Coughlin Research Group

Coughlin Research Group

Phone: 413-577-1616

Degree Information:

B.A. Chemistry, Grinnell College, 1988
Ph.D. Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 1993

Mailing Address:

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering
Room: A612, Conte Research Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst
120 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

Research Interests

Tailoring Chemical Functionality into Functional Polymeric Materials

Current Research

"Tailoring Chemical Functionality to Generate Functional Polymeric Materials". We strive, through development and adaptation of synthetic methods, to create new polymeric materials with properties suitable for a range of demanding applications. Our projects begin with synthesis as a major motivator, however characterization studies to test our hypotheses and to inform the next round of synthetic efforts is also given significant emphasis. Our efforts can be sub-divided into four project areas:

Ion Transport in Organic Materials. Ion transport in complex heterogeneous organic media is ubiquitous to many important energy conversion devices, particularly fuel cells that have the potential to revolutionize energy conversion.

Novel Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Copolymers. Synthetic strategies to generate ordered, nanometer length scale inorganic domains within polymer matrices are being developed using polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes, or icosahedral closo dicarbadodecaboranes.

Fire-Safe Polymers and Polymer Composites. Advanced polymeric materials with improved burn resistance are being developed to reduce fire deaths in civilian and military transportation, or other areas of limited egress.

Precisely Functionalized Polymers. Block copolymers with junctions between the two block that undergo mild cleavage with either protonolysis or photolysis are being prepared and utilized to generate nanoporous templates.

Honors and Distinctions:

  • Chair POLYMERS Gordon Research Conference (2013)
  • Chair Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division of the American Chemical Society (2009)
  • Fellow of the Max Planck Society (2007-2008)
  • NSF CAREER AWARD (2003-2007)
  • 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Awards (2000, 2001, 2002)
  • OMNOVA Solutions Signature University Faculty Award (2000)
  • DuPont Young Faculty Award (2003-2005)