Alan Esker

Professor & Department Chair

Physical Chemistry

 

Research Interests

My group focuses on the use of solution casting, spin-coating, self-assembly, and the Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique to explore the physical chemical aspects of polymer dynamics in confined geometries and at surfaces and interfaces. These systems are ideal for studying contemporary issues affecting nanotechnology like nanofiller reinforcement in polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)/polymer nanocomposites, magnetic nanoparticle-lipid interactions for drug delivery systems, and biomimetic engineering of cellulose/polymer interfaces in composites. Characterization of these phenomena is accomplished through neutron scattering and X-ray reflectivity at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and dynamic mechanical and thermal analysis (DMTA), rheology, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), surface light scattering (SLS), the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) technique, ellipsometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and optical (OM), fluorescence (FM), atomic force (AFM), scanning electron (SEM), transmission electron (TEM), and Brewster angle (BAM) microscopy at Virginia Tech.

  1. "A Facile High-Speed Vibration Milling Method to Water-Disperse Single-Walled Carbon Nanohorns," Shu, C.Y.; Zhang, J.; Ge, J.; Sim, J. H.; Burke, B.; Williams, K.; Rylander, N.; Campbell, T. Puretzky, A.; Rouleau, C.;Geohegan, D.; More, K.; Esker, A.; Gibson, H.; Dorn, H., Chem. Mater. 2010, 22(2), 347-351.

  2. "Optical Characterization of Cellulose Derivatives via Multiple Incident Media Ellipsometry," U. Karabiyik, M. Mao, M. Roman, T. Jaworek, G. Wegner, and A. R. Esker, A.C.S. Symposium Series No. 1019, Model Cellulosic Surfaces, M. Roman, Ed., Chapter 6, pp. 137-155 (2009).

  3. "Surface Plasmon Resonance Studies of Pullulan and Pullulan Cinnamate Adsorption onto Cellulose," A. Kaya, X. Du, Z. Liu, J. W. Lu, J. R. Morris, W. G. Glasser, T. Heinze, and A. R. Esker Biomacromolecules 2009, 10(9), 2451-2459.

  4. "Facile Preparation of a New Gadofullerene-Based Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agent with High 1H Relaxivity," Shu, C.; Corwin, F. D.; Zhang, J.; Reid, J. E.; Sun, M.; Xu, W.; Sim, J. H.; Wang, C.; Fatouros, P. P.; Esker, A. R.; Gibson, H. W.; Dorn, H. C., Bioconjugate Chem 2009, 20(6), 1186-1193

  5. "Surface Rheology of Trisilanolisobutyl-POSS at the Air/Water Interface," W. Yin, J. Deng, and A. R. Esker, Langmuir 2009, 25(13), 7181-7184.
  • Cook Teaching Award, Virginia Tech Department of Chemistry, 2006
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2003–2008
  • 3M Untenured Faculty Award, 2002
  • Omnove Solutions Signature University Award, 2000
  • B.S. University of Wisconsin, 1991
  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, 1996
Alan Esker

Contact

Email: aesker@vt.edu
Research Office: 1107 Hahn Hall South
Department Chair Office: 480C Davidson Hall
Phone: 540-231-4601