Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Bates, Frank S.
Location University of Minnesota
Primary Field Engineering Sciences
Secondary Field Chemistry
 Election Citation
Bates has made seminal contributions in polymer physics. His work on block co-polymers synergies fundamental science with relevance. His work has shaped the understanding of block co-polymer synthesis and assembly, and has opened new lines of scientific inquiry and commercial application.
 Research Interests
Bates explores a wide range topics associated with the structure and properties of polymers and related soft materials. The thermodynamics and phase behavior of block polymers, polymer blends and polymer solutions are addressed using light, x-ray and neutron scattering, and various real-space imaging techniques including electron microscopy. Melt state dynamics are probed with rheological tools while solid state properties including elasticity, ductility and fracture are explored by mechanical testing, often in conjuncture with scattering methods. Block polymers self-assemble into myriad ordered and disordered morphologies with nanoscale dimensions. The Bates group investigates how macromolecular architecture influences the formation of low symmetry periodic crystals and aperiodic quasicrystals using model block polymer compounds synthesized in his laboratory. Mixtures of block polymers and homopolymers result in the formation of a host of morphologies including bicontinuous microemulsions. Amphiphilic block polymers self-assemble into micelles and vesicles in solution, which have myriad applications including drug delivery and modification of cell membranes. His group pursues new avenues for making sustainable plastics and elastomers through the use of biologically sourced monomers and innovative approaches to recycling. The research conducted by Bates is supported by theory and simulation through various collaborations.

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