Research

The cutting edge of chemical science research lies in the ability to manipulate and control single molecules. The Schroeder Group uses closed-loop materials discovery — together with single-molecule characterization — to understand how form and function arise in soft materials. This powerful approach allows for the precise design and development of new functional materials, in problems ranging from lipid membrane dynamics to bioelectronic materials. 

Research in the Schroeder Group is focused on four areas: (1) automated synthesis for closed-loop materials discovery, including “Lego-like” or modular synthesis of organic materials using molecular building blocks, (2) molecular electronics of conjugated molecules, light-harvesting organic molecules, and redox-active materials, in addition to protein nanowires and bioelectronic materials, (3) dynamics of lipid membranes, vesicles, and colloidal particles, including new methods to deform and study soft materials using the Stokes trap, and (4) single polymer dynamics, including entangled solutions and architecturally complex polymers such as rings and branched polymers.

Research Highlights

Automated synthesis & materials discovery    (more…)

Open macromolecular genome: generative design of synthetically accessible polymers
 
Closed-loop optimization of general reaction conditions
 
Automated synthesis for single-molecule electronics
   

ACS Polymers Au, 2023

  Science, 2022   Nature Communications, 2022

Molecular electronics    (more…)

Ladder-type molecules as single-molecule electronic switches
 
Single-molecule electronics with host-guest complexes
 
Charge transport in sequence-defined oligomers
   

Chem, 2023

  JACS, 2022   JACS, 2020

Vesicle & lipid membrane dynamics    (more…)

Non-equilibrium stretching of vesicles in flow
 
Dynamics of vesicles in oscillatory flows
 
Flow-phase diagram for lipid vesicles in extensional flow
   

Langmuir, 2021

  Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2021   Soft Matter, 2020

Stokes Trap    (more…)

3D manipulation and dynamics of soft materials in 3D flows
 
Orientation control and trajectory tracking with automated flow control
 
Stokes trap for multiplexed particle manipulation
   

Journal of Rheology, 2023

  Physical Review Fluids, 2019   PNAS, 2016

Single polymer dynamics      (more…)

Direct observation of ring polymer dynamics in shear flow 
 
Ring-linear threading events in semi-dilute solutions
 
Dynamically heterogeneous relaxation of entangled polymer solutions
   

Macromolecules, 2020

  Nature Communications, 2019   PRL, 2018

Prior Research

DNA data storage

Supramolecular assembly of proteins

Single molecule biophysics & fluorescent proteins