Phil's research focuses on simulation and physical characterization of polyrotaxanes. Rotaxanes, catenanes, and other topologically linked molecules have generated a great deal of excitement due to their applications as actuators, sensors, and other molecular machines. Of particular interest is the interface between such molecular architectures and polymer science and engineering. How can we model and understand the physical properties of bizarre and exciting new materials, such as slide-ring gels? What new tools or methods do we need to develop? Can we use simulation to predict and guide the synthesis of new high-performance polymers?
Phil grew up outside of Boston, MA 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 rubbery interfaces. He then spent several years as a consultant in the Cloud Services group at IBM. He joined the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering as a graduate student in 2016 and is now a National Science Foundation fellow co-advised by Professors Stuart Rowan and Juan de Pablo.