Pinar Akcora

School: Schaefer School of Engineering & Science
Department: Chemical Engineering & Materials Science
Building: McLean Hall
Room: 415
Phone: 201.216.5060
Fax: 201.216.8306
  • Post-doc, Chemical Engineering, Columbia University (2005-2008). 
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park (2000-2005)
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Bogazici University, Istanbul 1997 
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, 1995

Synthesis and characterization of polymeric nanohybrids; self-assembly of polymer-grafted nanoparticles; mechanical and structural relationships of ordered-disordered systems; developing new strategies for the self-assembly of nanoparticles; polymer-grafted nanoparticles in ionic liquids for energy applications; mechanically adaptive composite membranes for large shear and high temperature applications; multifunctional polymer composites for enhanced conductivity and reinforcement; protein-polymer functionalized surfaces for bioapplications.

Institutional Service

Nanotechnology Graduate Program Coordinator

Academic Planning and Resources Committee

 Institute Curriculum Committee

Professional Service

2021 APS March Meeting, Division of Polymer Physics (DPOLY) Program Chair

Organized the APS 2016 DPOLY Short Course on "Polymer Nanocomposites: Challenges and Opportunities" in Baltimore, MD.

Honors & Awards
  • NSF CAREER Award, DMR-Polymers (2010 recipient).
  • Stevens Institute of Technology Research Recognition Award, October 2010.
  • Research Board Award, University of Missouri (2009).

Associate Prof. - Stevens Institute of Technology, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science (2016-)

Assistant Prof. - Stevens Institute of Technology, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science (Aug 2010-March 2016)

Assistant Prof. - U Missouri-Columbia, Chemical Engineering (Nov 2008- Aug 2010)


Professional Societies
  • American Physical Society
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Chemical Society
  • Materials Research Society
  • NSSA, Neutron Scattering Society of America 
  • New York Academy of Sciences
  • Society of Plastics Engineers


Grants, Contracts & Funds


NSF-CMMI, Supplemental Grant, Machine Learning for Polymer Nanocomposites using Force-Field Agnostic Molecular Dynamics Descriptors (2020), PI.

NSF DMR-Polymers, Ionic Transport in Ion Containing Copolymer-Grafted Nanoparticle Structures (2018), PI

NSF-CMMI-MEP, Collaborative Research: Chemical and Dynamic Heterogeneities in Interfaces for Adaptive Polymer Nanocomposites (2018), PI

NSF-CMMI-MEP, Unusual Temperature Dependent Behavior of Polymer Nanocomposites (2015), PI

ACS PRF New Directions Grant, Flow-induced Organization of Bimodal-Sized Particles in Drying Polymer Droplets (2014), PI

NSF MRI: Acquisition of a High- Pressure Freezing System for Cryo- Electron Microscopy (2014), co-PI

NSF  DMR-Polymers, CAREER: Multi-functional Particle Assemblies in Polymer Nanocomposites (2010)

Stevens-CHI Healthcare Scholars (2016), PI

Stevens Ignition Grant Initiative, Designing Reversibly Stiffening Multifunctional Polymer Hybrids (2017), PI

