Research in the Davidson Lab works at the intersection of polymer synthesis, polymer physics and self-assembly, and additive manufacturing techniques.
We are an experimental group that enjoys creatively pushing the boundaries between traditional areas of polymer science.
We leverage a range of synthetic techniques to create unique materials-by-design, allowing us to ask scientific questions and demonstrate new engineering functions that would be impossible via other means. The materials and structures we create can be applied to a number of applications; at the moment we are most interested in materials and structures with tailored mechanical, optical, and actuating properties. We are also committed to developing strategies to enable the chemical recycling of complex, hierarchical multimaterial structures.
Directed Polymer Assembly via 3D Printing
Additive manufacturing techniques have the unique capability of controlling local composition, structure, and alignment. We leverage 3D printing as a form of directed self-assembly.
A major challenge in the recycling of polymers is in the separation of polymers of different composition. We address this via systems for which the material properties and cue for degradation can be independently controlled, enabling selective degradation of multimaterial structures.
Anisotropic Actuating Networks
Elastomers and gels with tissue-mimicking properties are powerful for applications in biomedical devices, sensing, assistive devices, and as cellular environments with controlled mechanical properties. We synthesize and characterize new intrinsically anisotropic actuating materials based on insight into their fundamental molecular behavior.