Associate Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
B.S., 2000, University of Rochester, NY
Ph.D., 2006, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 2006-2009
Organic Chemistry, Surface Chemistry, Materials Science. The
Thomas lab takes an interdisciplinary approach to design and synthesis of
organic materials. They combine synthesis, physical organic chemistry,
photophysics, and electrostatics. Research includes: (1) Electro-statically
responsive materials that undergo a change in properties upon exposure to a
stimulus such as changing the sign of charge upon contact electrification. Since
a consistent theory that predicts how a material will charge upon contact with
another material does not exist, they are developing rules to guide the design
of materials for next-generation anti-static materials, label-free chemical
detection, and chemically- or photochemically-triggered electrostatic actuators.
(2) Development of conjugated materials that are highly amplifying optical
sensing materials where mobile excited states can transfer their energy (or be
quenched) by electron, hole, or energy acceptors throughout the polymer
backbone. The output for sensing applications of these materials is either
fluorescence quenching or energy transfer, both of which have large background
signal. The Thomas group is designing "materials amplification" from mobile
excitons with dark-field sensing by using small amounts of reactive quenching
traps and prequenched materials that radiate by coupling to plasmons upon
binding. (3) Development of multifunctional polymers that bear ligands that bind
specifically to targeted surfaces and thus serve as inhibitors with larger
binding constants than their monomeric counterparts. Their research focuses on
polymers that combine ligands for binding selectively to a surface with other
useful functions and also take advantage of recent developments in controlled
polymerization techniques to exert greater control over the distribution of
functional moieties. Applications of such materials includes singlet oxygen
photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy and thermally responsive materials for
Selected Recent Publications
"Structure, Photophysics, and Photooxidation of Crowded Diethynyltetracenes", J. Zhang, S. Sarrafpour, T. E. Haas, P. Müller, S. W. Thomas III, J. Mater. Chem. 2012, 22, 6182–6189.
"Photochemical Disruption of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers", D. Koylu, M. Thapa, P. Gumbley, S. W. Thomas III, Adv. Mater. 2012, 24, 1451-1454.
"Acene-Linked Conjugated Polymers with Ratiometric Flourescent
Response to 1O2",
J. Zhang, S. Saraffpour, R. P. Pawle, S. W. Thomas III, Chem Commun., 2011, 47, 3445-3447.
"Controlling Contact Electrification with Photochromic Polymers", S. Friedle, S.
W. Thomas III, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2010, 49,
"The Determination of the Location of Contact Electrification-Induced Discharge
Events", S. J. Vella, X. Chen, S. W. Thomas III, X. Zhao, Z. Suo, G. M.
Whitesides, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2010, 114, 20885-20895.
"Long-Duration Transmission of Information with Infofuses",
C. Kim, S. W. Thomas III,
G. M. Whitesides, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 2010, 49, 4571–4575.
“Infochemistry: Encoding Information as Optical Pulses Using Droplets in a
Microfluidic Device”, M. Hashimoto, J. Feng, R. L. York, A. K. Ellerbee, G.
Morrison, S. W. Thomas III, L. Mahadevan, and G. M. Whitesides, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 12420-12429.
“Purification of a Bivalently Active Monoclonal IgG Antibody from Ascites Fluid
Using a Non-Chromatographic Method.” B. Bilgicer, S. W. Thomas III, G. K. Kaufman,
V. M. Krishnamurthy, L. A. Estroff, V. Semetey, G. M. Whitesides, J.
Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 9361–9367.
“Controlling the Kinetics of Contact Electrification with Patterned Surfaces”,
S. W. Thomas III, S. J. Vella, M. D. Dickey, G. K. Kaufman, G. M. Whitesides, J.
Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 8746–8747.
“Infochemistry and Infofuses: Chemical Storage and Transfer of Coded
Information”, S. W. Thomas, R. C. Chiechi, C. L. Lafratta, M. R. Webb, A.
Lee, B. J. Wiley, M. R. Zakin, D. R. Walt, and G. M. Whitesides, PNAS, 2009, 106, 9147–9150.
Complete listing of publications can be found HERE.