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James J. Watkins

Director of the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing

Macromolecular templates for functional device structures, materials synthesis and processing in supercritical fluids, phase behavior and transport in multi-component polymer systems, scalable fabrication of nanostructure materials.

Current Research
We are a team of polymer scientists, chemical engineers and chemists with an interest in the synthesis, characterization and utilization of nanoscale and hybrid materials and the fabrication of devices that exploit the unique properties of the materials we create.  Our approaches include additive driven self-assembly in which interactions among each of the components of hybrid materials are designed so as to overcome barriers to creating well ordered systems containing high concentrations of nanoparticles, nanorods, fullerenes or functional organics and the creation of novel deposition techniques that are well suited to controlling structure at the nanoscale. We support this work with fundamental studies of phase behavior and transport in soft condensed matter systems and the kinetics of reactions used in materials synthesis.

The techniques developed are then adapted to practical fabrication/manufacturing schemes for device applications in energy generation and storage, flexible electronics, metamaterials and sensors. Some of our work involves a class of compressed gases called supercritical fluids (SCFs). SCFs can be viewed as a hybrid of liquid and gases that offer tunable solvent properties and unique advantages for the study and processing of nanoscale materials.

Learn more at www.pse.umass.edu/faculty/researchgroup/watkins/research

Academic Background

  • BS he Johns Hopkins University, 1987
  • MS The Johns Hopkins University, 1988
  • PhD University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1997
You, Eunyoung; Guzman-Blas, Rolando; Nicolau, Eduardo; Scibioh, M. Aulice; Karanikas, Christos F.; Watkins, James J.; Cabrera, Carlos R., "Co-deposition of Pt and ceria anode catalyst in supercritical carbon dioxide for direct methanol fuel cell applications." Electrochimica Acta 2012, 75, 191-200.
Le Trequesser, Quentin; Mesguich, David; You, Eunyoung; Aymonier, Cyril; Watkins, James J., "Supercritical fluid deposition of compositionally uniform yttria stabilized zirconia films." Journal of Supercritical Fluids 2012, 66, 328-332.
Wei, Qingshuo; You, Eunyoung; Hendricks, Nicholas R.; Briseno, Alejandro L.; Watkins, James J., "Flexible Low-Voltage Polymer Thin-Film Transistors Using Supercritical CO2-Deposited ZrO2 Dielectrics." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2012, 4 (5), 2322-2324.
Lin, Ying; Lim, Jung Ah; Wei, Qingshuo; Mannsfeld, Stefan C. B.; Briseno, Alejandro L.; Watkins, James J., "Cooperative Assembly of Hydrogen-Bonded Diblock Copolythiophene/Fullerene Blends for Photovoltaic Devices with Well-Defined Morphologies and Enhanced Stability." Chemistry of Materials 2012, 24 (3), 622-632.
Wei, Qingshuo; Lin, Ying; Anderson, Eric R.; Briseno, Alejandro L.; Gido, Samuel P.; Watkins, James J., "Additive-Driven Assembly of Block Copolymer-Nanoparticle Hybrid Materials for Solution Processable Floating Gate Memory." ACS Nano 2012, 6 (2), 1188-1194.
Zhang, Lei; Walker, Bright; Liu, Feng; Colella, Nicholas S.; Mannsfeld, Stefan C. B.; Watkins, James J.; Thuc-Quyen Nguyen; Briseno, Alejandro L., "Triisopropylsilylethynyl-functionalized dibenzo[def,mno]chrysene: a solution-processed small molecule for bulk heterojunction solar cells." Journal of Materials Chemistry 2012, 22 (10), 4266-4268.
Contact Info

Polymer Science and Engineering
A616 Conte Research Center
Amherst, Ma 01003-9292

(413) 545-2569