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Bin Zhao

Bin Zhao



Our research focuses on responsive, functional soft and hybrid materials. These include: (i) macromolecular brush materials, such as polymer brushes on flat substrates, polymer brush-grafted particles (hairy particles), and molecular bottlebrushes, (ii) stimuli-responsive polymers, which can undergo large conformational changes in response to external stimuli, and (iii) liquid crystalline polymers for application as electrocaloric materials. In general, we use “living”/controlled polymerization techniques (atom transfer radical polymerization, nitroxide-mediated polymerization, reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization, ring-opening polymerization, ring-opening metathesis polymerization, etc.) in conjunction with conventional organic synthesis and click chemistry to synthesize the designed polymers and hybrid materials. More information can be found on our research page.


Dr. Zhao received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in polymer chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1992 and 1995, and his Ph.D. degree in polymer science from the University of Akron in 2000. After completing his postdoctoral research in Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Zhao joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee in 2002.


B.S., University of Science and Technology of China (1992)
M.S., University of Science and Technology of China (1995)
Ph.D., University of Akron (2000)

Awards and Recognitions

Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award
Ziegler Professorship
Chancellor’s Award for Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement


Fu, W. X.; Zhao, B. “Thermoreversible Physically Crosslinked Hydrogels from UCTS-Type Thermosensitive ABA Linear Triblock Copolymers”, Polym. Chem. 2016, 7, 6980-6991.
DOI: 10.1039/C6PY01517D

He, L. L.; Hu, B.; Henn, D. M.; Zhao, B. “Influence of Cleavage of Photosensitive Group on Thermally Induced Micellization and Gelation of a Doubly Responsive Diblock Copolymer in Aqueous Solutions: A SANS Study”, Polymer 2016105, 25-34.
DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2016.10.019

Luo, C. H.; Fu, W. X.; Li, Z. B.; Zhao, B. “Multi-Responsive Polymethacrylamide Homopolymers Derived from Tertiary Amine-Modified L-Alanine”, Polymer 2016101, 319-327.
DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2016.08.091

Wright, R. A. E.; Henn, D. M.; Zhao, B. “Thermally Reversible Physically Crosslinked Hybrid Network Hydrogels Formed by Thermosensitive Hairy NPs”, J. Phys. Chem. B 2016120, 8036-8045.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.6b06009

Hu, B.; Fu, W. X.; Zhao, B. “Enhancing Gelation of Thermosensitive Hydrophilic ABC Linear Triblock Copolymers in Water by Thermoresponsive Hairy Nanoparticles”, Macromolecules 201649, 5502-5513.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.6b01156

Li, J.; Hu, B.; Yang, K.; Zhao, B.; Moore, J. S. “Effect of Polymer Grafting Density on Mechanophore Activation at Hereointerfaces” ACS Macro Letters 20165, 819-822.
DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.6b00389

Wright, R. A. E.; Wang, K. W.; Qu, J.; Zhao, B. “Oil-Soluble Polymer Brush-Grafted Nanoparticles as Effective Lubricant Additives for Friction and Wear Reduction” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201655, 8656-8660.
DOI: 10.1002/anie.201603663

Chen, C. Y.; Zhang, T. C.; Zhu, L.; Zhao, B.; Tang, P.; Qiu, F. “Hierarchical Superstructures Assembled by Binary Hairy Nanoparticles” ACS Macro Letters 20165, 718-723.

Fox, T. L.; Tang, S. D.; Zhang, G.; Horton, J. M.; Zhao, B.; Zhu, L.; Stewart, P. L. “Loading and Delivery Characteristics of Binary Mixed Polymer Brush-Grafted Silica Nanoparticles”, Macromol. Chem. and Phys. 2016217, 1767-1776.
DOI: 10.1002/macp.201600143

Tang, S. D.; Horton, J. M.; Zhao, B.; Zhu, L. “Self-Organization of Homopolymer Brush- and Mixed Homopolymer Brush-Grafted Silica Nanoparticles in Block Copolymers and Polymer Blends” Polymer 201690, 9-17.

Hu, B.; Wright, R. A. E.; Jiang, S. S.; Henn, D. M.; Zhao, B. "Hybrid Micellar Network Hydrogels of Thermosensitive ABA Triblock Copolymer and Polymer Brush-Grafted Nanoparticles: Effect of LCST Transition of Polymer Brushes on Gel Property" Polymer201682, 206-216.
DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2015.11.050

Additional Information

Lab Address: 506/507 Buehler Hall

Bin Zhao

Contact Information