Jessop Wins $238,000 NSF Grant for Study of Light-activated Materials

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

University of Iowa News Release

Julie Jessop, University of Iowa College of Engineering assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, has received a three-year, $238,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to research new, light-activated materials.

Jessop, who also serves as a researcher in the UI Optical Science and Technology Center as well as the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) Photopolymerization Center, said that her work is aimed at developing new processes for such things as adhesives and coatings that can be used in dentistry and other fields. UI chemical engineering undergraduate students Na Yeon Kang and Kenneth Mineart will assist Jessop in her research this summer.

She added that her research will determine which processing variables can limit sensitivity of hybrid photopolymer resins to ambient conditions such as oxygen and humidity.

"This systematic and fundamental characterization of these hybrid resins will result in more industrial applications of light-activated processes due to lower processing costs, faster reactions, and improved product quality," she said.

A cooperative venture between the UI and the University of Colorado, the I/UCRC is a graduated NSF center whose primary objective is to advance the fundamental understanding of the kinetics and mechanisms of photopolymerization. Although light-activated processes are finding applications in areas such as solvent-free processing, biomedical materials, and high-technology devices, continued growth requires a fundamental understanding of the underlying photochemical processes.

Jessop, who joined the UI faculty in 2000, currently has research interests that include spectroscopic characterization of polymer reactions, dental composites and hybrid photopolymer resins. She earned her doctorate in chemical engineering from Michigan State University in 1999. Her professional affiliations include membership in the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineering and the American Society for Engineering Education.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu