Professor / Grad. Program Dir.
Degree Information:B.S. Chemistry, North Carolina State University, 1995
Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2000
Mailing Address:Department of Polymer Science and Engineering
Room: A617, Conte Research Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst
120 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003
Research InterestsBioinspired and biomimetic structures, supramolecular polymer science, directed self-assembly, self-organization, well-defined macromolecular architectures, metal-containing polymers, membrane biophysics, physical organic chemistry, sensors, hydrogels, anion exchange membranes, alkaline fuel cells.
Macromolecular research in this century will be defined by discoveries at the interface of chemistry, biology, and materials science. Research in the Tew group is focused on problems at this interface. A common theme of all projects in the group is the use of modern synthetic organic chemistry to build interesting, novel macromolecules which are chemically rich and to study their properties using various physical methods. In one major thrust, we are interested in understanding how to program molecules with the necessary information to self-order into complex, hierarchical functional materials. Another thrust is elucidating the rules required to create biomimetics with structure and function rivaling proteins. This leads to materials with an array of interesting properties from sensors and magnetism to drug delivery and alkaline anion exchange membranes. Recent interests include novel water-soluble macromolecules for drug delivery and unique metal-containing polymers which are magnetic. We have new membranes for Li-ion conduction and novel polycations for alkaline fuel cell membranes. These endeavors are facilitated by intellectual creativity and significant scientific freedom is encouraged within the group. The group is composed of highly motivated students and we welcome your contributions in this exciting research endeavor. Students in the group are actively engaged in multi-disciplinary research, master many experimental techniques beyond synthetic methods, and are ideally positioned for future cutting-edge research positions in industry, academia, and government laboratories upon graduating from the group.
Honors and Distinctions: