Katsumata Research Group

Katsumata Research Group

Assistant Professor
Phone: 413-577-1121
Email: katsumata@mail.pse.umass.edu

Degree Information:

B.Eng. Organic and Polymeric Materials, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2009
M.Eng. Organic and Polymeric Materials, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2011
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 2016

Katsumata Group Website

Mailing Address:

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering
Room: A516, Conte Research Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst
120 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

Research Interests

Directed Self-Assembly of Functional Materials on Non-Ideal Surfaces

Current Research

Katsumata Group’s overarching research goal is to design extremely confined soft/hard interfaces. Examples in which such interfaces are prevalent include sequence-defined polymers, nanocomposites with ultra-small nanoparticles, ultra-thin polymer films/coatings, and 2D materials with critical dimensions smaller than 10 nm. Despite emerging capabilities to synthesize these materials with precision, the influence of extreme confinement is not fully understood. The thermophysical properties of molecules that are extremely confined is often governed by rules different from those of bulk and moderately confined systems (> 10 nm scale).

In particular, the Katsumata Group focuses on three phenomena: dynamics, mechanics, and wettability. As the nanoparticle diameter and the coating thickness approach the size of polymer segments, molecular-level understanding of polymer dynamics becomes critical. The dynamics are, in turn, related to wettability, as molecules minimize their surface energies by rearranging their configurations. Polymer dynamics is analogously relevant to mechanical properties, as for example, modulus is correlated with segmental relaxations, whereas failure is related to entire chain dynamics.

Keywords: Directed self-assembly, patterning on non-ideal surfaces, hierarchical metasurfaces, nanoconfinement, block copolymers, 2-D materials, fluorescent microscopy

Awards and Honors

2019 American Chemical Society, Petroleum Research Fund, Doctoral New Investigator Grant