Faculty

Paul Nealey

  • Brady W. Dougan Professor of Molecular Engineering and Deputy Dean for Education and Outreach
  • Research and Scholarly Interests: Block Copolymers, Directed Self-assembly (DSA), Nanolithography, Nanopatterning
  • Websites: Nealey Group
  • Contact: nealey@uchicago.edu
    773.702.9143
  • Assistant: Kimberly L McGee
  • Office Location:
    Eckhardt Research Center
    Room 229
    5640 South Ellis Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60637

Paul Nealey is a pioneer of directed self-assembly, which is becoming very important in microelectronics processing to create patterns for integrated circuits. He is one of the world’s leading experts on patterning organic materials, literally creating physical patterns of structure and composition in the materials at the nanometer length scale, where the patterns affect the function of the materials.

Many of Prof. Nealey’s collaborative projects with Prof. Juan de Pablo have focused on block copolymer films, which spontaneously self-assemble to form structures with dimensions that range from three to 50 nanometers. Nealey’s experimental and de Pablo’s computational teamwork extends even to jointly advised doctoral students. Their approach has become so powerfully productive that other institutions seek to replicate their formula for success with their own research teams.

Nealey’s interest in tissue engineering of corneal prosthetic devices, pursued in collaboration with a veterinary ophthalmologist, demonstrates the versatility of his expertise in fabricating nanostructured surfaces.

Nealey holds 14 patents and is the author of more than 180 publications. His honors include fellowship in the American Physical Society, the 2010 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and a 2009 Inventor Recognition Award from Semiconductor Research Corporation.

Prior to arriving at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, Nealey was Shoemaker Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison. He also conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard University and was an engineer at Solvay et Compagnie, Brussels.

Nealey earned a PhD in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a BChE, magna cum laude, from Rice University.

The Nealey Group consists of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers pursuing interdisciplinary topics in advanced lithography, nanofabrication, polymer thin films, and cell-substrate interactions.

Ultrathin initiated chemical vapor deposition polymer interfacial energy control for directed self-assembly hole-shrink applications
Dolejsi, Moshe, et al. "Ultrathin initiated chemical vapor deposition polymer interfacial energy control for directed self-assembly hole-shrink applications." Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Materials, Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena 37.6 (2019): 061804.

Sculpted grain boundaries in soft crystals
Li, Xiao, et al. "Sculpted grain boundaries in soft crystals." Science Advances 5.11 (2019): eaax9112.

Surface Reconstruction Limited Conductivity in Block‐Copolymer Li Battery Electrolytes
Sutton, P., Bennington, P., Patel, S., Stefik, M., Wiesner, U., Nealey, P., Steiner, U., & Gunkel, I. (2019). Surface Reconstruction Limited Conductivity in Block‐Copolymer Li Battery Electrolytes. Advanced Functional Materials, 29(48), https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201905977

Role of Defects in Ion Transport in Block Copolymer Electrolytes
Kambe, Yu, et al. "Role of Defects in Ion Transport in Block Copolymer Electrolytes." Nano Letters (2019).

Structure Control of a π-Conjugated Oligothiophene-Based Liquid Crystal for Enhanced Mixed Ion/Electron Transport Characteristics
Ban Xuan Dong, Ziwei Liu, Mayank Misra, Joseph Strzalka, Jens Niklas, Oleg G. Poluektov, Fernando A. Escobedo, Christopher K. Ober, Paul F. Nealey, and Shrayesh N. Patel ACS Nano 2019 13 (7), 7665-7675. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.9b01055

All-optical cryogenic thermometry based on NV centers in nanodiamonds
M. Fukami, C. G. Yale, P. Andrich, X. Liu, F. J. Heremans, P. F. Nealey, D. D. Awschalom. All-optical cryogenic thermometry based on NV centers in nanodiamonds. Phys. Rev. Applied. 2019. Vol. 12, Pg. 014042.

Nanothin film conductivity measurements reveal interfacial influence on ion transport in polymer electrolytes
Dong, B. X., Bennington, P., Kambe, Y., Sharon, D., Dolejsi, M., Strzalka, J., … Patel, S. N. (2019). Nanothin film conductivity measurements reveal interfacial influence on ion transport in polymer electrolytes. Mol. Syst. Des. Eng., 4(3), 597–608. https://doi.org/10.1039/C9ME00011A

Influence of Side-Chain Chemistry on Structure and Ionic Conduction Characteristics of Polythiophene Derivatives: A Computational and Experimental Study
Ban Xuan Dong, Christian Nowak, Jonathan W. Onorato, Joseph Strzalka, Fernando A. Escobedo, Christine K. Luscombe, Paul F. Nealey, and Shrayesh N. Patel Chemistry of Materials 2019 31 (4), 1418-1429. DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b05257

Perfection in Nucleation and Growth of Blue-Phase Single Crystals: Small Free-Energy Required to Self-Assemble at Specific Lattice Orientation
Li, Xiao, et al. "Perfection in Nucleation and Growth of Blue-Phase Single Crystals: Small Free-Energy Required to Self-Assemble at Specific Lattice Orientation." ACS applied materials & interfaces 11.9 (2019): 9487-9495.

Combining double patterning with self-assembled block copolymer lamellae to fabricate 10.5 nm full-pitch line/space patterns

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