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We're Hadi Fares, the 2015 ACS ChemChamps winner, and Dr. Joseph Schlenoff, Senior Editor of ACS Langmuir, here to talk to you about polyelectrolytes research and science communications, AUA!
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Hi Reddit, We are Hadi Fares, chemistry PhD candidate, and Joseph B. Schlenoff, Leo Mandelkern Professor of Polymer Science at Florida State University and Senior Editor of the ACS Langmuir journal. We will answer questions about our research focused on polymer materials as well as the ChemChamps competition organized by the American Chemical Society. Joseph Schlenoff (JBS): I am a chemist interested in polyelectrolyte and zwitterated interfaces and their bioapplicability. Polyelectrolytes were thought to be un-processable until a couple of decades ago. We have discovered ways to process biocompatible synthetic polyelectrolytes using salt instead of heat. Salt helps in exposing the charged sites in these macromolecules, making it easier to extrude them to form different shapes such as tapes, tubes and rods, or to deposit them using the layer-by-layer (Lbl) technique or spin-coating. Hadi Fares (HF): I am interested in charge compensation and diffusion inside polyelectrolyte films and complexes. We found a way to eliminate salt trapped in polyelectrolyte multilayers during buildup to obtain stoichiometric uniform thin films (few hundreds of nanometers). Using this new platform, I’m currently studying polyelectrolyte diffusion in these films in an attempt to make better materials and understand the way polyelectrolytes behave in complexes. These films have been proposed for uses as coatings and reservoirs in fields ranging from electronics to medicine. I’m also the winner of last year’s “Chemistry Champions”, a science communication competition organized by the American Chemical Society. Besides the many lessons I learned about communicating science, the competition has allowed me to travel to attend a public briefing on science education policy on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. I also shot an upcoming “ACS Reactions” (https://www.youtube.com/user/ACSReactions) video about why we salivate when we see food (my favorite topic). You can read more about my ChemChamps experience in this blog post (https://speakingaboutscience.wordpress.com/). I will also be answering questions about this year’s edition of the competition starting soon. Every chemist 35 or under should apply!! Feel free to ask us anything about polyelectrolyte materials, life in graduate school or ChemChamps! We will be online at 11:00 am ET (8 am PST, 4 pm UTC) to begin answering your questions. [EDIT] 11:00am ET, I am online to answer your questions. Thanks for the participation! - HF [EDIT] 12:00pm ET, I answered some questions. We will be back at 1:00pm ET to answer more. Thank you! -HF [EDIT] 1:00pm ET, I am online to answer more questions -JBS