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About Our Research

Our research is focused on the design of polymer films with unique structures, properties and functions. We use principles from polymer physics, interface science and materials processing to control the self-assembly/self-organization of polymers in bulk and near confining surfaces. Our lab capabilities include X-ray scattering (thin films, solutions, bulk), spectroscopic ellipsometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, optical microscopy, and contact angle goniometry. We enjoy collaborating with other faculty (in the US and abroad), scientists at DOE labs, and colleagues in industry.

Positions

The Doxastakis, Stein and Long groups have openings for two postdoctoral research associates as part of a collaborative research program with an industrial sponsor. The research area is Polyolefin Synthesis and Characterization. One position is experimental and the other is largely computational. Position requirements are described here under job descriptions 20000000LD and 20000000LE.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Gila Stein

  • Prados Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Tennessee, 2020-Present.
  • Prados Associate Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Tennessee, 2016-2020.
  • Henley Associate Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Houston, 2015-2016.
  • Henley Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Houston, 2009-2015.
  • NRC-NIST Postdoctoral Fellow, 2007-2008
  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2006
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, Drexel University, 2002




Graduate Students

Chris Bottoms

  • PhD candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • B.S. Chemistry with Materials Chemistry, Wake Forest University, May 2016
  • Research Interests: Reaction kinetics, semiconductor patterning.

Nilesh Charpota

  • PhD candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Florida, May 2019
  • B. Tech. Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, May 2016
  • Research Interests: Bottlebrush polymers, thin films.

Jonathan Coote

  • PhD candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • B.S.E. Chemical Engineering, Tulane University, May 2013
  • Research Interests: Block copolymer self-assembly, polymeric ionic liquids.

Travis Laws

  • PhD candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • B.S. Chemistry, Appalachian State University, May 2016
  • Research Interests: Polymer coatings, bottlebrush polymers, fouling-resistant elastomers, additive manufacturing.

Karthika Madathil

  • PhD candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • M.S. Chemical Engineering, Arizona State University, May 2016
  • B. Tech. Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, India, 2014
  • Research Interests: Block copolymer self-assembly, rheology.



Undergraduate Students

Laura Jeong

  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering Minor (May 2021)
  • Research Interests: Random copolymers, thermoplastics.

Theresa Cahill

  • BS candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (May 2021)
  • Research Interests: Synthesis of ion-containing polymers.




UH Graduate Alumni


  1. Dr. Suchanun Moungthai, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, August 2012. (Intel)
  2. Dr. Ginusha Perera, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, December 2012. (Intel)
  3. Dr. Nikhila Mahadevapuram, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, May 2014. (Intel)
  4. Saeed Ahmadi Vaselabadi, M.S. Chemical Engineering, May 2014.
  5. Dr. Indranil Mitra, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, May 2015. (Samsung)
  6. Dr. Abhijit Patil, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, May 2015. (Applied Materials)
  7. Minnie Lahoti, M.S. Chemical Engineering, May 2016. (Southwest Research Institute)
  8. Dr. David Truong, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, May 2018. (TAMU)
  9. Dr. Adeline Mah, Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, May 2018. (Element Biosciences)

