Levich Institute Seminar Announcement, 09/01/2009
Tuesday, 09/01/2009
2:00 PM
Steinman Hall, Room #312
(Chemical Engineering Conference Room)

Professor Frank Bates
University of Minnesota
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

"Macromolecular Surfactants: More than Simple Amphiphiles"


Block copolymers belong to a broad class of amphiphilic compounds that includes lipids, soaps, and nonionic surfactants. A macromolecular architecture affords certain unique advantages over conventional low molecular weight amphiphiles in constructing nanoscale objects with prescribed morphologies and physical properties. I will describe the formation of structures classically found in mixtures of oil, water and surfactant (or lipid or soap). The static and dynamic properties of micelles (spherical and worm-like), vesicles, and bicontinuous microemulsions have been investigated in a variety of systems using small-angle x-ray and neutron scattering, electron and optical microscopy, and in-situ­ rheological techniques. This presentation will focus on similarities and differences between macromolecular and traditional amphiphiles with reference to several unusual applications.


Frank S. Bates is a Regents Professor and Head of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. He received a B.S. in Mathematics from SUNY Albany in 1976, and M.S. and Sc.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1979 and 1982. Between 1982 and 1989 Bates was a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, then joined the University of Minnesota as an Associate Professor. He was promoted to Professor in 1991, named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 1996, appointed Department Head in 1999, and became a Regents Professor in 2007. In 1988 Bates was named a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Labs, in 1989 he received the John H. Dillon Medal and in 1997 the Polymer Physics Prize, both from the American Physical Society where he is a Fellow. He won the 2004 David Turnbull Lectureship Award from the Materials Research Society, shared the ACS Cooperative Research Award in 2008, and was awarded the 2008 Sustained Research Prize by the Neutron Scattering Society of America. In 2002 Bates was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering and in 2005 he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Professor Bates conducts research on a range of topics related to polymers, with a particular focus on the thermodynamics and dynamics of block copolymers and blends.