Hailing from Edina, Minnesota, James received his BS in materials sciences and engineering from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2016. His undergraduate research at the U of M involved block copolymer physics under the mentorship of Professor Frank Bates, particularly investigating the effect of conformational asymmetry on diblock copolymer phase behavior. Having joined PME as a graduate student in 2016, he is working toward his PhD in molecular engineering and is being co-advised by both Professor Stuart Rowan and Professor Paul Nealey.
James is currently researching polymer nanocomposites featuring cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs). Highly crystalline and functionalizable rigid-rod like structures, CNCs disperse well in polymer matrices permitting mechanical strengthening through the formation of percolating networks. Utilizing the intriguing morphological attributes of diblock copolymers and the introduction of thermally stable step polymers, James seeks to create novel hierarchically structured materials capable of combining the above unique properties.
Kato, R., Lettow, J. H., Patel, S. N. & Rowan, S. J. Ion-Conducting Thermoresponsive Films Based on Polymer-Grafted Cellulose Nanocrystals. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, (2020)
Ryo Kato, James H Lettow, Shrayesh N Patel, Stuart J Rowan. Ion-Conducting Thermoresponsive Films Based on Polymer-Grafted Cellulose Nanocrystals. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2020, 12, 48, 54083–54093
Herbert, K. M., Getty, P. T., Dolinski, N. D., Hertzog, J. E., de Jong, D., Lettow, J. H., … Rowan, S. J. (2020). Dynamic reaction-induced phase separation in tunable, adaptive covalent networks. Chemical Science, 11(19), 5028–5036.