Support Chemistry

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Dr. Shanju Zhang

Associate Professor

Specialties

Polymers
Physical Chemistry

Education

B.S. Polymer Chemistry, Jilin University, PR China 1993
Ph.D. Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Jilin University, PR China 1998
Post-doctoral Polymers, University of Cambridge UK 2002-06

Office: Baker Center - Bldg 180 - 420

Phone: (805) 756-2591

E-Mail: szhang05@calpoly.edu

Research Website

Research Interests

Welcome to Zhang Lab!

We study the synthesis, structural analysis and properties of conjugated polymers, nanomaterials and polymer nanocomposites with applications of smart coatings and energy conversions. Students will receive multidisciplinary training in chemistry, physics, engineering and materials science. Our current research is focused on the following areas: (1) Multi-scale assembly of conjugated polymers; (2) Kinetics and thermodynamics of solutions of conjugated polymers; (3) Liquid crystal assembly of anisotropic nanomaterials including graphene, nanotubes, and nanowires; (4) Protein aggregation; (5) Functional polymer nanocomposites for coatings and energy conversions; (6) Coatings and Printings of flexible polymer electronics; (7) Reverse osmosis membranes for seawater desalination and purification.

Conjugated Polymers

Semiconducting conjugated polymers are promising for the development of cost-effective flexible electronic devices. The structures and morphologies of the conjugated polymer in solution are determinative to the device performance.

We use a spectroscopic methodology to study the dynamic process of multi-scale assembly of the polymers controlled by surfactants and nanoparticles. In particular, we are interested in the kinetics and thermodynamics of structural changes of the conjugated polymer in solution.

Anisotropic Nanomaterials

1-D and 2-D anisotropic semiconducting nanomaterials such as graphene, carbon nanotubes and nanowires possess unique anisotropy of optoelectronic properties. The ability to assembly of such nanomaterials into macroscopically ordered structures is crucial to fully exploit such excellent properties for various applications.

We apply a liquid crystal route to organize anisotropic nanomaterials into useful material forms such as thin films and fibers. We focus on the phase diagram, alignment control and property optimization.

Polymer Nanocomposites

Polymer nanocomposites consist of a polymer having nanofillers incorporated into the polymer matrix. They not only combine the intrinsic properties of each

component but also exhibit unprecedented intriguing properties due to the synergistic effect of their components.

We use both chemical and physical approaches to prepare novel multi-functional nanocomposites for coatings and energy conversions. Currently, we are interested in the interfacial structures and their effect on the physical properties.

Biological Polymers

The native structure of the protein possesses chain folding that allows its functional shape or conformation. When the protein folds incorrectly, the misfolded protein may aggregate into amyloid fibrils. The latter is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and prison disease.

We utilize a microfluidic technology to study the misfolded protein aggregation. In particular, we are interested in the dynamic process of the aggregation.

Smart Coatings / Printings

Wet coatings and printings are cost-effective techniques for the fabrication of large-scale thin films. We utilize such industrially viable processing techniques to fabricate polymer photovoltaic devices, reverse osmosis membranes, and anticorrosion films for demanding applications.

Current and Past Courses Taught

  • CHEM 125-General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 127-General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 128-General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 129-General Chemistry III
  • CHEM 351-Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM 352-Physical Chemistry II
  • CHEM 444-Polymers and Coatings
  • CHEM 447-Polymers and Coatings Laboratory
  • CHEM 454-Functional Polymer Materials
  • CHEM 459-Undergraduate Seminar
  • CHEM 470-Functional Polymer Materials
  • CHEM 544-Polymer Physical Chemistry and Analysis
  • CHEM 547-Polymer Physical Chemistry and Analysis Laboratory
  • CHEM 590-Graduate Seminar

