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Liwen received her B.S. in Polymer Materials and Engineering from Tsinghua University, China in 2014. Liwen is currently pursuing her doctoral degree with Dr. Sangwoo Lee, assistant professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Liwen’s dissertation research focuses on the phase transformation behaviors and associated structures of block copolymer micelles in water to understand the phase transition phenomena using model spherical polymeric colloids.
Liwen gave her oral presentation titled “Close-packed Structures of Block Copolymer Micelles Induced by the Size of Crystallites” which reveals the importance of the size of crystal domains in the polymorphism of materials. Polymorphism is a very important phenomenon for numerous practical applications of crystalline materials such as microelectronics and drugs. However, control of polymorphism of crystalline materials remains one of the most challenging problems in materials research. From her investigation of phase behaviors of model spherical block copolymer micelles, Liwen discovered that block copolymer micelles self-assemble into different crystal structures depending on the size of crystal domains. This finding expands our understanding of the origin of polymorphism of materials and will benefit controlling materials structures and functions.