Publications

Journal Articles (Google Scholar)
    2020
  1. K. Madathil, K. Lantz, M. Stefik, G.E. Stein, "Effects of Trace Water on Self-Assembly of Sulfonated Block Copolymers During Solution Processing," ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2020. [DOI]
  2. H. Yun, Y.J. Lee, M. Xu, G.E. Stein, B.J. Kim,"Softness- and Size-Dependent Packing Symmetries of Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles," ACS Nano, 2020. [DOI]
  3. K. Miyagi, H. Mei, T. Terlier, G.E. Stein, R. Verduzco, "Analysis of surface segregation of bottlebrush polymer additives in thin film blends with attractive intermolecular interactions," Macromolecules, 53, 6720-6730, 2020. [DOI]
  4. H. Mei, A.H. Mah, Z. Hu, Y. Li, T. Terlier, G.E. Stein, R. Verduzco, "Rapid processing of bottlebrush coatings through UV-induced crosslinking", ACS Macro Letters, 9, 1135-1142, 2020. [DOI]
  5. Y. Kim, H. Park, A. Abdilla, H. Yun, J. Han, G.E. Stein, C.J. Hawker, B.J. Kim, "Chain Length Dependent Self-Assembly Behaviors of Discrete Conjugated Oligo(3-hexylthiophene)," Chemistry of Materials, 32, 3597-3607, 2020. [DOI]
  6. J.P. Coote, T. Kinsey, D.P. Street, S.M. Kilbey, J. Sangoro, G.E. Stein, "Surface-Induced Ordering Depresses Through-Film Ionic Conductivity in Lamellar Block Copolymer Electrolytes," ACS Macro Letters, 9, 565-570, 2020. [DOI]
  7. D.P. Street, A.H. Mah, W.K. Ledford, S. Patterson, J.A. Bergman, B.S. Lokitz, D.L. Pickel, J.M. Messman, G.E. Stein, S.M. Kilbey II, "Tailoring Interfacial Interactions via Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles Improves Performance of Parts Created by 3D Printing," ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2, 1312-1324, 2020. [DOI]
  8. M.D. Kamrul Alam, C. Niu, Y. Wang, W. Wang, Y. Li, C. Dai, T. Tong, X. Shan, E. Charlson, S. Pei, X-T. Kong, Y. Hu, A. Belyanin, G.E. Stein, Z. Liu, J. Hu, Z. Wang, J. Bao, "Graphene Induced Large Shift of Surface Plasmon Resonances of Gold Films: Effective Medium Theory for Atomically Thin Materials," Physical Review Research, 2, 013008, 2020. [DOI]
  9. 2019
  10. H. Mei, T.S. Laws, J.P. Mahalik, J. Li, A.H. Mah, T. Terlier, P. Bonnesen, D. Uhrig, R. Kumar, G.E. Stein, R. Verduzco, "Enthalpy and Entropy Mediated Segregation of Bottlebrush Copolymer Additives to Interfaces," Macromolecules, 52, 8910-8922, 2019. [DOI]
  11. H. Yun, J. Yu, Y. Lee, J-S. Kim, C.H. Park, C. Nam, J. Han, T-Y. Heo, S-H. Choi, D.C. Lee, W.B. Lee, G.E. Stein, and B.J. Kim, "Symmetry Transitions in Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles: Grafting Density Effect," Chemistry of Materials, 31, 5264-5273, 2019. [DOI]
  12. G.E. Stein, T.S. Laws, R. Verduzco, "Tailoring the Attraction of Polymers toward Surfaces", Macromolecules, 52, 4787-4802, 2019. [DOI] [Cover]
    • ACS Editors' Choice.
  13. J.S. Kim, Y.J. Lee, J.P. Coote, G.E. Stein, B.J. Kim, "Confined, Templated and Break-Through Crystallization Modes in Poly(3-dodecylthiophene)-block-Poly(ethyl methacrylate) Block Copolymers", Macromolecules, 52, 4475-4482, 2019. [DOI]
  14. A.H. Mah*, T.S. Laws*, W. Li*, H. Mei, C.C. Brown, A. Ievlev, R. Kumar, R. Verduzco, G.E. Stein, "Entropic and Enthalpic Effects in Thin Film Blends of Homopolymers and Bottlebrush Polymers", Macromolecules, 52, 1526-1535, 2019. [DOI]
