Phil grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and received his bachelor's degree in physics from Emory University in 2013, where he investigated the physical aging of nano-confined polymer glasses in the presence of interfaces. He then spent several years as a software consultant at IBM. He joined the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering as a graduate student in 2016, co-advised by Professors Stuart Rowan and Juan de Pablo. After completing his Ph.D. in 2020, he transitioned to his current role as a postdoctoral scholar in the de Pablo group.
The physics of interlocking polymers. Complex polymer architectures such as polycatenanes and polyrotaxanes contain "mechanical" or "topological" bonds, which give rise to unique and unusual dynamics and can be exploited to create new materials with enhanced mechanical and thermal properties. Using theory and simulation, Rauscher studies the properties of these systems with the goal of designing new materials and guiding synthetic efforts.
Collaborators: Kenneth S. Schweizer
Nonequilibrium thermodynamics of interfaces. Many important chemical and biological processes are strongly influenced by transport along and across surfaces, but nonequilibrium thermodynamics at interfaces are far more subtle than in the bulk. To develop thermodynamically consistent descriptions of interfacial transport, Rauscher studies the nonequilibrium dynamics of multiphase, multicomponent systems using theory and simulation.
Collaborators: Hans Christian Oettinger
Rauscher, Phillip M et al. "Dynamics of Poly[n]catenane Melts." The Journal of Chemical Physics 152, 214901 (2020)
Rauscher, P. M., Schweizer, K. S., Rowan, S. J. & De Pablo, J. J. Thermodynamics and Structure of Poly[n]catenane Melts. Macromolecules 53, 3390–3408 (2020).
Topological Effects in Isolated Poly[n]catenanes: Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Rouse Mode Analysis
Rauscher, Phillip M., Stuart J. Rowan, and Juan J. de Pablo. "Topological effects in isolated poly [n] catenanes: Molecular dynamics simulations and rouse mode analysis." ACS Macro Letters 7.8 (2018): 938-943.
Qiong Wu, Phillip M. Rauscher, Xiaolong Lang, Rudy J. Wojtecki, Juan J. de Pablo, Michael J. A. Hore, Stuart J. Rowan. Poly[n]catenanes: Synthesis of molecular interlocked chains. Science. 2017. Vol. 30 Nov.