University of Missouri (MU) Research Board Grant (2009), PI



Patents & Inventions

US2010/0303874 A1, Publication date: Dec. 2, 2010


Selected Publications
  1. S. Liu, P. Akcora. (2020). "Synthesis and Solubility of Ion-Containing Copolymer-Grafted Nanoparticles ", in preparation.
  2. C. Gong, D. Weiblen, D. Rende, P. Akcora, R. Ozisik. (Nov 27, 2020). "Stability of Particle Dispersion and Heterogeneous Interfacial Layers in Polymer Nanocomposites", Polymer (submitted).
  3. D. Wu, D. Weiblen, R. Ozisik, P. Akcora. (Oct 20, 2020). "Local Viscosity of Interfacial Layers in Polymer Nanocomposites Measured by Magnetic Heating", ACS Applied Polymer Materials. 2 (12), 5542-5549.
  4. S. Liu, M. Tyagi, P. Akcora. (Jul 23, 2020). "Polymer-Coupled Local Dynamics Enhances Conductivity of Ionic Liquids", Macromolecules. 53 (15), 6538-6546.
  5. S. Liu, M. Walton, N. V. Tarakina, P. Akcora. (May 18, 2020). "Solvation in Ionic Liquids with Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles", The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 124 (23), 4843-4850.
  6. S. Yang, P. Akcora. (Dec 2019). "Deformation of Chemically Heterogeneous Interfacial Layers of Polymer Nanocomposites", ACS Macro Letters. 8 (12), 1635-1641.
  7. W. Peng, R. Ranganathan, P. Keblinski, P. Akcora, and R. Ozisik. (Nov 15, 2019). "Viscoelastic and Dynamic Properties of Polymer Grafted Nanocomposites with High Glass Transition Temperature Graft Chains", Journal of Applied Physics. 126 (19), 195102.
  8. C. Zhang, S. Yang, V. Padmanabhan, P. Akcora. (Nov 2019). "Solution Rheology of Poly(acrylic acid)-Grafted Silica Nanoparticles", Macromolecules. 52 (24), 9594-9603.
  9. S. Liu, C. Liedel, N. V. Tarakina, N. C. Osti, P. Akcora. (Jul 25, 2019). "Dynamics of ionic liquids in the presence of polymer-grafted nanoparticles", Nanoscale, 11 19832-19841.
  10. S. Yang, M. Hassan, P. Akcora. (Jan 2019). "Role of Adsorbed Chain Rigidity in Reinforcement of Polymer Nanocomposites", J. Polym. Sci.: Part B, Polym. Phys. 57 (1), 9-14.
  11. S. Yang, S. Liu, S. Narayanan, C. Zhang, P. Akcora. (2018). "Chemical Heterogeneity in Interfacial Layers of Polymer Nanocomposites", Soft Matter, 14 (23), 4784.
  12. S.Liu, H. Wang, P. Akcora. (2018). "Ordering Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles at Oil-Air Interfaces under Magnetic Fields", Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 219 (11), 1800012.
  13. C. Zhang, T. Carlson, S. Yang, P. Akcora. (2018). "Ordering pH-responsive polymer-grafted nanoparticles in a flow coating process", Advanced Materials Interfaces, 5 (5), 1701318.
  14. H. Wang, P. Akcora. (2017). "Examining lysozyme structures on polyzwitterionic brush surfaces", Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 160 215-219.
  15. N. Bachhar, Y. Jiao, M. Asai, P. Akcora, R. Bandyopadhyaya, S. K. Kumar. (2017). "Impact of the distributions of core size and grafting density on the self-assembly of polymer grafted nanoparticles", Macromolecules, 50 (19), 7730.
  16. H. Wang, P. Akcora. (Jan 10, 2017). "Confinement Effect on Structure and Elasticity of Proteins Interfacing Polymers", Soft Matter. 13 1561-1568.
  17. C. Zhang, P. Akcora. (2017). "Evaporation Controlled Particle Patterns in a Polymer Droplet", RSC Advances. 7 (30), 18321.
  18. E. Senses, A. Faraone, P. Akcora. (2016). "Modifying Entanglements and Microscopic Chain Motion in Nanocomposites with Dynamically Asymmetric Interphases", Scientific Reports. 6 29326.
  19. S. Liu, E. Senses, Y. Jiao, P. Akcora. (Apr 15, 2016). "Structure and entanglement factors on dynamics of polymer-grafted nanoparticles", ACS Macro Letters. 5 (5), 569-573.
  20. H. Wang, C. T. Black, P. Akcora. (Dec 25, 2016). "Elastic Properties of Protein Functionalized Nanoporous Polymer Films", Langmuir. 32 (1), 151.
  21. D. Zhao, S. Ge, E. Senses, P. Akcora, J. Jestin, S. K. Kumar. (2015). "Role of Filler Shape and Connectivity on the Viscoelastic Behavior in Polymer Nanocomposites", Macromolecules. 48 (15), 5433.
  22. Y. Jiao, T. Chou, P. Akcora. (Jul 28, 2015). "Design of Ion-Containing Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles for Conductive Membranes", Macromolecules. 48 (14), 4910.
