Chemistry and Materials Science Seminar: Dr. Silas Owusu-Nkwantabisah

The School of Chemistry and Materials Science (within the College of Science) welcomes its next speaker in their weekly seminar series.


Dr. Owusu-Nkwantabisah is coming from the Cabot Microelectronics Corporation where he works as a Scientist in the Transformational Technologies Group.



Responsive hydrogels are cross-linked soft matter capable of detectable property changes when triggered by stimuli. These hydrogels are promising for a wide variety of applications including contact lenses, functional coatings, controlled drug delivery, wound dressings, soft robotics, and tissue engineering. Notwithstanding, some responsive and functional properties compromise the mechanical properties of the hydrogels. In addition, functional hydrogels that offer ease of fabrication and handling would be highly beneficial. Therefore, strategies that produce hydrogels with enhanced mechanical properties and synergistic responses continue to be in high demand despite several advances in the field. Hydrophobic associations, exhibiting dynamic crosslinks, offer a unique advantage to achieve hydrogels with efficient stimuli responses and significant mechanical strength. Moreover, the simple supramolecular interactions within a hydrophobic association hydrogel can produce synergistic stimuli responsive behavior. This presentation will discuss some recent approaches in designing and creating highly efficient responsive hydrogels based upon simple supramolecular architectures, viz hydrophobic associations. These approaches offer benefits including facile preparation of self-healing hydrogels, over 95% enhancement in thermoresponsive light modulation than a conventional system, and a unique soft-stiff thermomechanical behavior.


Speaker Bio:

Silas, originally from Ghana, received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Maine, working with Prof. Carl Tripp at the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (LASST). He then pursued a BASF sponsored postdoctoral scholarship with Prof. Alan Lesser at the Polymer Science and Engineering Department of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 2015, he joined the Kodak Research Laboratories, Rochester, NY. As a Materials Scientist at Kodak, he worked on several research and technology development projects, leading to several peer-reviewed journal articles, patents, and a commercial product. His research interests include responsive polymers, soft matter, surface and colloid chemistry, polymer processing (supercritical CO2, melt extrusion, solution casting), advanced composites and stereolithography. In the scientific community, Silas served as a volunteer representative at the Executive Committee of the Rochester Section of the American Chemical Society before being elected as a Member-at-Large since 2017. Since August 2018, he has been with Cabot Microelectronics Corporation as a Scientist in the Transformational Technologies Group. Silas is married to Abena Marfowaa, and they have two beautiful children Frankel and Nichelle, who are 1 and 3 years old, respectively. Silas enjoys playing racquetball and volleyball regularly throughout the year.

Melanie Green


Event Snapshot
When and Where
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
12:30 AM-1:45 PM
Thomas Gosnell Hall

Open to the Public

Interpreter Requested