Education and CertificationsPh.D. in Chemistry with a concentration in Polymer Chemistry in 2009 from the University of Tennessee
BiographyDr. D. Wade Holley obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry with a concentration in Polymer Chemistry in 2009 from the University of Tennessee, under the guidance of Distinguished Professor Jimmy W. Mays. His doctoral dissertation involved the synthesis and characterization of star-branched polyelectrolytes, whereas other work he completed during graduate school involved the synthesis and characterization of neutral/ionic diblock copolymers. After defense of his dissertation, Dr. Holley pursued postdoctoral studies at Oak Ridge National Lab under the direction of Dr. Volker S. Urban and Dr. Durairaj Baskaran, where he conducted the synthesis of nanocomposites consisting of soft, polymeric nanoparticles and linear polymers. He characterized these nanocomposites using small angle neutron scattering and rheology. In 2012, Dr. Holley continued his postdoctoral studies at the University of South Alabama where he studied the degradation and service of life of polyethylene pipe with Dr. Andrew Whelton. In the Fall of 2012, Dr. Holley was hired into his current position as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Columbus State University, where he is involved in teaching Organic Chemistry 1 and 2 lecture and lab courses, as well as a course in Polymer Chemistry. In his "spare" time he enjoys homebrewing, cooking, and gardening with his wife.
Research activities in the Holley group focus on the specialization of chemistry known as polymer chemistry. Specifically, they are pursuing the following two projects:
1. Recently, researchers have discovered that confinement of polymers on the nanometer scale changes a fundamental property of the material known as the glass transition temperature (Tg). This property largely determines the usefulness of a material, and we seek to both understand the nature of the changes to the Tg induced by nanoscale confinement as well as manipulate these conditions to tune a material to the desired Tg.
2. The category of materials known as polymer photovoltaics enable the harvesting of light energy and conversion of that energy into electricity. These materials have low cost and solution processability as their primary advantage over more efficient inorganic materials, though their monomers often cost more than $50 a gram. Our research focus in this area concerns attempts to convert commodity polymers into useful conducting polymers via post-polymerization modification to change the chemical structure of the polymer.