You-Yeon Won

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering

FRNY 2031
Purdue University
School of Chemical Engineering
Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering
480 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2100
(765) 494-4077 (office)
(765) 494-0805 (fax)
Joined Purdue in 2003
B.S. (Summa Cum Laude) Seoul National University, 1992
Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 2000

Research Interests

Precise and economical fabrication of complex functional structures at nanometer and micrometer scales presents an essential opportunity for many advanced technologies and related sciences. Our overall research goal is to extend the knowledge and methodology in the studies of polymer and colloid self-assembly to help solve problems in these technologically demanding areas. Our current research focuses on the fundamental issues surrounding the use of novel polymer and colloid-based building blocks and processing techniques to develop new self-assembled materials which can address grand materials challenges faced in various frontier research areas. Below are brief descriptions of some of our current research projects:
  • "Laterally-Mobile Mixed Polyelectrolyte/Polymer Brushes": Understanding the behavior of polymers end-grafted to a surface is fundamental to many technological applications of polymers, including colloidal stabilization, membrane surface modification, ion-exchange adsorbents, lubricative coating, and the creation of surfaces with externally tunable properties. In this project, using a combined theoretical and experimental approach, we investigate novel mixed polymer brush systems, namely, the mixed brushes composed of laterally-mobile polyelectrolyte and non-charged polymer chains. This novel mixed brush system offers previously unavailable opportunities (i) to produce mesoscopic surface patterns of various length scales by long-range-frustrated lateral phase separation between the two chain types and (ii) to create functional interfaces with surface properties switchable between charged and non-charged states.
  • "Multicomponent Polymer/Micelle-Based Gene Delivery": Gene therapy holds great promise as a treatment for genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and Huntingtons disease. However, a method for safe and efficient in vivo gene delivery into the targeted cells is presently a major limiting factor. Our interdisciplinary collaborative research efforts currently explore new approaches for improving in vivo DNA/siRNA delivery using two new classes of polymeric materials: (i) triblock copolymer micelle nanoparticles, and (ii) intracellularly degradable polycations.
  • "Guided Assembly of Colloids at Solid-Liquid and Liquid-Gas Interfaces": High-quality two-dimensional (2D) colloid crystals have potential utility in many technological applications, for instance, as surface templates for epitaxially growing 3D colloid photonic crystals, as structural elements for modulating the surface plasmon properties of materials, and as mold structures for fabricating microlens. Therefore, precise and economical fabrication of 2D colloid crystals presents essential opportunities for advancement of these technologies. In this project, we explore a new method of fabricating highly-ordered 2D colloid crystals with non-closed-packed symmetries with unprecedented efficiency and precision.

Research Group

Graduate Students

  • Hoyoung Lee
  • Vasilios Tsouris

Research Associates

  • Jae Sung Lee

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Nicholas W. Brandon
  • Mina Dimitri
  • Jayme W. Khoo
  • Daniel P. Logsdon
  • Kee-Koon Ng
  • Gregory E. Mohr
  • Victoria Tandiono
  • Sean R. Upchurch

Awards and Honors

3M Nontenured Faculty Award, 2008-2009
KIChE-US Outstanding Young Investigator Award, 2007
ACS PRF Type G Starter Grant Award, 2007-2009
POSCO Graduate Fellowship, 1994-2000
Graduate Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 1994
Graduation with top honors, Seoul National University, 1992
Alumni Association President Award, School of Engineering, Seoul National University, 1992
Full-Tuition Scholarship, Exxon Chemical Korea Ltd., 1989-1992
Scholarship, Seoul National University, 1988-1989

Selected Publications

“In Situ-Polymerized Carbon Nanotube/Polyimide Nanocomposites: Effect of Reaction Stoichiometry on the Glass Transition Properties of the Nanocomposites,” D. H. Kim, and Y.-Y.Won, Macromolecular Reaction Engineering, 6 (1), 45-56 (2012)

“Confinement Induced Lateral Segregation of Polymer Coated Nanospheres,” R. Nap, Y-Y. Won, and I. Szleifer, Soft Matter, 8 (5), 1688-1700 (2012)

“Preparation of Super-Stable Gold Nanorods via Encapsulation into Block Copolymer Micelles,” D. H. Kim, A. Wei, and Y.-Y. Won, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 4(4), 1872-1877 (2012)

“A Study of the Air-Water Interfacial Properties of Biodegradable Polyesters and Their Block Copolymers with Poly(ethylene glycol): Toward Rational Design of a Polymeric Lung Surfactant,” H. W. Park, J. Choi, K. Ohn, H. Lee, J. W. Kim, and Y.-Y. Won, Langmuir, 28(31), 11555-11566 (2012)

“Poly(ethylene oxide) Chains Are Not “Hydrophilic” When They Exist as Polymer Brush Chains: A Conclusion Drawn from a Self-Consistent Field Theory-Based Analysis of Neutron Reflectivity and Surface Pressure-Area Isotherm Data,” H. Lee, D. H. Kim, K. N. Witte, K. Ohn, J. Choi, B. Akgun, S. Satija, and Y.-Y. Won, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 116(24), 7367–7378 (2012)

“Reduced Water Density in Poly(ethylene oxide) Brushes,” H. Lee, D. H. Kim, H.-W. Park, K. Kim, M. Meron, B. Lin, and Y.-Y. Won, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 3, 15891595 (2012)

“A Discussion of the pH-Dependent Protonation Behaviors of Poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) and Poly(ethylenimine-ran-2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) (P(EI-r-EOz)),” H. Lee, S. H. Son, R. Sharma, and Y.-Y. Won, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 115(5), 844-860 (2011)

“Influence of Nano-Carrier Architecture on In Vitro siRNA Delivery Performance and In Vivo Biodistribution: Polyplexes vs. Micelleplexes,” D. J. Gary, H. Lee, R. Sharma, J.-S. Lee, Y. Kim, Z. Y. Cui, D. Jia, V. D. Bowman, P. R. Chipman, L. Wan, Y. Zou, G. Mao, K. Park, B.-S. Herbert, S. F. Konieczny, and Y.-Y. Won, ACS Nano, 5 (5), 3493-3505 (2011)

Recent Invited Lectures

"Triblock Copolymer Micelle-Based DNA/siRNA Delivery," Departmental Seminar, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, April 22, 2008.

"Triblock Copolymer Micelle-Based DNA/siRNA Delivery," Departmental Seminar, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, February 28, 2008.

"Triblock Copolymer Micelle-Based DNA/siRNA Delivery," Departmental Seminar, Department of Chemistry, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, November 30, 2007.

"Polymer Nanoparticle-Based Gene Delivery," KIChE-US Chapter Outstanding Young Investigator Award Seminar, Open Forum for Korean American Chemical Engineers, AIChE Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, November 7, 2007.

"Triblock Copolymer Micelle-Based DNA/siRNA Delivery," Departmental Seminar, Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, November 5, 2007.

"Mixed Polyelectrolyte and Neutral Polymer Brushes: Fundamentals and Applications," 3M Tech Forum, 3M Company, St. Paul, MN, June 4, 2007.

"Mixed Polyelectrolyte and Neutral Polymer Brushes: Fundamentals and Applications," Medtronic Forum, Medtronic Inc., Minneapolis, MN, June 5, 2007.