The research in Ellison Research Group focuses on the design, synthesis, characterization, and processing of nanostructured polymeric systems. The direction of our research is motivated by a combination of fundamental and practical implications. Several central research themes include manipulating polymers with light for micropatterning or modulating physical properties (e.g., by photopolymerizations or reversible light activated reactions), exploiting and understanding structure or molecular dynamics arising from confining polymers to the nanoscale, engineering bioinspired/bioderived materials or materials processes and sub-20 nm lithography using self-assembled thin film polymer templates. An important aspect of our laboratory is the use of well-established synthetic chemistries (anionic and controlled free-radical polymerization, basic monomer synthesis, etc.) to control all aspects of molecular architecture. This critical framework is required for establishing quantitative relationships in complex multi-scale materials. We also work closely with other research groups focused on theory and simulation to both guide and advance our understanding of the experiments when appropriate.
Dr. Christopher Ellison is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, part of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota