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S. Michael Kilbey II

Michael Kilbey.

S. Michael Kilbey II


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Michael Kilbey.

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  • PhD, University of Minnesota (1996)
  • BS, University of Wisconsin (1990)


Michael Kilbey.

S. Michael Kilbey II received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1990 and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the University of Tennessee (UT), he was on the faculty of Clemson University in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering for 11 years. Mike is active nationally with ACS and AIChE, and a member of Sigma Xi.


Michael Kilbey.

The principal area of Kilbey’s research is surface and interface engineering using soft materials. We focus on studying the intrinsic links between assembly, structure and properties of ultrathin polymer films at surfaces and of molecular assemblies in solution. Our challenge is to understand the design rules whereby controllable, precise syntheses coupled with the ability to manipulate molecular assembly and intermolecular interactions lead to new and useful structures, properties, and products. We use a variety of characterization methods to probe structure and interactions on length scales approaching molecular dimensions, including surface forces measurements and neutron reflectivity, and we also use in situ ellipsometric measurements to track dynamics of assembly and changes in solvated structure of surface-tethered polymer thin films.

Areas of Research Expertise:

  • Assembly-structure-property relationships of polymer brushes made by self-assembly and by surface-initiated polymerizations
  • Swelling behavior of stimuli-responsive polymer layers and dynamics of preferential adsorption of amphiphilic block copolymers
  • Surface behavior and characterization of conducting polymer thin films