    • *Equal Contribution.
  15. P.V. Truong, R.L. Black, J.P. Coote, B. Lee, H. Ardebili, G.E. Stein, "Systematic Approaches to Tailor the Morphologies and Transport Properties of Solution-Cast Sulfonated Pentablock Copolymers ", ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 1, 8-17, 2019. [DOI]
  16. 2018
  17. J.P. Coote,* J.S. Kim,* B. Lee, J. Han, B.J. Kim , G.E. Stein, "Crystallization Modes of Poly(3-dodecylthiophene)-based Block Copolymers Depend on Regioregularity and Morphology ", Macromolecules, 51, 9276-9283, 2018. [DOI]
    • *Equal Contribution.
  18. D.P. Street, A.H. Mah, S. Patterson, D.L. Pickel, J.A. Bergman, G.E. Stein, J.M. Messman, S.M. Kilbey II, "Interfacial Interactions in PMMA/Silica Nanocomposites Enhance the Performance of Parts Created by Fused Filament Fabrication," Polymer, 157, 87-94, 2018. [DOI]
  19. A.H. Mah, H. Mei, P. Basu, T.S. Laws, P. Ruchhoeft, R. Verduzco, G.E. Stein, "Swelling Responses of Surface-Attached Bottlebrush Polymer Networks", Soft Matter, 14, 6728-6736, 2018. [DOI]
  20. A.H. Mah, P. Afzali, L. Qi, S. Pesek, R. Verduzco, G.E. Stein, "Bottlebrush Copolymer Additives for Immiscible Polymer Blends", Macromolecules, 51, 5665-5675, 2018. [DOI]
  21. J.S. Kim, J. Han, Y. Kim, H. Park, J.P. Coote, G.E. Stein, B.J. Kim , "Domain Structures of Poly(3-dodecylthiophene)-based Block Copolymers Depend on Regioregularity", Macromolecules, 51, 3897-4422, 2018. [DOI] [Cover]
  22. M.A. Harris, M.F. Heres, J. Coote, A. Wenda, V. Strehmel, G.E. Stein, J. Sangoro, "Ion Transport and Interfacial Dynamics in Disordered Block Copolymers of Ammonium-Based Polymerized Ionic Liquids", Macromolecules, 51, 3477-3486, 2018. [DOI]
  23. B.X. Dong, M. Smith, J. Strzalka, H. Li, A.J. McNeil, G.E. Stein, P.F. Green, "Molecular weight dependent structure and charge transport in MAPLE-deposited poly(3-hexylthiophene) thin films", Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 56, 652-662, 2018. [DOI] [Cover]
  24. P.V. Truong, S. Shingleton, M. Kammoun, R.L. Black, M. Charendoff, C. Willis, H. Ardebili, G.E. Stein, "Structure and Properties of Sulfonated Pentablock Terpolymer Films as a Function of Wet-Dry Cycles", Macromolecules, 51, 2203-2215, 2018. [DOI]
  25. 2017
  26. B.X. Dong, J. Strzalka, Z. Jiang, G.E. Stein, P.F. Green, "Crystallization Mechanism and Charge Carrier Transport in MAPLE-Deposited Conjugated Polymer Thin Films", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 9, 44799-44810, 2017. [DOI]
  27. G.E. Stein, "Surprising states of order for linear diblock copolymers", Science, 356, 487-488, 2017. [DOI]
  28. J-S. Kim, Y. Kim, H-J. Kim, H.J. Kim, H. Yang, Y.S. Jung, G.E. Stein, and B.J. Kim, "Regioregularity-Driven Phase Transition of Poly(3-hexylthiophene)-Based Block Copolymers," Macromolecules, 50, 1902-1908, 2017. [DOI]
  29. B.X. Dong, A. Li, J. Strzalka, G.E. Stein, P.F. Green, "Molecular organization in MAPLE-deposited conjugated polymer thin films and the implications for carrier transport characteristics," Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 55, 39-48, 2017. [DOI]
  30. 2016
