel, T.P.; Barnes, M.; Emrick, T. Azulene Methacrylate Polymers: Synthesis, Electronic Properties, and Solar Cell Fabrication, JACS, 2014, 136, 11043.

7. Maiz, J.; Zhao, W.; Gu, Y.; Lawrence, J.; Arbe, A.; Alegria, A.; Emrick, T.; Mijangos, C.; Colmenero, J.; Russell, T.P. Structural and Dynamic Study Of Polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) Copolymer Confined In Self-Ordered Nanoporous Alumina, Polymer, 2014, 55, 4057.

8. Pham, J. T.; Lawrence, J.; Grason, G. M.; Emrick, T.; Crosby, A. J. Stretching of Assembled Nanoparticle Helical Springs, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014, 16, 10261.

9. Lawrence, J.; Pham, J.T.; Lee, D. Y.; Liu, Y.J.; Crosby, A. J.; Emrick, T. Highly Conductive Ribbons from Stick-Slip Assembly of Organosoluble Gold Nanoparticles. ACS Nano, 2014, 8, 1173.

10. Pham, J. T.; Lawrence, J.; Lee, D. Y.; Grason, G. M.; Emrick, T.; Crosby, A. J. Highly Stretchable Nanoparticle Helices Through Geometric Asymmetry and Surface Forces. Advanced Materials, 2013, 25, 6703.

11. Lee, D. Y.; Pham, J. T.; Lawrence, J.; Lee, C. H.; Parkos, C.; Emrick, T.; Crosby, A. J. Macroscopic Nanoparticle Ribbons and Fabrics. Advanced Materials, 2013, 25, 1248.

12. Laprade, E. J.; Long, R.; Pham, J. T.; Lawrence, J.; Emrick, T.; Crosby, A. J.; Hui, C.-Y.; Shull, K. R. Large Deformation and Adhesive Contact Studies of Axisymmetric Membranes. Langmuir, 2013, 29, 1407.

13. Chen, X.*; Lawrence, J.*; Parelkar, S.; Emrick, T. Novel Zwitterionic Copolymers with Dihydrolipoic Acid: Synthesis and Preparation of Nonfouling Nanorods. Macromolecules, 2012, 46, 119. (*: equal contribution)

14. Bae, J.; Lawrence, J.; Miesch, C.; Ribbe, A.; Li, W.; Emrick, T.; Zhu, J.; Hayward, R. C. Multifunctional Nanoparticle-Loaded Spherical and Wormlike Micelles Formed by Interfacial Instabilities. Advanced Materials, 2012, 24, 2735.

15. Lawrence, J.; Yamaguchi, T. The Degradation Mechanism of Sulfonated Poly(Arylene Ether Sulfone)s in an Oxidative Environment. Journal of Membrane Science, 2008, 325, 633.

16. Lawrence, J.; Robinson, K. L.; Lawrence, N. S. Electrochemical Determination of Sulfide at Various Carbon Substrates: a Comparative Study. Analytical Sciences, 2007, 23, 673.

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