Russell Research Group

Russell Research Group

Silvio O. Conte Distinguished Professor
Phone: 413-577-1516

Meet the Russell Group!

Degree Information:

B.S. Chemistry, Boston State College, 1976
MS Polymer Science & Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1976
PhD Polymer Science & Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1979

Russell Bio

Mailing Address:

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering
Room: A213, Conte Research Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst
120 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

Research Interests

Polymer-based nanoscopic structures; Polymer-based nanoparticle assemblies; Responsive, reconfigurable structured liquids; Packing and dynamics of nanoparticle assemblies, Surface and Interfacial Properties of Polymers; Wrinkling and crumpling in thin polymer films; Polymer Morphology; Kinectics of Phase Transitions; Ionic Liquids; Interfacial behavior of polymers

Current Research

Polymers and block copolymers offer unique avenues for the fabrication of nanostructured materials. We have developed routes and an understanding of the mechanism by which the morphology in thin block copolymer films can be controlled with exquisite precision. This has given rise to numerous applications of polymers in current technologies. We have been recently focusing on the role of chain architecture on the lateral ordering and minimizing the size scale of the microdomains to the single nanometer level. Our efforts on the interfacial activity of nanoparticles aim to achieve multi-length scale assemblies of nanoparticles are pioneering a platform for encapsulation and diffusion barriers. We have developed nanoparticle surfactants, enabling the structuring of immiscible liquids on the mesoscale and macroscopic levels. A jamming behavior underpins the structuring of liquids into non-equilibrium shapes, including bicontinuous morphologies, the molding of liquids, and the 3D printing of all-liquid structures. We have the 3D printing all aqueous constructs, where the complexation of polyelectrolytes forms a barrier between two aqueous phases with very selective diffusion characteristics. We are integrating active materials to develop constructs the change in response to external stimuli. With highly flexible, thin sheets, we have also investigated the wrapping of liquids, based only on the reduction of interfacial energies where the shapes of the wrapped liquids can be controlled by pre-fabricating sheets polymer films into a well-defined shape. We uncovered a unique classification of wrinkle patterns that varies in a very systematic manner with film thickness. We study polymer-based photovoltaics with a focus on optimizing morphology and interlayer materials that reduce the work function of the electrodes, markedly increasing device efficiency. Using mixed donor and acceptor phases we have achieved efficiencies with efficiencies of 17+% (NREL efficiency chart). Optical, laser scanning confocal, electron and scanning force microscopies, and neutron, light and x-ray scattering (in-house, synchrotron-based, and free-electron-laser-based) are key techniques used in this research.

Book Edited:

1. Polymer Thin Films,with O.K.C, World Scientific, 2008

2. Multicomponent Polymer Systems, with D. Lohse and L. Sperling, Plenum Publishers, NY, 1997

3. Neutron Scattering in Materials Science, with D. Neuman and B. Wuensch, Materials Research Society Press, Pittsburgh, PA. 1995

4. Scattering, Deformation and Fracture, with G. D. Wignall, B. Crist and E. L. Thomas, Materials Research Society Press, Pittsburgh, PA, 1986

5. Comprehensive Polymer Science - 2nd edition, Elsevier Ltd, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, in production.


1. Emrick, T.S., Russell, T.P., Dinsmore, A., Skaff, H. and Lin, Y., "Liquid-liquid interfacial nanoparticle assemblies," 2008, University of Massachusetts: US 7,470840 B2.

2. Hedrick, J.L., Hofer, D.C., Labadie, J.W., Prime, P.B., and Russell, T.P., "Foamed Polymers for Use as a Dielectric Material," 1998, IBM: US.05776990.

3. Mayes, A.M., Ruzette, A.-V., T.P. Russell and Banerjee, P., "Baroplastic Materials," Patent No. US 6,632,883, Oct. 14, 2003.

4. Tuominen, M., Schotter, J., Thurn-Albrecht, T. and Russell, T. P.,Nanocylinder Arrays," Patent No. US 7,190,049 B2 March 13, 2007

5. Tuominen, M., Russell, T.P., Bal, M., Ursache, A., "Nanofabrication," Patent No. US 7,189,435 B2, March 13, 2007.

6. Schaffer, E., Mlynek, J., Steiner, U., Thurn-Albrecht, T. and Russell, T. P., Methods and Apparatus for Forming Submicron Patterns on Films," US 6,391,217, May 21, 2002.

7. Lutkenhaus, J and Russell, T.P., "Poly(vinylidene fluoride) - Containing Nanotubes and Nanorods as Stimuli – Responsive Surfaces," Patent Application, UMA 08-10, 2008.

8. Park, S., Russell, T.P., Wang, J.-Y., Kim, B., "From Nanorings to Nanodots by Patterning with Block Copolymers," Patent Application, UMA 09-08, 2008.

9. Russell, T.P., Park, S., Xu, T., "A Route to 10 Terabit/in2 Templates and Scaffolds Using Thin Films of Block Copolymers," Patent Application, UMA 08-47, 2008.

10. Tew, G.N., Al-Badri, Z., Shunmugam, R. and Russell, T.P., "Ferromagnetic materials via direct assembly of block copolymers: Design and uses thereof, USA, University of Massachusetts, Filed 2008.

11. Russell, T.P., Park, S, Xu, T. and Lee D.H., "Self-assembly of block copolymers on topographically patterned polymeric substrates," USA, UMA 0028US, Provisional Application filed 2009.

12. Yavuzcetin, O., Tuominen, M.T. and Russell, T.P., "Index-tuned Antireflective Coating using a Nanostructured Metamaterial," Patent Application USSN 12/212,240, 2008.

13. Russell, T.P., Park, S., Wang, J.-Y., Kim, B. "Method of Producing Nanopatterned Articles and Articles Produced Thereby", Application #12566705. Filed 9/25/2009, Published 4/8/2010.