Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program

Alan R. Esker


Dr. Alan Esker
Associate Professor of Chemistry

Professor Esker's research interests include spatial separation of hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions in amphiphilic molecules produces surfactant behavior at the air/water interface. Using Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) and associated techniques, it is possible to prepare and characterize highly ordered monomolecular films on liquid surfaces and multilayer films on solid substrates. For cell membrane components such as fatty acids and phospholipids, the films have thicknesses on the order of 20 Å, while polymeric monolayers of hairy-rod cellulose ethers or poly(t-butylmethacrylate) are only about 10 Å thick. With films this thin, one approaches two-dimensional behavior, which has important implications on phenomena such as diffusion, kinetics, and phase separation. Our goal is to use LB films to create supramolecular assemblies to probe structure and dynamics in confined geometries.

Dr. Esker's Web Site

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Department of Chemistry
1107 Hahn Hall, Mail Code 0212
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540.231.3255 (FAX)