Erik Berda

Erik BerdaAssistant Professor

Polymer and Organic Chemistry
Materials Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824-3598 U.S.A.

Education and Achievements

  • B.S. 2003, Penn State University
  • Ph.D. 2008, University of Florida
  • Visiting Researcher, 2007, Kyoto University (Kyoto, Japan)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 2009-2010, Eindhoven University of Technology (Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

Research Interests

Design and synthesis of well-defined, shape persistent polymeric nanostructures from single polymer chains.
Hierarchical self-assembly of polymeric nanoparticle building blocks into nano, meso, and micro scale architectures and devices. Functional polymeric materials for advanced applications (e.g. molecular machinery, catalysis, energy, and medicine).

Current Research Interests

Efficient means for producing nano scale building blocks and controlling their hierarchical self-assembly into useful structures on multiple length scales will become crucial in maturing synthetic nanotechnology from infancy into adolescence. Inspiration from Nature is only the beginning; we must learn to effectively utilize the same strategies adopted by Nature in our own designs. Nature's elegant efficiency on the submicron size regime is based largely on two principles: well-defined polymeric systems and supramolecular self-assembly.

Our group is interested in applying these two concepts to create interesting and useful materials that mimic both the beauty and complexity observed in "natural nanotechnology." Shape persistent polymeric nano-objects comprised of single, linear polymer chains are at the heart of Nature's design (i.e. proteins and nucleic acids). Nature assembles her versatile building blocks using powerful, orthogonal non-covalent synthetic methods. We look to borrow these strategies, applying our expertise in the areas of well-defined macromolecular architectures and supramolecular self-assembly to engineer complex arrays that approach the efficacy of natural systems in both form and function.

Our methods rely on the design and synthesis of polymer architectures that can undergo a controlled collapse or folding process to afford well-defined 3-dimensional objects. Based on their design, these systems can be functionalized to operate as individual entities to accomplish a certain task (similar to the way an enzyme catalyzes a reaction), or act a building block in the assembly of structures on multiple hierarchical levels (similar to way actin proteins form microfilaments or tubulin proteins form microtubules). The cartoon below illustrates this concept.



Selected Recent Publications

Chao, D., Jia, X., Tuten, B.T., Wang, C., Berda, E.B.*, “Controlled folding of a novel electroactive polyolefin via multiple sequential orthogonal intra-chain interactions.” Chemical Communications, 2013 Advance Article

Wang, S.; Chao, D.*; Berda, E. B.; Jia, X.; Yang, R.; Wang, C.* “Multicolor electrochromic performance of electroactive poly(amic acid) containing pendant oligoaniline, azobenzene and sulfonic acid groups.” Electrochimica Acta 2013, 89, 594-599. 

Tuten, B. T., Chao, D, Berda, E. B.*, “Single-chain polymer nanoparticles via reversible disulfide bridges.” Polymer Chemistry  2012, 3, 3068-3071 

Jia, X., Chao, D.*, Berda, E. B., Wang, S., Yang, R., Wang, C.*, “Synthesis and Properties of a Novel Electroactive Poly(aryl ether ketone) Bearing Pendant Aniline Tetramer.” Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 2012, 213, 1475−1481.

Nozue, Y.; Seno, S.; Nagamatsu, T.; Hosoda, S.; Shinohara, Y.; Amemiya, Y.; Berda, E. B.; Rojas, G.; Wagener, K. B.: “Cross Nucleation in Polyethylene with Precisely Spaced Ethyl Branches.” ACS Macro Letters 2012, 1, 772-775.

Chao, D.; Jia, X.; Liu, H.; Yang, R.; Bai, F.; Wang, C.*; Berda, E.B.*: A multifunctional poly(aryl ether) containing oligoaniline and fluorene pendants: Synthesis, electrochromic performance and tunable fluorescent properties. Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry 2012, 50, 2330-2336 

Chao, D.; Zheng, T.; Liu, H.; Yang, R.; Jia, X.; Wang, S.; Berda, E. B.*; Wang, C.*: A novel poly(aryl ether) containing azobenzene chromophore and pendant oligoaniline: Synthesis and electrochromic properties. Electrochimica Acta 2012, 60, 253-258.

Chao,D.; Jia, X.; Bai, F.; Liu, H.; Cui, L.; Berda, E.B.*; Wang, C.*;. An efficient fluorescent sensor for redox active species based on novel poly(aryl ether) containing electroactive pendants. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2011, 22, 3028-3034. 

Jia, X.; Chao, D.; Berda, E.B.; Pei, S.; Liu, H.; Zheng, T.; Wang, C.*; Fabrication of electrochemically responsive surface relief diffraction gratings based on a multifunctional polyamide containing oligoaniline and azo groups Journal of Materials Chemistry. 2011, 21(45), 18317-18324

Nozue, Y.; Kawashima, Y.; Seno, S.; Nagamatsu, T.; Hosoda, S.; Berda, E. B.; Rojas, G.; Baughman, T. W.; Wagener, K. B.: Unusual Crystallization Behavior of Polyethylene Having Precisely Spaced Branches. Macromolecules 2011, 44, 4030-4034. 

Chao, D.; Jia, X.; Liu, H.; He, L.; Cui, L.; Wang, C.*; Berda, E. B.: Novel electroactive poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers containing pendant oligoaniline groups: Synthesis and properties. Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry 2011, 49, 1605-1614

Updated 1/30/13