  31. S.L. Pesek, Y.H. Lin, H.Z. Mah, W. Kasper, B. Chen, B.J. Rohde, M.L. Robertson, G.E. Stein, R. Verduzco, "Synthesis of bottlebrush copolymers based on poly(dimethylsiloxane) for surface active additives," Polymer, 98, 495-504, 2016. [DOI]
  32. S.A. Vaselabadi, D. Shakarisaz, P. Ruchhoeft, J. Strzalka, G.E. Stein, "Radiation damage in polymer films from grazing-incidence x-ray scattering measurements," Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 54, 1074-1086, 2016. [DOI]
  33. E. Kumarasamy, S.N. Sanders, A.B. Pun, S.A. Vaselabadi, J.Z. Low, M.Y. Sfeir, M.L. Steigerwald, G.E. Stein, L.M. Campos, "Properties of poly- and oligo-pentacenes synthesized from modular building blocks," Macromolecules, 49, 1279-1285, 2016. [DOI]
  34. N. Mahadevapuram,* I. Mitra,* S. Sridhar, J. Strzalka, G.E. Stein, "Ordering of lamellar block copolymers on oxidized silane coatings," European Polymer Journal, 75, 495-503, 2016. [DOI]
    • *Equal Contribution.
  35. N. Mahadevapuram,* I. Mitra,* A. Bozhchenko, J. Strzalka, G.E. Stein, "In-plane and out-of-plane defectivity in thin films of lamellar block copolymers," Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 54, 339-352, 2016. [DOI]
  36. 2015
  37. J. Hayat, I. Mitra, Y. Qiao, G.E. Stein, C. Tang, "Improving humidity-controlled solvent annealing processes for block copolymer poly(ethylene oxide)-b-polystyrene," European Polymer Journal, 71, 476-489, 2015. [DOI]
  38. I. Mitra, N. Mahadevapuram, J. Strzalka, G.E. Stein, "Tilting of lamellar domains on neutral random copolymer brushes," Advances in Patterning Materials and Processes XXXII: Proceedings of the SPIE, 942320, 2015. [DOI]
  39. R. Verduzco, X. Li, S.L. Pesek, G.E. Stein, "Applications and self-assembly of bottlebrush copolymers," Chemical Society Reviews, 44, 2405-2420, 2015. [DOI]
  40. G.E. Stein, N. Mahadevapuram, I. Mitra, "Controlling interfacial interactions for directed self assembly of block copolymers," Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 53, 96-102, 2015. [DOI]
  41. 2014
  42. A.A. Patil, Y.N. Pandey, M. Doxastakis, G.E. Stein, "Characterizing acid diffusion lengths in chemically amplified resists from measurements of deprotection kinetics," Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS, 13, 043017, 2014. [DOI]
  43. G. Deng, Y. Zhang, C. Ye, Z. Qiang, G.E. Stein, K.A. Cavicchi, B.D. Vogt, "Bicontinuous mesoporous carbon thin film via an order-order transition," Chemical Communications, 50, 12684-12687, 2014. [DOI]
  44. Y. Qiao, R. Ferebee, B. Lee, I. Mitra, N.A. Lynd, J. Hayat, G.E. Stein, M.R. Bockstaller, C. Tang, "Symmetric poly(ethylene oxide-b-styrene-b-isoprene) triblock copolymers: Synthesis, characterization and self-assembly in bulk and thin film," Macromolecules, 47, 6373-6381, 2014. [DOI]
  45. I. Mitra,* X. Li,* S.L. Pesek, B. Makarenko, B.D. Lokitz, D. Uhrig, J.F. Ankner, R. Verduzco, G.E. Stein, "Thin film phase behavior of bottlebrush/linear polymer blends," Macromolecules, 47, 5269-5276, 2014. [DOI]
    • *Equal Contribution.
  46. A.A. Patil, M. Doxastakis, G.E. Stein, "Modeling acid transport in chemically amplified resist films," Advances in Patterning Materials and Processes XXXI: Proceedings of the SPIE, 90511M, 2014. [DOI]
