University of Chicago
The Rowan lab employs synthetic polymer chemistry, combined with structural and mechanical testing, toward the development of new functional or stimuli-responsive polymeric materials. To that end they have developed new material platforms that can 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 range from new implantable adaptive nanocomposites for cortical implants or orthotic devices to re-healable plastics, shape memory materials and sensors for chemical warfare agents. The Rowan group is particularly interested in the use of bio-renewable nano-particles obtained from cellulosic biomass, namely Cellulose Nanocrystal (CNCs) and Cellulose Nanofibers (CNF), to access a new generation of green composites.