B.S., University of Florida, 2005 Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2012
Julie received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2005 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2011. Subsequently, she pursued postdoctoral research studies at North Carolina State University. Her doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on developing gradient methods for exploring the effects of surface interactions on block copolymer thin film self-assembly and tailoring the chemical and mechanical properties of silicone elastomer networks for cell mobility studies and peptide assembly. At Tulane, Julie's primary research interests are centered on engineering nano- and micro-structured polymeric materials for applications related to technology development in the energy, health, and environmental sectors.
Julie has authored several scientific articles, including three topical reviews, in peer-reviewed journals such as ACS Nano, NanoLetters, Materials Today, Chemical Society Reviews, and Energy and Environment Focus. She has presented her research at a number of national meetings, including two award symposia (Padden Award Symposium, 2011 APS March Meeting; Akzo Nobel Student Award Symposium, 2010 ACS National Meeting) and an invited talks at the AIChE National Meeting (2012 and 2015). During her doctoral studies, Julie was the recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a Teaching Fellowship, and during her postdoctoral studies, she received the AIChE Women's Initiative Committee Travel Award in 2012. Since joining the faculty at Tulane, she has been selected for a prestigious Early-Career Research Fellowship by the National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program (2015) to develop nanoporous membranes for enhanced oil recovery from spills and an Early-Career Development Program Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF CAREER) to study the effects of solvent vapor processing on block copolymer and semi-crystalline polymer thin film morphologies. In addition to her research-related activities at Tulane, Julie also serves as the faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers undergraduate student organization and the Women+ in Science and Engineering graduate student organization on campus.
Among the next generation of technologies, we expect medical diagnostic devices that are more accurate and portable; electronic devices that are faster, smaller, and capable of storing more information; and energy sources that are cleaner without sacrificing capacity or power. Polymers with tunable nano- and micro-structured morphologies can address these challenges. The Albert group is interested in developing these types of materials for research applications related to present-day challenges in energy, health, and environmental applications. Specifically, we take advantage of the phase separation processes responsible for self-assembly in block copolymers (~nm) and polymer blends (~μm) to produce thin film materials with desired morphologies. For example, we create materials that may become nanotemplates for electronic materials, tailorable microenvironments for cell culture, or nanoporous membranes for filtration. Through the natural relationships between material properties, surface interactions, and morphology design, our work with polymeric materials encompasses research related to the following areas:
- Nano- and micro- structured materials
- Confined crystallization
- Solvent vapor processing to control polymer morphology
- Surface chemistry
- Nanoporous membranes for oil/water separations
- Biocompatible and functionalized surfaces and scaffolds for cell culture
G. M. Kelly, J. N. L. Albert. "Ultrathin film crystallization of poly(ε-caprolactone) in blends containing styrene-isoprene block copolymers: The nano-rose morphology," Polymer. 2017, 117, 295-305. DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2017.04.027
B. S. Lwoya and J. N. L. Albert. "Nanostructured Block Copolymers for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells," Energy Environ. Focus. 2015, 4, 278-290. Part of the special issue Clean Conversion and Utilization of Energy: Green Processes and Nanotechnology. DOI: 10.1166/eef.2015.1179.
M. Luo, J. E. Seppala, J. N. L. Albert, R. L. Lewis, III, N. Mahadevapuram, G. E. Stein, T. H. Epps, III. “Manipulating Nanoscale Morphologies in Cylinder-Forming Poly(styrene-b-isoprene-b-styrene) Thin Films Using Film Thickness and Substrate Surface Chemistry Gradients,” Macromolecules. 2013, 46(5), 1803-1811. DOI: 10.1021/ma302410q
E. G. Kelley,* J. N. L. Albert,* M. O. Sullivan, T. H. Epps, III. “Stimuli-responsive Copolymer Solution and Surface Assemblies for Biomedical Applications,” Chem. Soc. Rev. 2013, 42, 7057-7071. Part of the themed collection Stimuli responsive materials. *Authors contributed equally to this work. DOI: 10.1039/C3CS35512H
J. N. L. Albert, J. E. Seppala, R. L. Lewis, R. L. Jones, T. H. Epps, III. “Systematic Study on the Effect of Solvent Removal Rate on the Morphology of Solvent Vapor Annealed ABA Triblock Copolymer Thin Films,” ACS Nano. 2012, 6(1), 459-466. DOI: 10.1021/nn203776c
J. Y. Kelly, J. N. L. Albert, J. A. Howarter, C. M. Stafford, T. H. Epps, III, M. J. Fasolka. “Manipulating Morphology and Orientation in Thermally-Responsive Block Copolymer Thin Films,” J. Polym. Sci. Part B: Polym. Phys. 2012, 50(4), 263-271. DOI: 10.1002/polb.23004
J. N. L. Albert, J. D. Kim, C. M. Stafford, T. H. Epps, III. “Controlled Vapor Deposition Approach to Generating Surface Energy/Chemistry Gradients,” Review of Scientific Instruments. 2011, 82(6), 065103. DOI: 10.1063/1.3594104
J. N. L. Albert, T. D. Bogart, R. L. Lewis, K. L. Beers, M. J. Fasolka, J. B. Hutchison, B. D. Vogt, T. H. Epps, III. “Gradient Solvent Vapor Annealing of Block Copolymer Thin Films Using a Microfluidic Mixing Device,” Nano Letters. 2011, 11(3), 1351-1357. DOI: 10.1021/nl104496r
W.-S. Young, J. N. L. Albert, A. B. Schantz, T. H. Epps, III. “Mixed-salt Effects on the Ionic Conductivity of Lithium-doped PEO-containing Block Copolymers.” Macromolecules. 2011, 44(20), 8116-8123. DOI: 10.1021/ma2013157
J. Y. Kelly, J. N. L. Albert, J. A. Howarter, S. Kang, C. M. Stafford, T. H. Epps, III, M. J. Fasolka. “Investigation of Thermally Responsive Block Copolymer Thin Film Morphologies Using Gradients,” ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. 2010, 2(11), 3241-3248. DOI: 10.1021/am100695m
J. N. L. Albert and T. H. Epps, III. “Self-assembly of Block Copolymer Thin Films,” Materials Today. 2010, 13(6), 24-33. DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(10)70106-1
J. N. L. Albert, M. J. Baney, C. M. Stafford, J. Y. Kelly, T. H. Epps, III. “Generation of Monolayer Gradients in Surface Energy and Surface Chemistry for Block Copolymer Thin Film Studies,” ACS Nano. 2009, 3(12), 3977-3986. DOI: 10.1021/nn900750w