  47. Z. Qiang, L. Zhang, G.E. Stein, K. Cavicchi, B.D. Vogt, "Unidirectional alignment of block copolymer films induced by expansion of a permeable elastomer during solvent vapor annealing," Macromolecules, 47, 1109-1116, 2014. [DOI]
  48. J. Cushen, L. Wan, G. Pandav, I. Mitra, G.E. Stein, V. Ganesan, R. Ruiz, C.G. Willson, C.J. Ellison, "Inducing order in poly(trimethylsilyl styrene-b-D,L-lactide) by solvent annealing using a mixture of domain-selective solvents," Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 52, 36-45, 2014. [DOI]
  49. 2013
  50. D. Sunday, M.R. Hammond, C. Wang, W.L. Wu, R.J. Kline, G.E. Stein, "3D X-ray metrology for block copolymer lithography line-space patterns," Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS, 12, 031103, 2013. [DOI]
  51. Z. Qiang, J. Xue, G.E. Stein, K.A. Cavicchi, B.D. Vogt, "Control of ordering and structure in soft templated mesoporous carbon films by use of selective solvent additives," Langmuir, 29, 8703-8712, 2013. [DOI]
  52. E. Cacao, T. Sherlock, A. Nasrullah, S. Kemper, J. Knoop, K. Kourentzi, P. Ruchhoeft, G.E. Stein, R.L. Atmar, R.C. Willson,"Helium beam shadowing for high spatial resolution patterning of antibodies on microstructured diagnostic surfaces," Biointerphases, 8, 1-10, 2013. [DOI]
  53. E.E. Cacao, A. Nasrullah, T. Sherlock, S. Kemper, K. Kourentzi, P. Ruchhoeft, G.E. Stein, R.C. Willson, "High-resolution, high-throughput, positive-tone patterning of poly(ethylene glycol) by helium beam exposure through stencil masks," PLoS ONE, 8, e56835, 2013. [DOI]
  54. M. Luo, J.E. Seppala, J.N.L. Albert, R.L. Lewis, III, N. Mahadevapuram, G.E. Stein, T.H. Epps, "Manipulating nanoscale morphologies in cylinder-forming poly(styrene-b-isoprene-b-styrene) thin films using film thickness and substrate surface chemistry gradients," Macromolecules, 46, 1803-1811, 2013. [DOI]
  55. N. Mahadevapuram, J. Strzalka, G.E. Stein, "Grazing-incidence transmission small angle X-ray scattering from thin films of block copolymers," Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 51, 602-610, 2013. [DOI]
  56. 2012
  57. G.M. Perera,* Y.N. Pandey,* A.A. Patil, G.E. Stein, M. Doxastakis, "Reaction kinetics in acid-catalyzed deprotection of polymer films," The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 114, 24706-24716, 2012. [DOI]
    • *Equal Contribution.
  58. G.M. Perera,* C. Wang,* M. Doxastakis, R.J. Kline, W.L. Wu, A.W. Bosse, G.E. Stein, "Directed self-assembly of lamellar copolymers: Effects of interfacial interactions on domain shape," ACS Macro Letters, 1, 1244-1248, 2012. [DOI]
    • *Equal Contribution.
  59. S. Moungthai,* T.C.H. Pham,* A.A. Rajaendran,* G.E. Stein, "Ordered arrays of polymer droplets with triangular, circular, and rod-like shapes," Soft Matter, 8, 10026-10031, 2012. [DOI]
    • *Equal Contribution.
  60. S. Moungthai,* N. Mahadevapuram,* P. Ruchhoeft, G.E. Stein, "Direct patterning of conductive polymer domains for photovoltaic devices," ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 4, 4015-4023, 2012. [DOI]
    • *Equal Contribution.
  61. A. Labiano, M. Dai, W-S Young, G.E. Stein, K. Cavicchi, T. Epps, B.D. Vogt, "Impact of homopolymer pore expander on the morphology of mesoporous carbon films using organic-organic self-assembly," The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 116, 6038-6046, 2012. [DOI]
  62. 2011
  63. C. Wang, G.E. Stein, A.W. Bosse, W.L. Wu, "Line edge roughness of directed self-assembly PS-PMMA block copolymers - A candidate for future lithography," AIP Conference Proceedings, 1395, 305-308, 2011. [DOI]
  64. T. Vu,* N. Mahadevapuram,* G.M. Perera, G.E. Stein, "Controlling domain orientations in thin films of AB and ABA block copolymers," Macromolecules, 44, 6121-6127, 2011. [DOI]
    • *Equal Contribution.
  65. B.D. Vogt, V.L. Chavez, M. Dai, M.R. Croda Arreola, L. Song, D. Feng, D. Zhao, G.M. Perera, G.E. Stein, "Impact of film thickness on the morphology of mesoporous carbon films using organic-organic self assembly," Langmuir, 27, 5607-5615, 2011. [DOI]
  66. 2010
  67. G.M. Perera, G.E. Stein, J.A. Liddle, "Spatial coherence in electron-beam patterning," Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, 28, 1048-1055, 2010. [DOI]
  68. V. Mishra, S.-M. Hur, E.W. Cochran, G.E. Stein, G.H. Fredrickson, E.J. Kramer, "Symmetry transition in thin films of diblock copolymer/homopolymer blends," Macromolecules, 43, 1942-1949, 2010. [DOI]
  69. G.E. Stein, J.A. Liddle, A.L. Aquila, E.M. Gullikson,"Measuring the structure of epitaxially assembled block copolymer domains with soft x-ray diffraction," Macromolecules, 43, 433-441, 2010. [DOI]
  70. 2005 - 2008
  71. C. Tang, J. Bang, G.E. Stein, G.H. Fredrickson, C.J. Hawker, E.J. Kramer, M. Sprung, J. Wang, "Square packing and structural arrangement of ABC triblock copolymers in thin films," Macromolecules, 41, 4328-4339, 2008. [DOI]
  72. G.E. Stein, E.J. Kramer, X. Li, J. Wang, "Thickness dependent ordering in laterally confined monolayers of spherical domain block copolymers," Macromolecules,  40, 5791-5800, 2007. [DOI]
  73. J. Bang, B.J. Kim, G.E. Stein, T.P. Russell, X. Li, J. Wang, E.J. Kramer, C.J. Hawker, "Effect of humidity on the ordering of PEO-based copolymer thin films," Macromolecules, 40, 7019-7025, 2007. [DOI]
  74. G.E. Stein, E.W. Cochran, K. Katsov, G.H. Fredrickson, E.J. Kramer, X. Li, J. Wang, "Symmetry breaking of in-plane order in confined copolymer mesophases," Physical Review Letters, 98, 158302, 2007. [DOI]
  75. G.E. Stein, E.J. Kramer, X. Li, J. Wang, "Layering transitions in thin films of spherical-domain block copolymers," Macromolecules, 40, 2453-2460, 2007. [DOI]
  76. G.E. Stein, E.J. Kramer, X. Li, J. Wang, "Single crystal diffraction from two-dimensional block copolymer arrays," Physical Review Letters, 98, 086101, 2007.  [DOI] [Cover]
  77. V. Khanna, E. Cochran, A. Hexemer,  G.E. Stein, G.H. Fredrickson, E.J. Kramer, X. Li, J. Wang, S.F. Hahn, "Effect of chain architecture and surface energies on the ordering behavior of lamellar and cylinder forming block copolymers," Macromolecules, 39, 9346-9356, 2006. [DOI]
  78. A. Hexemer, G.E. Stein, E.J. Kramer, S. Magonov, "Block copolymer monolayer structure measured with scanning force microscopy moire patterns," Macromolecules, 38, 7083-7089, 2005. [DOI]

Book Chapters
  1. G.E. Stein, "Scattering methods for thin polymer films," In Functional Polymer Films: Characterization and Applications, R. Advincula, W. Knoll, Eds.; Wiley-VCH: Weinheim, 2011, pp. 669-694.