Publications

  • J. A. Armas, K. J. Reynold, Z. M. Marsh, J. P. Fernández-Blázquez, D. Ayala, A. D. Cronin, J. Del Aguila, R. Fideldy, J. P. Abdou, D. W. Bilger, J. J. Vilatela, M. Stefik, G. Scott, S. J. Zhang*, "Supramolecular assembly of oriented spherulitic crystals of conjugated polymers surrounding carbon nanotube fibers", Macromolecular Rapid Communications, 2019, 40, 1900098. Selected as Hot Topic Paper. Highlighted by Wiley Advanced Science News.
  • J. A. Armas, K. J. Reynold, Z. M. Marsh, M. Stefik, G. Scott, S. J. Zhang*, "Ring-banded spherulitic crystals of poly(3-butylthiophene) via controlled solvent evaporation", Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 2018, 219, 1800204.
  • C. Kasprzak, E. Scherzinger, A. Sarkar,M. Miao, D. Porcincula, A. Madriz, P. Zachary, S. Chau, R. Fernando, M. Stefik, S. J. Zhang*, "Ordered nanostructures of carbon nanotube-polymer composites from lyotropic liquid crystal templating", Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 2018, 219, 1800197. Featured on the front cover. Most accessed 08/2018.
  • S. J. Zhang, C. I. Pelligra, X. D. Feng, C. O. Osuji, "Directed assembly of hybrid nanomaterials and nanocomposites", Advanced Materials, 2018, 30, 1705794. Invited review article.
  • D. Bilger, J. Figueroa, N. D. Redeker, A. Sarkar, M. Stefik, S. J. Zhang*, "Hydrogen bonding directed ordered assembly of carboxylated poly(3-alkylthiophene)s", ACS Omega, 2017, 2, 8526-8535.
  • R. Cox, G. T. Olson, M. Pfau, N. Eshaghi, K Barus, D. Ramirez, R. Fernando, S. J. Zhang*, "Solution-based large-area assembly of coaxial inorganic-organic hybrid nanowires for fast ambipolar charge transport", ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2017, 9, 16397-16403.
  • D. Bilger, A. Sarkar, C. Danesh, M. Gopinadhan, G. A. Braggin, J. Figueroa, T.V. Pham, D. Chun, Y. Rao, C. O. Osuji, M. Stefik, S. J. Zhang*, "Multi-scale assembly of polythiophene-surfactant supramolecular complexes for charge transport anisotropy", Macromolecules, 2017, 50, 1047-1055.
  • J. P. Abdou, K. J. Reynolds, M. R. Pfau, J. van Staden, G. A. Braggin, N. Tajaddod, M. Minus, V. Reguero, J. J. Vilatela, S. J. Zhang*, "Interfacial crystallization of isotactic polypropylene surrouding macroscopic carbon nanotube and graphene fibers", Polymer, 2016, 91, 136-145.
  • J. P. Abdou, G. A. Braggin, Y. Q. Luo, A. R. Stevenson, D. Chun, S. J. Zhang*, "Graphene-induced oriented interfacial microstructures in single fiber polymer composites", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015, 7, 13620-13626.
  • Y. Q. Luo, G. A. Braggin, G. T. Olson, A. R. Stevenson, W. L. Ruan, S. J. Zhang*, "Nematic order drives macroscopic patterns of graphene oxide in drying drops", Langmuir, 2014, 30, 14631-14637.
  • Y. Q. Luo, F. A. Santos, T. W. Wagner, E. Tsoi, and S. J. Zhang*. "Dynamic Interactions between Poly(3-hexylthiophene) and Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Marginal Solvent", The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2014, 118, 6038-6046
  • T. W. Wagner, Y. Q. Luo, N. D. Redeker, C. E. Immoos, and S. J. Zhang*. "Effect of surface-modified zinc oxide nanowires on solution crystallization kinetics of poly(3-hexylthiophene)", Polymer, 2014, 55, 2008-2013
  • N. D. Redekera, C. D. Danesha, Y. Dingb, and S. J. Zhang*. "Anisotropic core–shell nanocomposites by direct covalent attachment of a side-functionalized poly(3-hexylthiophene) onto ZnO nanowires.", Polymer, 2013, 54, 7004-7008
  •  
  • C. D. Danesh, N. S. Starkweather, and S. J. Zhang*. "In Situ Study of Dynamic Conformational Transitions of a Water-Soluable Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Derivative by Surfactant Complexation.", The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2012 116, 12887-12894


