Fall 2018 Seminar Series

PPSM sponsors a series of seminars covering a broad range of topics of general interest to the polymer community, featuring speakers from both on and off campus. [LIST OF PPSM SEMINARS 1986 to PRESENT] We invite the polymer community at MIT and elsewhere to participate. For further information, contact Professor Niels Holten-Andersen at holten@mit.edu. All talks take place on Wednesdays.

If you would like to receive Tuesday and Wednesday email announcements of the next upcoming PPSM seminar, please email your request including your email address to: 


Seminar 3:30 PM / Refreshments 3:00 PM

NOTE: Updates to the calendar below will be made throughout Summer 2018 as information is received.



“Understand Entropy:
A Valuable Path Toward 
Functional Materials”

Wednesday November 7, 2018

Prof. Ting Xu

Departments of
Materials Science & Engineering and Chemistry

University of California/Berkeley


The scientific community has been striving for decades to generate biomimetic materials to access many of the beneficial properties seen in Nature. Significant efforts have been devoted to systems that contain a small number of variables and can be mastered without too many unknowns. However, there has been limited success in generating complex systems as seen in Nature. As the systemic complexity increases, the phase diagram becomes less manageable with many possible states and kinetic pathways. Our central hypothesis is that rational design can lead to control over system entropy and ultimately, multi-component functional materials with properties similar to that seen in natural systems. For this talk, I will discuss two examples. One is on hierarchical nanocomposites composed of 6 ingredients where entropic contributions lead to controlled nanoparticle dispersion and formation of new phases unseen before. The other is on design of random heteropolymers as protein mimics where statistic control over monomer sequences defines the energy landscape of protein-polymer interactions and enables proteins to function outside of their native environments.






Please watch this space for additions to the series as information becomes available.



Please watch this space for additions to the series as information becomes available.


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