People » Kollbe Ahn


Successful translation of living organisms to synthetic systems depends on harnessing interfacial chemistry and mechanics to understand the material systems.  My primary research focus is to design and develop (1) synthetic materials that can self-heal and self-assemble to provide a significant increase in bonding performance of adhesives/coatings/composites; (2) toughness enhancement of load-bearing materials with reversible/dynamic/sacrificial bonds; and (3) micro-phase transitions of ionic polymers such as polyelectrolyte complexation for practical biomedical/dental/industrial applications inspired by biological adhesion mechanism.

Selected publications:

  • E. Filippidi; T. Christinani; C. Eisenbach; J. H. Waite; J. N. Israelachvili; B. K. Ahn; M. Valentine. Toughening elastomers using mussel-inspired catechol-iron complexes. Science 2017, 358, 502-505
  • S. Seo; D. Lee; K. Chunha; E. Filippidi; J. N. Israelachvili; J. H. Waite; M. Valentine; J.E. Shea; B. K. Ahn. Significant performance enhancement of polymer resins by bioinspired dynamic bonding. Advanced Materials 2017, 29, 1703026
  • B. K. Ahn.  Perspectives on mussel-inspired wet adhesion. Journal of the American Chemical Society  2017, 139, 10166–10171
  • Q. Zhao^; D. Lee^; B. K. Ahn(equally contributed); S. Seo; Y. Kaufman; J.N. Israelachvili; J. H. Waite. Underwater contact adhesion and microarchitecture in polyelectrolyte complexes actuated by solvent exchange. Nature Materials 2016, 15, 407-412
  • S. Clancy; A. Sodano; D. Cunningham; S. Hung; P. Zalicki; S. Shin; B. K. Ahn. Marine bioinspired underwater contact adhesion. Biomacromolecules 2016, 17, 1869-1874
  • S. Das; B. Lee; R. T. Linstadt; K. Cunha; B.H. Lipshutz; J. E. Shea; A. J. Heeger; B. K. Ahn. Molecularly smooth self-assembled monolayer for high-mobility polymer field-effect transistors. Nano Letters 2016, 16, 6709–6715
  • S. Seo; S. Das; C. Eisenbach; J. N. Israelachvili; J. H. Waite; B. K. Ahn.  Micro-phase behavior and enhanced adhesion of synthetic copolyampholytes inspired by a mussel foot protein.  Journal of the American Chemical Society 2015, 137, 9214–9217
  • B. K. Ahn; S. Das; R. Linstadt; Y. Kaufman; N. R. Martinez; E. Kesselamn; Y. Talmon; B. H. Lipshutz; J. N. Israelachvili; J. H. Waite. High performance mussel-inspired adhesives of reduced complexity.  Nature Communications 2015, 6, 8663
  • B. K. Ahn; D. W. Lee; J. N. Israelachvili; J. H. Waite. Surface initiated self-healing of polymers in aqueous media.  Nature Materials 2014, 13, 867-872
  • B. K. Ahn; J. Sung; Y. Li, N. Kim; M. Ikenberry; K. Hohn; N. Mohanty;  S. Kraft; V. Berry; X. S. Sun. Synthesis and characterization of amphiphilic reduced graphene oxide with epoxidized methyl oleate.  Advanced Materials  2012, 24, 2123-2129