Introduction

Authors


Since 1998, it has become a tradition of the Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics to publish a special issue each December featuring research papers presented in the Division of Polymer Physics (DPOLY) program of the March Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS)1-one of the largest international meetings on polymer science and physics. In 2005,2 the guest editor of the special issue, Prof. Kari Dalnoki-Veress, introduced a new format that starts the special issue with an Introduction by the guest editor(s), followed by a Viewpoints section collecting personal views from researchers on various frontier research topics in polymer science, and ends with a section collecting the contributed articles detailing research presented at the March APS Meeting. In this issue, we adopt a similar format. For the Viewpoint section, we have articles from well-established members of the polymer physics community (including Profs. Anna C. Balazs, Steve Granick, Günter Reiter, and Michael Rubinstein), as well as opinions from several up-and-coming researchers who have new and exciting ideas to share (including Profs. Zhiqun Lin, Connie Roth, and Chang Ryu).

The Viewpoint articles cover a diverse range of topics, which also reflects the current state of the field. Prof. A. C. Balazs describes the design of self-propelled and adaptive materials using Belousov-Zhabotinsky polymer gels that could potentially lead to the creation of “life like” motile and self-reinforcing objects. Prof. Steve Granick and coworkers explain why and how the study of synthetic polymers by single-molecule fluorescence methods can probe the potentially unique questions that the well-established macroscopic measurements, which rely on statistical averages, cannot address. Prof. Günter Reiter and coworker discuss their views on the origin of the diverse macroscopic properties found in thin polymer films, such as glass transition temperature and wetting/dewetting properties, and suggest differences in sample preparation as a possible cause for the reported discrepancies. Prof. Michael Rubinstein (this year's DPOLY Polymer Physics Prize Winner) describes the evolution of polymer physics through a series of examples focused on entangled polymers and polyelectrolytes, and he proposes a series of open questions in polymer physics that should challenge the polymer science community for the remainder of the current century. Prof. Zhiqun Lin discusses different experimental methods making use of controlled evaporation under confined geometries to produce intriguing, highly ordered polymer structures over large areas. By flipping to the cover page of this issue, you will see some of the spectacular structures that he and his group generated using this powerful approach! Prof. Connie Roth (the current UKPPG/DPOLY Polymer Lecture Exchange Recipient) reviews the recent studies on whether ‘rejuvenation’ by increasing the temperature of an aged polymer glass is equivalent to increasing its mechanical load, and shares her views about the important questions arising from these observations. Prof. Chang Ryu and coworkers highlight current methods for the adsorption-based interaction chromatographic purification and analysis of polymeric systems, with a specific emphasis on block copolymers.

It has been our pleasure to be involved in putting this special issue together. We would like to thank all the authors who contributed to this issue and the anonymous reviewers who evaluated the papers. We would also like to express our special gratitude to Prof. Gregory B. McKenna, the consulting editor of this journal, for encouragement, and Ms. Katie Simmons, the assistant managing editor, for the enormous support throughout the process, without which we would not have been able to accomplish the task. Finally, we would like to acknowledge Prof. Ali Dhinojwala, who organized a stimulating APS DPOLY technical program that included 709 oral presentations and 158 posters.

Acknowledgements

We hope you find the enclosed papers as exciting and stimulating as we do!

Biographical Information

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Prof. Tsui is an associate professor in the Department of Physics at Boston University. She obtained her PhD in Physics with Prof. Nai Phuan Ong in 1996 from Princeton University. Then she worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Simon G. J. Mochrie at MIT for one year and with Prof. Thomas P. Russell at UMass Amherst for another year. In December 1998, she joined the Department of Physics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as a junior faculty and was promoted to be an associate professor in 2005. She joined the faculty of Boston University in September 2006. Her research interests include dynamics of polymer under confinement, dewetting stability of polymer nanometer films, dynamic and wetting properties of polymer brush, miscibility of polymer nano-composites and atomic force microscopy. She had been awarded the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship and Swire Scholarship, and was a Global Centers for Excellence Lecturer of Kyushu University, Japan.

Biographical Information

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Prof. Epps is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware (UD), and an affiliated faculty member at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI). He received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1998 and an M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1999. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota with Prof. Frank Bates in Chemical Engineering in 2004. Prof. Epps moved to NIST as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in 2004, and then he joined UD in the summer of 2006. His research interests include nanoscale assembly in polymer systems, specifically block copolymers and polymer blends, for solar cell, fuel cell, and battery membrane, drug delivery, sensor, and nanotemplating applications. He has received several honors and awards including: the DuPont Young Professor Grant Award (2010), the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) (2009); the Air Force Young Investigator Award (2008); the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award (2007), a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award (2007), and an NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2004).

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