Research Highlights

Atik Faysal, PhD student, and others from the Gramlich research group, recently published a paper in the Journal of Polymer Chemistry,Pathway to fully-renewable biobased Polyesters derived from HMF and phenols.”  The image below is from his abstract.

Graphical abstract: Pathway to fully-renewable biobased polyesters derived from HMF and phenols


Chemistry professor Mitchell Bruce and a team of faculty, graduate students and staff recently published a paper in the Journal of Chemical Education, Designing a Remote, Synchronous, Hands-On General Chemistry Lab Course“. The course featured chemistry kits, which provided 800 students the opportunity to conduct hands-on experiments at home or in their dorm room during the pandemic. The journal cover art was designed by one of the co-authors, Ahmad Ahmad, a graduate student in the Chemistry Department.


Recent graduates from Professor Jay Rasaiah’s research group, Dr. Mohsen Farshad and Dr. Dylan Suvlu have taken postdoctoral positions. Mohsen has joined the research group of Professor Michael L. Klein at Temple University and Dylan is a postdoctoral fellow at MIT with Professor Adam Willard. Their recent publications are listed below.

  • Mohsen Farshad, C. Duwage Perera and Professor Jay Rasaiah have published a paper entitled “Theoretical study of the stability, structure, and optical spectra of small silver clusters and their formation using density functional theory” in a recent issue ” Physics Chemistry Chemical Physics” 2021,23,25507 published by the Royal Institute of Chemistry in the United Kingdom. They were invited to contribute to the inside cover. The cover was designed by Mohsen Farshad and Charitha Perera and is shown below.

Ms. Charitha Perera, a graduate student in Professor Jay Rasaiah’s research group has recently published a paper. She has also been invited to speak on her research at Saint Amselm College in NH on Friday April 9th. The title of her talk will be “A Density Functional Study of Water Splitting Reaction Pathway on ZnO Nanoclusters.”


The research groups of Dr. Carl Tripp and Dr. Will Gramlich are working with the Advanced Structures and Composites Center in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to produce new bio-based materials conducive to 3D printing large, structurally demanding systems and objects, from molds for marine and infrastructure applications to homes. This novel material, made from combining bio-based resins and nanocellulose fibers from wood, aims to be an economical and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional 3D printing feedstocks. Chemistry graduate students Peter Kelly, Grape Senkum, and Sabrina Sultana and undergraduate students Peng Cheng and Zoe Karpman are working to chemically modify cellulose nanofibers to improve composites, manufacturing of the nanocellulose, and drying. A recent publication in Macromolecular Rapid Communications by Peter Kelly, Peng Cheng, and Will Gramlich reports some of these efforts.


Charitha Perera of the Rasaiah research group discovers potential coating agent for textiles that decompose sweat (see UMaine weblink for full news release on UMaine’s Research Highlights Page)


Recently, Professor Carl Tripp and graduate assistant, Sfoog Saleh, were featured in Science Direct.  The featured article is available here.