Prior to Cal Poly

  • S. J. Zhang, C. I. Pelligra, G. Keskar, J. Jiang, P. W. Majewski, A. D. Taylor, S. Ismail-Beigi, L. D. Pfefferle, C. O. Osuji, “Directed self-assembly of hybrid oxide/polymer core-shell nanowires with transport optimized morphology for photovoltaics”, Advanced Materials, 2012, 24, 82-87.
  • S. J. Zhang, P. W. Majewski, G. Keskar, L. D. Pfefferle, C. O. Osuji, “Lyotropic self-assembly of high-aspect-ratio semiconductor nanowires of single crystal ZnO”, Langmuir, 2011, 27, 11616-11621. (Cover story)
  • S. J. Zhang, C. Pelligra, G. Keskar, P. W. Majewski, F. Ren, L. D. Pfefferle, C. O. Osuji, “Liquid crystalline order and magnetocrystalline anisotropy in magnetically doped semiconducting ZnO nanowires”, ACS Nano, 2011, 5, 8357-8364
  • S. J. Zhang, Z. Liu, D. G. Bucknall, L. H. He, K. L. Hong, J. W. Mays, M. G. Allen, “Thermally switchable thin films of an ABC triblock copolymer of poly(n-butyl methacrylate)-poly(methyl methacrylate)-poly(2-fluoroethyl methacrylate)”, Applied Surface Science, 2011, 257, 9173-9177.
  • L. H. He, J. P. Hinestrosa, J. M. Pickel, S. J. Zhang, D. G. Bucknall, S. M Kilby II, J. W. Mays, K. L. Hong, “Fluorine-containing linear block terpolymers: synthesis and self-assembly in solution”, Journal of Polymer Science: Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 2011, 49, 414-422.
  • S. J. Zhang, L. D. Pfefferle, C. O. Osuji, “Lyotropic hexagonal columnar ordering in a hydrogel of hairy-rod complexes of conjugated polymers”, Macromolecules, 2010, 43, 7549-7555.
  • S. J. Zhang, Q. W. Li, I. A. Kinloch, A. H. Windle, “Ordering in a droplet of an aqueous suspension of single-wall carbon nanotubes on a solid substrate”, Langmuir, 2010, 26, 2107-2112.
  • S. J. Zhang, W. Lin, X. W. Lin, C. P. Wong, S. Z. D. Cheng, D. Bucknall, “Surface-induced crystallization in high volume fraction aligned carbon nanotube polymer composites ”, Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 2010, 211, 1003-1011.
  • S. J. Zhang, W. Lin, L. B. Zhu, C. P. Wong, D. Bucknall, S. Kumar, “Nanocomposites of carbon nanotube fibers by polymer crystallization”, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2010, 2, 1642-1647.
  • S. J. Zhang, W. Lin, C. P. Wong, D. Bucknall, “Gamma-form transcrystals of polypropylene induced by individual carbon nanotubes” Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 2010, 211, 1348-1354.
  • W. Lin, K. S. Moon, S. J. Zhang, Y. Ding, Z. L. Wang, J. T. Shang, R.W. Zhang, M. X. Chen, C. P. Wong, “Microwave makes carbon nanotubes less defective”, ACS Nano, 2010, 4, 1716-1722.
  • S. J. Zhang, L. B. Zhu, C. P. Wong, S. Kumar, “Polymer-infiltrated carbon nanotube fibers by in-situ polymerization”, Macromolecular Rapid Communications, 2009, 30, 1936-1939.
  • S. J. Zhang, S. Kumar, “Carbon nanotubes as liquid crystals”, Small, 2008, 4: 1270-1283. (Invited review article). (Top 3 most accessed article in Sep. 2008)
  • S. J. Zhang, K. K. K. Koziol, I. A. Kinloch, A. H. Windle, “Macroscopic fibers of well-aligned carbon nanotubes by wet spinning” Small 2008, 4: 1217-1222.
  • S. J. Zhang, S. Kumar, “Shaping polymer particles by carbon nanotubes”, Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2008, 29: 557-561.
  • S. J. Zhang, M. L. Minus, S. Kumar, L. B. Zhu, C. P. Wong, “Polymer transcrystallinity induced by carbon nanotubes”, Polymer 2008, 49:1356-1364.
  • S. J. Zhang, L. B. Zhu, M. L. Minus, H. G. Chae, S. Jagannathan, C. P. Wong, J. Kowalik, L. Roberson, S. Kumar, “Solid-state spun fibers and yarns from 1-mm high carbon nanotube forest synthesized by water-assisted chemical vapor deposition” Journal of Materials Science 2008, 43: 4356-4362.
  • S. J. Zhang, I. A. Kinloch, A. H. Windle, “Mesogenicity drives fractionation in lyotropic aqueous suspensions of multiwall carbon nanotubes” Nano Letters 2006, 6: 568-572.