  • Jia, L., Kilbey, S. M., & Wang, X. (2020). Tailoring Azlactone-Based Block Copolymers for Stimuli-Responsive Disassembly of Nanocarriers. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, 36(34), 10200-10209. doi:10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c01681
  • Mapesa, E. U., Street, D. P., Heres, M. F., Michael Kilbey, S., & Sangoro, J. (2020). Wetting and Chain Packing across Interfacial Zones Affect Distribution of Relaxations in Polymer and Polymer-Grafted Nanocomposites. Macromolecules. doi:10.1021/acs.macromol.0c00399
  • Coote, J. P., Kinsey, T., Street, D. P., Kilbey, S. M., Sangoro, J. R., & Stein, G. E. (2020). Surface-Induced Ordering Depresses Through-Film Ionic Conductivity in Lamellar Block Copolymer Electrolytes. ACS Macro Letters, 9(4), 565-570. doi:10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00039
  • Street, D. P., Mah, A. H., Ledford, W. K., Patterson, S., Bergman, J. A., Lokitz, B. S., . . . Kilbey, S. M. (2020). Tailoring Interfacial Interactions via Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles Improves Performance of Parts Created by 3D Printing. ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2(3), 1312-1324. doi:10.1021/acsapm.9b01195
  • Sabury, S., Collier, G. S., Ericson, M. N., & Kilbey, S. M. (2020). Synthesis of a soluble adenine-functionalized polythiophene through direct arylation polymerization and its fluorescence responsive behavior. Polymer Chemistry, 11(4), 820-829. doi:10.1039/c9py01142k
  • Sabury, S., Adams, T. J., Kocherga, M., Kilbey, S. M., & Walter, M. G. (n.d.). Synthesis and optoelectronic properties of benzodithiophene-based conjugated polymers with hydrogen bonding nucleobase side chain functionality. Polymer Chemistry, 2020, 11, 5735-5749. doi:10.1039/d0py00972e
  • Street, D. P., Ledford, W. K., Allison, A. A., Patterson, S., Pickel, D. L., Lokitz, B. S., . . . Michael Kilbey, S. (2019). Self-Complementary Multiple Hydrogen-Bonding Additives Enhance Thermomechanical Properties of 3D-Printed PMMA Structures. Macromolecules, 52(15), 5574-5582. doi:10.1021/acs.macromol.9b00546
  • Kilbey, S., & O'Connell, C. E. (2019). Synthetic Development and Optical Characterization of Fully Conjugated Poly(purine)s. Oak Ridge.
  • Kilbey, S., & Ledford, W. (2019). Properties of 3D Printed PMMA Structures. Oak Ridge.
  • Kilbey, S., & Sabury, S. (2019). Fluorescent Responsive Behavior of a Soluble Adenine-Functionalized Polythiophene Synthesized via Direct Arylation Polymerization. Oak Ridge.
  • Kilbey, S., Ledford, W., & Street, D. (2019). Effects of Hybrid Additives on the Thermomechanical Properties of PMMA Parts Printed by Fused Deposition Modeling. Knoxville.
  • Kilbey, S. (2019). Molecular Dynamics and Glass Transition in PMMA/Silica Composites. Boston.
  • Street, D. P., Mah, A. H., Patterson, S., Pickel, D. L., Bergman, J. A., Stein, G. E., . . . Kilbey, S. M. (2018). Interfacial interactions in PMMA/silica nanocomposites enhance the performance of parts created by Fused Filament Fabrication. Polymer, 157, 87-94. doi:10.1016/j.polymer.2018.10.004
  • Lee, Y., Aplan, M. P., Seibers, Z. D., Xie, R., Culp, T. E., Wang, C., . . . Gomez, E. D. (2018). Random Copolymers Allow Control of Crystallization and Microphase Separation in Fully Conjugated Block Copolymers. Macromolecules, 51(21), 8844-8852. doi:10.1021/acs.macromol.8b01859
  • Ramirez, R., Woodcock, J., & Kilbey, S. M. (2018). ARGET-ATRP synthesis and swelling response of compositionally varied poly(methacrylic acid-co-N,N-diethylaminoethyl methacrylate) polyampholyte brushes. Soft Matter, 14(30), 6290-6302. doi:10.1039/c8sm00882e
  • Ahn, S. K., Nam, J., Zhu, J., Lee, E., & Michael Kilbey, S. (2018). Solution self-assembly of poly(3-hexylthiophene)-poly(lactide) brush copolymers: Impact of side chain arrangement. Polymer Chemistry, 9(23), 3279-3286. doi:10.1039/c8py00627j
  • Kilbey, S. (2018). Neutron Reflectometry Views Thin-Film Chemistry—Structure, Reactive Modification and Entropic Death.
  • Kilbey, S. (2018). Enhancing Thermomechanical Performance of FDM-Printed Parts by Molecular Engineering.
  • Wang, X., Davis, J. L., Aden, B. M., Lokitz, B. S., & Kilbey, S. M. (2018). Versatile Synthesis of Amine-Reactive Microgels by Self-Assembly of Azlactone-Containing Block Copolymers. Macromolecules, 51(10), 3691-3701. doi:10.1021/acs.macromol.8b00405
  • Aden, B., Street, D. P., Hopkins, B. W., Lokitz, B. S., & Kilbey, S. M. (2018). Tailoring Surface Properties through in Situ Functionality Gradients in Reactively Modified Poly(2-vinyl-4,4-dimethyl azlactone) Thin Films. Langmuir, 34(18), 5204-5213. doi:10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b00195
  • Kilbey, S. (2018). Tailoring Interfaces in Polymer-grafted Nanocomposites: Nanoscale Instructions for 3D-Printed Performance.
  • Kilbey, S. (2018). Linking Design, Structure, and Properties of Complex Conjugated Polymers for Optoelectronic Applications.
  • Kilbey, S. (2018). Using Computation to Guide the Development of Novel Polymeric Ligands: Pyridine-terminated Poly(3-hexyl thiophene)s to Stabilize P3HT/Nanocrystal Blends.
  • Seibers, Z. D., Le, T. P., Lee, Y., Gomez, E. D., & Kilbey, S. M. (2018). Impact of Low Molecular Weight Poly(3-hexylthiophene)s as Additives in Organic Photovoltaic Devices. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 10(3), 2752-2761. doi:10.1021/acsami.7b13078
  • Kinsey, T., Mapesa, E. U., Wang, W., Hong, K., Mays, J., Kilbey, S. M., & Sangoro, J. (2018). Impact of Molecular Architecture on Dynamics of Miktoarm Star Copolymers. Macromolecules, 51(14), 5401-5408. doi:10.1021/acs.macromol.8b00624