In this presentation, Professor Youngblood describes his current research projects and the theme that ties them together - surface science. The essential way we interact with the world, surface science is dominated by texture, chemistry and surface free energy that arises from the fact that atoms at a surface are inherently different from bulk. Utilizing this perspective, Professor Youngblood discusses his research on detergentless self-cleaning coatings, oil-water separation, biocompatible antimicrobial polymers, the nanotechnology cellulose, and processing of ceramic slurries by controlling their rheological properties.
Associate Professor Jeffrey P. Youngblood began his collegiate studies at Louisiana State University majoring in Chemistry and Physics. Working in the laboratory of Professor William Daly, Professor Youngblood spent three years working on compatibilization, ageing, and thermomechanical investigation of asphalt/polymer blends and the synthesis of liquid crystalline nonlinear optical polymers. In his 4th year, he worked as an industrial cooperative student for LaRoche Industries in the Alumina division and as a researcher in the Fluorocarbons division. In 1996, Professor Youngblood started Ph.D. studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering. Under the direction of Professor Thomas McCarthy, Youngblood investigated the Superhydrophobic Effect, developed general methods for chemical surface modification of polymers, and synthesized pendant siloxane block copolymers. Moving on to postdoctoral work at Cornell’s Materials Science and Engineering Department under direction of Professor Christopher Ober, he developed synthetic strategies for the development of coatings that prevent marine biofouling. In 2003, Professor Youngblood accepted a position in the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University. Promoted to Associate Professor in 2009, he uses his polymer expertise to investigate nanotechnology, surface science, advanced processing and biomaterials. Of late, he has been specifically interested in polymeric antimicrobial biomaterials, self-cleaning and anti-fog surfaces and polymeric coatings, cellulose nanocomposites, ceramic processing using polymeric methods, separations, and advanced composites and fabrication.