Research

The Verduzco lab focuses on the design, synthesis, and application of new polymeric materials which can potentially address a wide range of current challenges, including our growing demand for energy, disease treatment, and reducing pollution and waste. The links below provide more information on specific techniques and areas of research:

Conjugated Polymers Shape Responsive 2D Polymers
Separations   Bottlebrush Polymers   Porous Materials  
Surface Analysis  Bioelectronics 

 

 

Conjugated Polymers

We develop new materials for organic photovoltaics applications, including All-Conjugated block copolymers, flexible photovoltaic networks, and conjugated ladderphane polymers.

Selected Publications:
Hu, Jakowski, Zheng, Collison, Strzalka, Sumpter, and Verduzco. “An experimental and computational study of donor-linker-acceptor block copolymers for organic photovoltaicsJ. Polym. Sci. B: Polym. Phys.,2018, accepted for publication.DOI:10.1002/polb.24633 Featured in Advanced Science News: “Block Copolymers for Organic Photovoltaics”

Mok, Kipp, Hasbun, Dolocan, Strzalka, Ganesan, and Verduzco. “Parallel bulk heterojunction photovoltaics based on all-conjugated block copolymer additives,” J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016, 4, 14804 – 14813 DOI: 10.1039/c6ta06502c

Research Supported by the National Science Foundation (DMR-1352099) and the Welch Foundation for Chemical Research (C-1888)

Shape-Responsive

We fabricate shape-responsive liquid crystal elastomer networks (LCE).

Selected Publications:

Barnes, Verduzco. “Direct Shape Programming of Liquid Crystal Elastomers” under review 2018.

Wang, Sim, Chen, Kim, Rao, Li, Chen, Song, Verduzco, Yu. “Soft Ultrathin Electronics Innervated Adaptive Fully Soft Robots,” Advanced Materials,2018, in press. 10.1002/adma.201706695.

White and Verduzco. “Liquid crystal elastomers: emerging trends and applications,” Soft Matter,2017 13, 4320. 10.1039/C7SM90086D.

Verduzco organized the 2017 International Liquid Crystal Elastomers Conference (ILCEC) at Rice University.

Research Supported by the Army Research Office (W911NF1810289)

2-D Polymers

We synthesize 2-D Polymers for high-strength films and coatings. This work is supported by the Army Research Laboratory (W911NF-18-0062)

Separations

In work as part of the Nano Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) Engineering Research Center at Rice University, we are working on ion and contaminant removal through capacitive deionization (CDI). Our goal is to produce CDI coatings selective to scalants and foulants, such as calcium, sulfates, selenium, and chronium.

Selected Publications:

Zuo, Kim, Jain, Wang, Verduzco, and Li. “Novel Composite Electrodes for Selective Removal of Sulfate by the Capacitive Deionization ProcessEnviron. Sci. & Tech., DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b01868, 2018.

Jain, Kim, Owoseni, Weathers, Cana, Zuo, Walker, Li, and Verduzco. “Aqueous-Processed, High-Capacity Electrodes for Membrane Capacitive DeionizationEnviron. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52, 5859–5867.

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NEWT EEC 1449500, CBET-1604666)

Bottlebrush Polymers

 

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We synthesize, process, and characterize bottlebrush polymers for surface-active materials and coatings.

Selected Publications:

Mah, Mei, Basu, Laws, Ruchhoeft, Verduzco, Stein. “Swelling Responses of Surface-Attached Bottlebrush Polymer NetworksSoft Matter, DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01127C, 2018.

Mah, Afzali, Qi, Pesek, Verduzco, and Stein. “Bottlebrush Copolymer Additives for Immiscible Polymer BlendsMacromolecules 2018 accepted for publication, DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.8b00719

Pesek, Lin, Kasper, Chen, Rhode, Robertson, Stein, and Verduzco. “Synthesis of bottlebrush copolymers based on poly(dimethylsiloxane) for surface active additives,” Polymer,2016 98, 495-504. DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2016.01.057, 5-minute Audioslide Presentation

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (CMMI-1563008)

Porous Materials

We fabricate porous, high-strength, adhesive, and redox-active polymers for energy storage applications.

Selected Publications:

An, Li, Chalker, Strake, Verduzco, and Lutkenhaus. “Conducting Block Copolymer Additives Enhance the Performance of Carbon-Free Hybrid Vanadium Pentoxide Cathodes,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interf, 2016 8, 28585 – 28591. DOI: 10.1021/acsami.6b08028.

An, Smith, Lin, Swank, Pesek,Verduzco, and Lutkenhaus. “Flexible Self-Assembled V2O5 Cathodes Enabled by Conducting Diblock Copolymers,” Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/srep14166. Featured in C&EN News

 

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (CBET-1640666)

Surface Analysis

We conduct time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS) to analyze organic, inorganic, and hybrid materials.

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation program (CBET-1626418). The ToF-SIMS facility is an external user facility open to all researchers, including non-profit, government, and industrial researchers. Visit simslab.rice.edu for more information.

Bioelectronics

We develop devices that combine biological and synthetic materials. Verduzco will chair the upcoming 2019 De Lange Conference on Bioelectronics and the inaugural Gordon Research Conference on Bioelectronics.

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (CBET-1843556) under the Rules of Life (RoL): Design and Engineering of Synthetic Cells and Cell Components (DESYN-C3) program.