Department of Chemistry
Edward Samulski

Edward Samulski

Cary C. Boshamer Professor of Chemistry
et@unc.edu
919-962-1561
919-962-2388 (fax)
Caudill 161

 

Not Accepting Doctoral Students

Research Interests

Structure and Dynamics of Liquid and Polymer Crystals

Professional Background

Princeton University, Ph.D. (1970). NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Groningen (The Netherlands; 1970) and Univeristy of Texas (Austin; 1971). Member of the faculty at University of Connecticut (Storrs; 1972 - 1987); Fellow of the American Physical Society (1992); Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (1992); Stone Award of the Carolina Piedmont Section of the ACS (1994); Simon Guggenheim Fellow (1995); State Department Jefferson Science Fellow (2005)

Research Synopsis

I am generally interested in molecular and macromolecular structure, dynamics, and orientational order in soft condensed matter. For low-molar-mass materials this includes plastic crystals and liquid crystals (LCs). In the case of macromolecules we study solid and semi-solid phases-glasses, rubbery elastic networks, semi-crystalline and liquid crystalline polymers, isotropic melts and solutions of both synthetic and biological macromolecules.

Consider the technologically-important LC display. It is very challenging to design new liquid crystals for LCDs: typically the thermal energy in the melt phase overwhelms the delicate interplay between attractive forces and dynamic packing preferences needed for liquid crystallinity. We use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and computer simulation methods to characterize this interplay between intermolecular attraction and packing and try to extend our observations to less esoteric materials (polymer melts and networks). For the latter materials we have designed new experiments that enable us to visualize molecular phenomena while deforming fluid phases in the NMR spectrometer.

My research program focuses on understanding structure-property relations, especially how rather modest structural changes at the molecular level are manifested in the supramolecular arrangements adopted by LC molecules and polymers.

 

Collaborators

Charles Johnson, Joseph DeSimone, Malcolm Forbes, Royce Murray, John Papanikolas, Lee Pedersen, Michael Rubinstein, Sergei Sheiko