Emrick Research Group


General Announcements | Publication Highlights | Funding | Student Awards | Student Presentations | Thesis Defenses

General Announcements

Professor Emrick was selected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Emrick Group alumn Debasis Samanta was recognized in a recent Times of India article.

BASF and top American universities to research new functional material

Professor Emrick was selected as a member of the 2013 Poylmeric Materials Science and Engineering Fellows for innovative contributions to polymer synthesis and nanocomposite assembly

Publication Highlights

Irem Kosif et al have published a new method for transporting nanoparticles on substrates, using 'osteodroplets' as carriers. 
Click here to acess the paper!

Zachariah Page's paper on conjucated polymers has appeared in Macromolecules. 
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Emily Pentzer's manuscript on nanoscale assembly has appeared in NPG Asia Materials. 
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Xiangji and Sangram's paper has appeared in Bioconjugate Chemistry, describing the preparation and use of prodrugs that link the cancer drug Doxorubicin to the polyMPC therapeutic platform, a collaborative project with the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute and Baystate Medical Center. 
Bioconjugate Chemistry Paper

Katrina Kratz's paper on repair-and-go, a new method for localized surface repair, has appeared in Nature Nanotechnology. See below for a link to... 
NanoTechWeb Press Release 
NanoWerk Press Release 
Nature Nanotechnology Paper

Irem Kosif and Caroline Miesch's manuscript on nanoparticle-based double emulsions has appeared in Angewandte Chemie. 
Click here to access the paper!

Beom-Young Ryu's manuscript appeared in Macromolecules, describing novel cross-linking polymers and adhesives that exhibit very low flammability and excellent physical/mechanical properties. 
Click here to access the paper! 
Click here for a Nature Chemistry highlight on one of Dr. Ryu's thermally-transformable polymers.


January 2013: We have been awarded a new NIH R21 grant on novel polymeric vesicles for cancer drug delivery!

Student Awards

Xiayue Wang, a sophomore at Shrewsbury High School who worked with Dr. Emrick and Caroline Miesch at UMass Amherst to conduct experiments for a project focused on the effect of UV radiation on 2 types of plastic, PS (polystyrene) and PMMA (poly methyl methacrylate). Since both polymers are a big part of daily life and are not recyclable, he wanted to see how they can be broken down and the effects afterwards. Xiayue received a 3rd place award at the State Science Fair which included a Harvard University Press Book Award the 2013 Thermo Fisher Scientific Award.

Samantha McRae was awarded a three-year National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in the field of Polymer Chemistry. The prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) supports students involved in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and provides the selected Fellows with stipend support while working towards their Ph.D. Samantha's current research centers on the synthesis of novel hydrophilic and amphiphilic polymers, with a focus on potential applications in drug delivery.

Zachariah Page was one of 22 undergraduates in the nation awarded the Office of Science Graduate Fellowship (SCGF) from the Department of Energy(DOE) in 2010. The SCGF program is a three year fellowship which offers support to outstanding students pursuing graduate training in basic research areas relevant to the Office of Science. Zak is currently working on the synthesis of novel semiconducting molecules for use in the active layer of organic solar cell devices and other electronic applications.

Katrina Kratz was awarded a two-year National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Fellowship in Nanotechnology Innovation. The IGERT fellowship supports graduate students with a stipend and encourages them to participate interdisciplinary training, such as taking classes in business and ethics. Katrina is currently working on the synthesis of new amphiphillic polymers for applications in drug delivery, site-specific materials repair, and water purification membranes.

Student Presentations

January 2013: Zachariah Page, Rachel Letteri, and Samantha McRae presented their research at the 2013 Macromolecular Materials Graduate Research Symposium of the Gordon Research Conference in Ventura, CA. Zachariah Page presented his poster titled "Conjugated Thiophene-Containing Polymer Zwitterions: Direct Synthesis and Thin Film Electronic Properties". Rachel Letteri presented her poster titled "A Graft Copolymer Platform for Gene Delivery". Samantha McRae gave a talk titled "Polymer-based materials for nanomedicine" and presented a poster titled "Functional Phosphorylcholine Polymers for Biology".

Thesis Defenses

Samantha Mcrae defended her thesis, Functional Phosphorylcholine Polymers: Prodrugs and Biomaterials, on January 21, 2014.


Sirinya Chantarak defended her thesis, On the Assembly of Functionalized CdSe Nanorods, in May 2014.

High aspect ratio (AR) CdSe nanorods (NRs) of well-defined sizes were synthesized to optimize the geometries of photovoltaic devices made from these nanorods. Long-range ordering of hexagonal arrays of high AR NRs is achieved by a combination of controlled solvent evaporation and the use of an applied electric field. Regioregular P3HT chains and oligothiophene were functionalized with ligating end-groups to provide contact to the NRs. Vertically oriented assemblies of CdSe NRs functionalized with terthiophene and polythiophene are also obtained. Hexagonal arrays of these nanocomposites were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Three types of polythiophenes: poly(3-hexylthiol thiophene), poly(3-hexylamine thiophene), and poly(3-hexylphosphonate thiophene) with thiol, amine, and phosphonate functional groups, were synthesized to anchor to the NRs.  This led to a thin layer of p-type conducting polymer covering tips of the n-type inorganic NRs forming end-to-end assembly. Ternary nanocomposites of CdSe-polythiophene-graphene were obtained via ππ stacking. These oriented CdSe NRs-polythiophenes nanocomposites have potential applications in organic-inorganic hybrid bulk heterojunction photovoltaic devices.