  • S. J. Zhang, E. M. Terentjev, A. M. Donald, “Optical microscopy study for director distortions around the disclinations in side-chain liquid crystalline polymer films” Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2005, 109: 13195-13199.
  • S. J. Zhang, E. M. Terentjev, A. M. Donald, “Phase separation and organization of colloidal spheres suspended in sheared lyotropic liquid-crystalline biopolymers” Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2005, 26: 911-914.
  • S. J. Zhang, E. M. Terentjev, A. M. Donald, “AFM study for supermolecular microstructures in polymer thin films” Langmuir 2005, 21: 3539-3543.
  • S. J. Zhang, E. M. Terentjev, A. M. Donald, “Nature of disclination cores in liquid crystals” Liquid Crystals 2005, 32: 69-75.
  • S. J. Zhang, E. M. Terentjev, A. M. Donald, “Disclinations and their interactions in side-chain liquid crystalline polymer films” Macromolecules 2004, 37: 390-396.
  • H. W. Shi, S. J. Zhang, R. Steitz, J. Chen, S. Uredat, G. H. Findenegg, “Surface coatings of PEO-PPO-PEO block copolymers on native and polystyrene-coated silicon wafers” Colloids and Surfaces A 2004, 246: 81-89.
  • B. Zhang, S. J. Zhang, L. Okrasa, T. Pakula, T. Stephan, M. Schmidt, “Synthesis and solid state structures of macromolecular cylindrical brushes with varying side chain length” Polymer 2004, 45: 4009-4015.
  • S. J. Zhang, L. X. Fu, J. Zhang, J. J. Liu, D. C. Yang, J. J. Ge, C. Y. Li, S. Z. D. Cheng, “Ordering-induced micro-bands in thin films of a main-chain liquid crystalline chloro-poly(aryl ether ketone)” Polymer 2004, 45: 3967-3972.
  • S. J. Zhang, E. M. Terentjev, A. M. Donald, “Stripe instability in thin films of smectic liquid crystalline polymers” European Physical. Journal E-Soft Matters 2003, 11: 367-374.
  • L. X. Fu, S. J. Zhang, J. Zhang, J. J. Liu, D. C. Yang, “Shear-induced spiral-like morphology of a main-chain liquid crystalline polymer” Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2001, 22:1168-1171.
  • L. X. Fu, S. J. Zhang, J .J. Liu, D. C. Yang, Z. W. Wu, “Homoepitaxial crystallization in films of a thermotropic liquid crystalline poly(aryl ether ketone)” Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 2001, 202: 2853-2856.
  • S. J. Zhang, L. X. Fu, J. J. Liu, D. C. Yang, Z. W. Wu, “Relationship between structures and properties in ordered liquid crystalline polymers”. Chemical Journal of Chinese Universities 2001, 22: 334-337.
  • S. J. Zhang, L. X. Fu, D. C. Yang, Z. W. Wu, “Formation of a metalstable phase induced by a liquid crystalline phase in a novel chloropoly(aryl ether ketone)” Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2000, 21:1144-1147.
  • J. Zhang, L. X. Fu, S. J. Zhang, D. C. Yang, “Molecular lattice resolution of single faceted crystals of a thermotropic liquid crystalline poly(aryl ether ketone) using atomic force microscope (AFM)” Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2000, 21: 313-1316. (Cover Story)
  • S. J. Zhang, L. X. Fu, D. C. Yang, Z. H. Gao, M. J. Jia, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, “Synthesis and thermotropic liquid crystalline behavior of the novel poly(aryl ether ketone)s with a methoxy group” Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 2000, 201: 649-655.
  • L. X. Fu, S. J. Zhang, J. J. Liu, D. C. Yang, Z. W. Wu, “The single crystal-like banded textures in the films of a thermotropic liquid crystalline poly(aryl ether ketone) containing a lateral chloro group” Chemical Journal of Chinese Universities 2000, 21:988-990.
  • L. X. Fu, S. J. Zhang, L. H. Ge, G. F. Sun, “Highly ordered monodomains in thermotropic liquid crystalline chloro-poly(aryl ether ketone)s” Journal of Electron Microscopy 2000, 19: 501-503.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Y. C. Ke, H. Na, Z. W. Wu, “Multiple melting behavior of monodisperse poly(ether ketone) oligomers” Polymer Materials Science and Engineering 1999, 15: 48-50.
