8-12 Dec 2019, Singapore
Stephen Z. D. Cheng received his Ph.D. degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, NY, in 1985. His research interests are in the area of chemistry, physics, and engineering of polymers and advanced functional materials including ordered structure, morphology, phase transition thermodynamics, kinetics, and molecular motions. His recent interests in particular are focusing on nanohybrid materials with different molecular chemical structures and physical topologies, architectures, interactions and their assemblies in the bulk, solution, and thin films. He is also active in developing researches of conducting polymers, photovoltaics, polymer optics, and photonics. Since 2018. He has been appointed as a dean of School of Molecular Science and Engineering and Dean of Advanced Institute of Sot Matter Science and Technology and Dean of School of Molecular Science and Engineering at South China University of Technology, China. In the past thirty-one years, he spent almost entire academic life at The University of Akron, US, where he held the R. C. Musson & Trustees Professor and serves as the Dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at the University of Akron (2007-2014). He is the recipient of Presidential Young Investigator Award (NSF and White house, 1991), John H. Dillon Medal (APS, 1995), Mettler-Toledo Award (NATAS, 1999), TA Instrument Award (ICTAC, 2004), PMSE Cooperative Research Award (ACS, 2005), Polymer Physics Prize (APS, 2013), SPSJ International Award (JSPS, Japan, 2017), and other awards and recognitions. Cheng has been a Fellow of AAAS, APS, ACS (PMSE), NATAS and an Honorable Fellow of Chinese Chemical Society. He has been elected as a member of the National Academic of Engineering of US (2008).
"Topological Engineering of Giant Molecules: Structures and Functions"
Inverse design and inverse thinking are critical steps in the new materials developments (materials genome approach). When we design materials with specific functional properties, we often start with independent building blocks which possess well-defined molecular functions and precise chemical structures. Using the “Molecular Lego” approach, we can then, in some cases with multiple steps, assemble such elemental building blocks together in preferred secondary structures (or packing schemes) to construct materials possessing topologically mandated hierarchical structures with desired functions. In this talk, a unique approach along this inverse design and inverse thinking path will be presented. Various “giant molecules” based on “nano-atoms” are designed and synthesized. “Nano-atoms” refer to shape-persistent molecular nanoparticles (MNPs) such as fullerenes, polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes, polyoxometalates, and folded globular proteins, and others. These “nano-atoms” possess precisely-defined chemical structures, surface functionalities and molecular shapes, which serve as elemental units for the precision synthesis of “giant molecules” via methods such as click chemistry and other efficient chemical transformations. These “giant molecules” include, but are not limited to, giant surfactants, giant shape amphiphiles, and giant polyhedra. These “giant molecules” can assemble into diverse highly ordered building blocks (spherical and non-spherical) to further construct the thermodynamically stable and metastable hierarchical structures in the bulk, thin-film, and solution. Unconventional nanostructures can be obtained in various environments to exhibit specifically desired properties. This approach has provided a versatile platform for engineering nanostructures that are not only scientifically intriguing, but also technologically relevant.