  23. E. Senses, A. Isherwood, P. Akcora. (2015). "Reversible Thermal Stiffening in Polymer Nanocomposites", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 7 (27), 14682.
  24. E. Senses, P. Akcora. (Sep 29, 2014). "Tuning Mechanical Properties of Nanocomposites with Bimodal Polymer Bound Layers", RSC Advances. 4 (91), 49628.
  25. Y. Jiao, P. Akcora. (Oct 17, 2014). "Understanding the role of grafted polystyrene chain conformation in assembly of magnetic nanoparticles", Physical Review E . 90 (4), 042601.
  26. Y. Jiao, J. Parra, P. Akcora. (2014). "Effect of Ionic Groups on Polymer-Grafted Magnetic Nanoparticle Assemblies", Macromolecules. 47 (6), 2030.
  27. Y. Jiao, P. Akcora. (2014). "Accelerated Brush Growth on Nanoparticle Surfaces by Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) Polymerization", J. Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry. 52 (12), 1700.
  28. E. Senses, Y. Jiao, P. Akcora. (2014). "Modulating interfacial attractions of polymer-grafted nanoparticles in melts under shear", Soft Matter. 10 (25), 4464.
  29. E. Senses, M. Black, T. Cunningham, S. Sukhishvili, P. Akcora. (2013). "Spatial ordering of colloids in a drying aqueous polymer droplet", Langmuir. 29 (8), 2588.
  30. E. Senses, P. Akcora. (2013). "Mechanistic model for deformation of polymer nanocomposite melts under large amplitude shear", J. Poly. Sci. Part B: Poly. Phys.. 51 (9), 764.
  31. E. Senses, P. Akcora. (2013). "An interface driven stiffening mechanism in polymer nanocomposites", Macromolecules. 46 (5), 1868.
  32. Y. Jiao, P. Akcora. (2012). "Assembly of polymer-grafted magnetic nanoparticles in polymer melts", Macromolecules. 45 (8), 3463.
  33. Z. Zhu, E. Senses, P. Akcora, S. Sukhishvili. (2012). "Programmable light-controlled shape changes in layered polymer nanocomposites", ACS Nano. 6, 3152.
  34. K. Keller, P. Akcora. (2012). "Elastic properties of a protein/polymer grafted surface", Langmuir. 28, 3807.
  35. Y. Jiao, J. M. Stark, P. Akcora, D. Gyawali, P. Nair, R. T. Tran, J. Yang. (2012). "A rheological study of biodegradable injectable PEGMC/HA composite scaffolds", Soft Matter. 8, 1499.
  36. J. F. Moll, P. Akcora, A. Rungta, S. Gong, R. H. Colby, B. C. Benicewicz, S. K. Kumar. (2011). "Mechanical reinforcement in polymer melts filled with polymer grafted nanoparticles", Macromolecules. 44 (18), 7473.
  37. P. Akcora, S. K. Kumar, L. S. Schadler, V. G. Sakai, Y. Li, B. C. Benicewicz. (2010). "Segmental dynamics in PMMA-grafted nanoparticle composites", Macromolecules. 43 (19), 8275.
  38. P. Akcora, H. Liu, S. K. Kumar, Y. Li, B. C. Benicewicz, Linda S. Schadler, D. Acehan, A. Panagiotopoulos, V. Pryamitsyn, V. Ganesan, J. Ilavsky, P. Thiyagarajan, R. H. Colby, J. F. Douglas. (2009). "Anisotropic self-assembly of polymer-grafted nanoparticles", Nature Materials (appeared on cover page). 8 (4), 354.
  39. P. Akcora, S. K. Kumar, S. Lewis, L. S. Schadler, Y. Li, B. C. Benicewicz, S. Narayanan, P. Thiyagarajan, J. Ilavsky, R. H. Colby, J. F. Douglas. (2010). "Gel-like mechanical reinforcement in polymer nanocomposites", Macromolecules. 43 (2), 1003.
  40. J. Khan, S. Harton, P. Akcora, B. Benicewicz, S. K. Kumar. (2009). "Polymer Crystallization in Nanocomposites: Spatial Reorganization of Nanoparticles", Macromolecules. 42 (15), 5741.
  41. P. Akcora, R. M. Briber, P. Kofinas. (2009). "Oxidation effect on templating of metal oxide nanoparticles within block copolymers", Polymer. 50 (5), 1223.
  42. P. Akcora, R. M Briber, P. Kofinas. (2006). "TEM characterization of diblock copolymer templated iron oxide nanoparticles: Bulk solution and thin film surface doping approach", Polymer. 47 (6), 2018.
  43. P. Akcora, X. Zhang, B. Varughese, R. M. Briber, P. Kofinas. (2005). "Characterization of polymer templated iron oxide nanoparticles within diblock copolymers by magnetic and neutron scattering experiments", Polymer. 46 (14), 5194.
  • CHE 332 Separation Operations
  • NANO 525 Techniques of Surface and Nanostructure Characterization
  • CHE 560 Fundamentals of Polymer Science