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Alan R. Esker


Physical Chemistry

Office: 1107 Hahn Hall South
Phone: 540-231-4601
Fax: 540-231-3255

BS University of Wisconsin,  1991
PhD University of Wisconsin,  1996
Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, 1999-2005
Associate Professor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, 2005-present

Honors and Awards:
Cook Teaching Award, VT Chemistry, 2006
NSF CAREER Award, 2003-2008
3M Untenured Faculty Award, 2002
Omnova Solutions Signature University Award, 2000

My group focuses on the use of solution casting, spin-coating, self-assembly, and the Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique to explore the physical chemical aspects of polymer dynamics in confined geometries and at surfaces and interfaces. These systems are ideal for studying contemporary issues affecting nanotechnology like nanofiller reinforcement in polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)/polymer nanocomposites, magnetic nanoparticle-lipid interactions for drug delivery systems, and biomimetic engineering of cellulose/polymer interfaces in composites. Characterization of these phenomena is accomplished through neutron scattering and X-ray reflectivity at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and dynamic mechanical and thermal analysis (DMTA), rheology, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), surface light scattering (SLS), the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) technique, ellipsometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and optical (OM), fluorescence (FM), atomic force (AFM), scanning electron (SEM), transmission electron (TEM), and Brewster angle (BAM) microscopy at Virginia Tech.

  1. "A Facile High-Speed Vibration Milling Method to Water-Disperse Single-Walled Carbon Nanohorns," Shu, C.Y.; Zhang, J.; Ge, J.; Sim, J. H.; Burke, B.; Williams, K.; Rylander, N.; Campbell, T. Puretzky, A.; Rouleau, C.;Geohegan, D.; More, K.; Esker, A.; Gibson, H.; Dorn, H., Chem. Mater. 2010, 22(2), 347-351.
  2. "Optical Characterization of Cellulose Derivatives via Multiple Incident Media Ellipsometry," U. Karabiyik, M. Mao, † M. Roman, § T. Jaworek, G. Wegner, and A. R. Esker,* A.C.S. Symposium Series No. 1019, Model Cellulosic Surfaces, M. Roman, Ed., Chapter 6, pp. 137-155 (2009).
  3. "Surface Plasmon Resonance Studies of Pullulan and Pullulan Cinnamate Adsorption onto Cellulose," A. Kaya, X. Du, Z. Liu, J. W. Lu,† J. R. Morris,§ W. G. Glasser,§ T. Heinze, and A. R. Esker* Biomacromolecules 2009, 10(9), 2451-2459.
  4. "Facile Preparation of a New Gadofullerene-Based Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agent with High 1H Relaxivity," Shu, C.;† Corwin, F. D.; Zhang, J.;† Reid, J. E.;† Sun, M.; Xu, W.; Sim, J. H.; Wang, C.; Fatouros, P. P.;* Esker, A. R.; Gibson, H. W.;*, § Dorn, H. C.,*, § Bioconjugate Chem. 2009, 20(6), 1186-1193
  5. "Surface Rheology of Trisilanolisobutyl-POSS at the Air/Water Interface," W. Yin, J. Deng, and A. R. Esker,* Langmuir 2009, 25(13), 7181-7184.


Alan Esker