• Nanoparticle Dimensions Promote Fast Polymer Diffusion

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    Fast anisotropic polymer diffusion in polymer nanocomposites with percolated networks of long nanorods reveals that nanoparticle diameter and length relative to the polymer chain size dictate polymer diffusion behavior. Choi et al. ACS Macro Letters 2014.

    Nanoparticle Dimensions Promote Fast Polymer Diffusion
  • Resistive Switching Mechanism in Polymer Nanocomposites


    Reversible resistive switching occurs in silver/polystyrene/silver nano-gap devices by a metal filament formation mechanism. Mutiso, Kikkawa, and Winey, Applied Physics Letters 2013.

    Resistive Switching Mechanism in Polymer Nanocomposites
  • Chain Conformations in Polymer Nanocomposites


    Small-angle neutron scattering captures structural information about polystyrene/carbon nanotube composites, from the size of the CNT rod network to the radius of gyration of polystyrene chains. Tung, Bird, et al. Macromolecules 2014.

    Chain Conformations in Polymer Nanocomposites
  • High Anion Conductivity in PIL Block Copolymers


    Polymerized ionic liquid block copolymer conductivity surpassed random copolymer and homopolymer analogs, the latter having higher ion and water content. Ye, Sharick, et al. Macromolecules 2013.

    High Anion Conductivity in PIL Block Copolymers
  • Predicting Properties of Transparent Conductors


    Computer simulations predict the contact resistance, sheet resistance, and optical transmittance of silver nanowire networks for next-generation transparent conductors. Mutiso, Sherrott, et al. ACS Nano 2013.

    Predicting Properties of Transparent Conductors
  • Structure of Precise Acid Copolymers


    Semi-crystalline polyethylene-based precise acrylic acid copolymers exhibit layered morphologies when stretched. Buitrago, Jenkins, et al. Macromolecules 2013.

    Structure of Precise Acid Copolymers



Karen I. Winey


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Karen I. Winey is Professor and TowerBrook Foundation Faculty Fellow of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania with a secondary appointment in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Winey’s current interests include both polymer nanocomposites and ion-containing polymers.  In nanocomposites, she designs and fabricates polymer nanocomposites containing carbon nanotubes and metal nanowires with the aim of understanding how to improve their mechanical, thermal, and especially electrical conductivity and resistive switching properties.  Polymer dynamics in the presence of nanoparticles is also an area of interest.  In ion-containing polymers, including block copolymers and polymers with ionic liquids, Winey combines imaging and scattering methods to provide unprecedented insights into their morphologies.  Current efforts focus on correlating nanoscale structures with ion transport properties.  In both areas, she couples experimental studies with simulation and theory, either within her group or with collaborators.

Winey received her B.S. from Cornell University in materials science and engineering and her Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Following a postdoctoral position at AT&T Bell Laboratories, she joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 1992.  Elected positions include chair of the Polymer Physics Gordon Research Conference (2010) and Chair of the Division of Polymer Physics within the American Physical Society (2013).  She served as an Associate Editor for Macromolecules, the premier journal for polymer science, for four years (7/2010 - 6/2014).  Her honors include Fellow of the American Physical Society (2003), a Special Creativity Award from the National Science Foundation (2009-2011), the George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research (2012), and Fellow of the Materials Research Society (2013).