  • S. J. Zhang, D. C. Yang, S. Z. D. Cheng, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, R. Yosomiya, “Novel poly(aryl ether ketone)s exhibiting liquid crystallinity” Acta Polymeric 1998, 49: 198-200.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, M. W. Tian, D. C. Yang, R. Yosomiya, “The synthesis and thermotropic liquid crystalline behavior of novel main chain poly(aryl ether ketone)s containing a lateral phenyl group” Liquid Crystals 1998, 24: 311-314.
  • P. Zhang, S. J. Zhang, Z. W. Wu, D. J. Wang, T. J. Li, “Heterostructure of silico/organized-polymer-film with varied liquid crystalline states: a photovoltaic study” Thin Solid Film 1998, 329: 412-415.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, M. W. Tian, D. C. Yang, “Synthesis and liquid crystalline behavior of novel poly(aryl ether ketone)s” Chemical Journal of Chinese Universities 1998, 6: 486-490.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, M. W. Tian, D. C. Yang, R. Yosomiya, “Effect of crystal-disrupting chlorohydroquinoine on the first-order transitions of poly(aryl ether ketone)s containing biphenyl units” Macromolecular Rapid Communications 1997, 18: 729-732.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, M. W. Tian, D. C. Yang, R. Yosomiya, “The synthesis and thermotropic liquid crystalline behavior of the novel poly(aryl ether ketone)s containing chloro-side group” Polymer Bulletin 1997, 38: 621-624.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, M. W. Tian, D. C. Yang, R. Yosomiya, “The new class of thermotropic liquid crystalline polymers: poly(ether ether keotne ketone)s based on a chloro-side group” Journal of Materials Science Letters 1997, 16:1813-1815.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, “A new all-aromatic thermotropic liquid crystalline polyester derived from acetylhydroquinone” Chinese Chemical Letters 1997, 8: 451-452.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, M. W. Tian, D. C. Yang, “A full aromatic thermotropic liquid crystalline poly(aryl ether ketone)” Chemical Journal of Chinese Universities 1997, 18: 484-485.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, M. W. Tian, Y. G. Zhuang, D. C. Yang, “Monodomain of a novel thermotropic phenyl-poly(aryl ether ketone)” Journal of Functional Polymer 1997, 10: 576-578.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, “Synthesis of block copolymer of poly(aryl ether ketone)-poly(aryl ester)” Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitaties Jilinensis 1997, 2: 106-107.
  • S. J. Zhang, H. Na, Y. B. Zheng, Y. C. Ke, J. Z. Wang, Z. W. Wu, “Synthesis of aromatic polyetherketones with biphenyl from monophenoxide” Polymer Materials Science and Engineering 1996, 3: 36-41.
  • S. J. Zhang, Y. B. Zheng, Y. C. Ke, Z. W. Wu, “The synthesis of aromatic poly ether ketone by low temperature polycondensation” Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitaties Jilinensis 1996, 2: 85-88.
  • Y. B. Zheng, S. J. Zhang, C. H. Cheng, Z. W. Wu, “Block copolymers of poly(ether sulfone)-poly(phenol oxygen)” Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitaties Jilinensis 1996, 2: 107-108.
  • Y. B. Zheng, S. J. Zhang, Y. C. Ke, Z. W. Wu, “Study on metallization of polymer surface 1. Study of the conductivity behavior” Journal of Functional Polymer 1996, 9: 561-563.
  • Y. B. Zheng, S. J. Zhang, Y. C. Ke, Z. W. Wu, “The study on preparation of polypyrrole by electropolymerization” Journal of Functional Polymer 1996, 9: 613-615.
  • Y. C. Ke, Y. B. Zheng, Z. W. Wu, S. J. Zhang, H. Na, J. Z. Wang, X. L. Ji, “Relationship between molecular structure and its heat properties for rigid chain polymers of poly(aryl ether ketone sulphone)s” Chemical Journal of Chinese Universities 1996, 17: 978-981.
  • Y. C. Ke, S. Y. Hua, Y. B. Zheng, S. J. Zhang, Z. W. Wu, “Molecular structure of chain-extended monomers and monodisperse olgomers for poly(aryl ether ketone)s by 13CNMR and calculation” Chinese Journal of Magnetic Resonance 1996, 13: 219-215.

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