Lucas is originally from Marshall, Minnesota, located in the southwestern part of the state. In 2011, he graduated cum laude from St. Olaf College with a BA in mathematics and chemistry. During his time at St. Olaf he participated in the Budapest Semesters of Mathematics program in spring 2010, the Summer Institute of Biostatistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010, and also worked with the City of Northfield in January 2011 as part of the math practicum at St. Olaf. He then began graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the biophysics program, where he joined the research group of Professor Juan de Pablo in 2012. He followed Professor de Pablo to the University of Chicago where he is now completing his PhD research. Besides thinking about the properties of organic glasses, Lucas enjoys endurance athletics such as cycling and running.
Recently, it has been shown both experimentally and computationally that the formation of remarkably kinetically stable glasses is possible. Such glassy materials have superior thermodynamic and mechanical properties that are of interest not only for applications and technology but also for the fundamentals of glass transition and super cooled liquid state.
Some areas of focus in the group's work are to understand the mechanisms and to validate the principle ideas of stable glass formation. They have developed an efficient way to obtain stable glasses by molecular dynamics simulations and other computational methods. Controlling the enhanced mobility of molecules can lead to more relaxed configurations and more easily form stable materials. Characterization and comparison of the stable glasses’ properties against ordinary glasses’ properties provide valuable insights and allow the researchers to obtain sudden structural differences between ordinary and stable glasses.
Colón, Yamil J., et al. "Free energy of metal-organic framework self-assembly." The Journal of chemical physics 150.10 (2019): 104502.
Jackson, Nicholas E., et al. "Electronic structure at coarse-grained resolutions from supervised machine learning." Science advances 5.3 (2019): eaav1190.
Qiu, Yue, et al. "Tenfold increase in the photostability of an azobenzene guest in vapor-deposited glass mixtures." The Journal of chemical physics 149.20 (2018): 204503.
Dynamic actuation of glassy polymersomes through isomerization of a single azobenzene unit at the block copolymer interface
Molla, Mijanur Rahaman, et al. "Dynamic actuation of glassy polymersomes through isomerization of a single azobenzene unit at the block copolymer interface." Nature chemistry 10.6 (2018): 659.
Influence of molecular shape on the thermal stability and molecular orientation of vapor-deposited organic semiconductors
Walters, Diane M., et al. "Influence of molecular shape on the thermal stability and molecular orientation of vapor-deposited organic semiconductors." The journal of physical chemistry letters 8.14 (2017): 3380-3386.
Antony, Lucas W., et al. "Influence of vapor deposition on structural and charge transport properties of ethylbenzene films." ACS central science 3.5 (2017): 415-424.
Membrane permeation versus amyloidogenicity: a multitechnique study of islet amyloid polypeptide interaction with model membranes
Martel, Anne, et al. "Membrane permeation versus amyloidogenicity: a multitechnique study of islet amyloid polypeptide interaction with model membranes." Journal of the American Chemical Society 139.1 (2016): 137-148.
Qiu, Yue, et al. "Photostability can be significantly modulated by molecular packing in glasses." Journal of the American Chemical Society 138.35 (2016): 11282-11289.
Whitmer, Jonathan K., et al. "Sculpting bespoke mountains: Determining free energies with basis expansions." The Journal of chemical physics 143.4 (2015): 044101.
Lyubimov, Ivan, et al. "Orientational anisotropy in simulated vapor-deposited molecular glasses." The Journal of chemical physics 143.9 (2015): 094502.