I utilize electrostatic interactions to assemble hierarchical structures of functional polymers in solutions, soft solids, and gels. As part of this research effort, I seek to understand both the parameters that tune the hierarchical assembly and the effects of the electrostatic assembly on the resulting optoelectronic properties of the soft, conductive materials.
Tools & Techniques: X-ray, neutron, & light scattering, microscopy, optical spectroscopies, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, polymer synthesis, density functional theory, field theoretic simulations
My work is in the field of tip-enhanced near-field optical microscopy (TENOM), also known as tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS). This technique focuses radiation in the UV-Vis-IR range to nanoscale spatial dimensions, much smaller than the diffraction limit of a conventional microscope, using plasmonic antennas. TENOM experiments have achieved spatial resolutions of 1-10 nm, and can reach high enough sensitivities for single molecule spectroscopy measurements. My research has included the design and validation of a custom-built TENOM instrument, and the use of Lumerical optical simulation FDTD software to investigate the physics of plasmonic nanostructures.
I grew up in Minnesota and received a dual degree in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from the University of Minnesota. During college, I did research in the field of renewable heterogeneous catalysis, worked as an usher at the Twins baseball stadium, and played in the drumline for basketball and volleyball games. I started at UCSB in 2013 and love being able to now play golf year-round.
Tools and Techniques: optical microscopy and spectroscopy, lasers, plasmonics, scanning probe microscopies including AFM/STM/TENOM, LABVIEW, optical simulations (Lumerical FDTD)
My research aims to enable fast and accurate simulations of polymer systems by coarse-graining. There are well-known methods for coarse-graining particle-based models, but what about field theories? We developed a new method, phase field mapping, that systematically produces a fast and accurate phase field model using the output of short self-consistent field theory calculations. These field theories are ideal for describing dense polymer systems at near-atomistic scales, since simulations become more efficient as the density increases.
I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and moved to New York for high school and college. I have a B.S. in chemical engineering from Cornell University, where I earned a red belt in sport taekwondo. Outside of research, I enjoy cycling, and playing the piano and guitar.
Tools & Techniques: polymer field theory, statistical mechanics, simulation (especially pseudo-spectral and finite difference methods), Python, MATLAB, Mathematica, C++