Evgueni E. Nesterov

Representative Publications

Kei, P.; Howell, M. T.; Chavez, C. A.; Mai, J. C.; Do, C.; Hong, K.; Nesterov, E. E.  Kinetically controlled formation of semi-crystalline conjugated polymer nanostructures. Macromolecules 2021, 54, 2162-2177.

Ducharme, G. T.; LaCasse, Z.; Sheth, T.; Nesterova, I. V.; Nesterov, E. E.  Design of turn-on near-infrared fluorescent probes for highly sensitive and selective monitoring of biopolymers. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 8440-8444.

Wang, C.-H.; Nesterov, E. E.  Amplifying fluorescent conjugated polymer sensor for singlet oxygen detection.  Chem. Commun. 2019, 55, 8955-8958.

Chatterjee, S.; Karam, T. E.; Rosu, C.; Wang, C.-H.; Youm, S. G.; Li, X.; Do, C.; Losovyj, Y.; Russo, P. S.; Haber, L. H.; Nesterov, E. E.  Silica – conjugated polymer hybrid fluorescent nanoparticles: preparation by surface-initiated polymerization and spectroscopic studies.  J. Phys. Chem. C 2018, 122, 6963-6975.

Chiang, C.-H.; Pangeni, D.; Nesterov, E. E. Higher energy gap control of fluorescence in conjugated polymers: turn-on amplifying chemosensor for hydrogen sulfide.  Macromolecules 2017, 50, 6961-6966.

Youm, S. G.; Hwang, E.; Chavez, C. A.; Li, X.; Chatterjee, S.; Lusker, K. L.; Lu, L.; Strzalka, J.; Ankner, J. F.; Losovyj, Y.; Garno, J. C.; Nesterov, E. E.  Polythiophene thin films by surface-initiated polymerization: mechanistic and structural studies.  Chem. Mater. 2016, 28, 4787-4804.

Nesterova, I. V.; Briscoe, J. R.; Nesterov, E. E. Rational control of folding cooperativity in DNA quadruplexes.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 11234-11237.

Chavez, C. A.; Choi, J.; Nesterov, E. E. One-step simple preparation of catalytic initiators for catalyst-transfer Kumada polymerization: synthesis of defect-free polythiophenes. Macromolecules 2014, 47, 506-516.

Imsick, B. G.; Acharya, J. R.; Nesterov, E. E. Surface-immobilized monolayers of conjugated oligomers as a platform for fluorescent sensors design: the effect of exciton delocalization on chemosensing performance.  Adv. Mater. 2013, 25, 120-124.

de Silva, K. M. N.; Hwang, E.; Serem, W. K.; Fronczek, F. R.; Garno, J. C.; Nesterov, E. E. Long-chain 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene/thiophene oligomers and semiconducting thin films prepared by their electropolymerization. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2012, 4, 5430-5441.

Hwang, E.; Lusker, K. L.; Garno, J. C.; Losovyj, Y.; Nesterov, E. E. Semiconducting polymer thin films by surface-confined stepwise click polymerization.  Chem. Commun. 2011, 11990-11992.

Choi, J.; Ruiz, C. R.; Nesterov E. E. Temperature-induced control of conformation and conjugation length in water-soluble fluorescent polythiophenes.  Macromolecules 2010, 43, 1964-1974.

Acharya, J. R.; Zhang, H.; Li, X.; Nesterov, E. E. Chemically modulated ratiometric fluorescence in end-capped oligo(p-phenylene ethynylene)s.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 880-881.

Hwang, E.; de Silva, K. M. N.; Seevers, C. B.; Li, J.-R.; Garno, J. C.; Nesterov, E. E. Self-assembled monolayer initiated electropolymerization: a route to thin-film materials with enhanced photovoltaic performance.  Langmuir 2008, 24, 9700-9706.

Li, J.; Kendig, C. E.; Nesterov, E. E. Chemosensory performance of molecularly imprinted fluorescent conjugated polymer materials.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 15911-15918.

Functional Organic Materials and Polymers

The development of functional organic materials is a rapidly growing area of science, which promises to replace traditionally used materials with the cheaper and better-performing materials, and often brings about new applications never considered before. Our group pursues a “bottom-up” approach that starts from a thorough design of a molecule possessing a desired property, and then converting this molecule into a bulk material or device. Many of our materials are designed to be controlled by light. Such materials may find use in nanoscale electronics, photonics, molecular computing, sensors, biological imaging and in a variety of other fields. This multidisciplinary research program combines contemporary and traditional areas of physical organic and synthetic organic chemistry, theoretical and computational chemistry, materials and macromolecular chemistry. Some of the current projects are outlined below. Additional projects, not mentioned here, include design of new switchable contrast agents for MRI, near-infrared fluorescent biolabels, etc.

 Figure 1

Conjugated polymers represent a unique class of organic materials which can be readily tuned or modified for a desired application, spanning from chemo- and biosensing devices to light-emitting diodes and lasers with tunable emission color. Using controlled polymerization strategies recently developed in our group, we succeeded in preparation of a series of amphiphilic block copolymers like the one shown in the Figure above. This polymer incorporates red-fluorescent central unit with the attached two green-fluorescent conjugated polymer chains. This design brings about the possibility of controlling emission color of the polymer by external stimuli (such as temperature or solvent), or through supramolecular assembly to nano- and mesoscale architectures. In another project, we develop novel molecularly imprinted fluorescent conjugated polymer (MICP) materials. Such materials can be used as sensitive and selective fluorescent chemosensors that can be “pre-programmed” for the detection of almost any target analyte of interest (Figure below).

Figure 2

In a quest to develop a universal approach to thin-film ratiometric fluorescent chemosensors, we investigate a general phenomenon of controlling photoexcitation energy migration in end-capped π-electron conjugated systems (Figure below). When a target analyte binds to the receptor at the end of the rigid conjugated system, it perturbs the HOMO-LUMO gap of the receptor, which results in alteration of the energy transfer and causes redistribution of the intensities of the two emission bands (ratiometric, color-changing effect). This phenomenon, operating at a molecular level, can be used to make thin-film macroscopic sensors by covalent immobilization of these sensor molecules on a solid surface to form a monolayer. By choosing appropriate receptors for the analytes of interest, a wide variety of color-changing sensors can be prepared. The example shown in the Figure below is a thin-film sensor for amino acid cysteine – an important bioanalytical target to monitor. A different way to design conjugated polymer fluorescent sensors is to apply a novel “higher energy gap” principle that we are developing in our group.

Figure 3

We work on a promising methodology to control morphology of polymer thin films for use in organic electronic devices. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop a modular, “bottom-up” strategy to surface-immobilized nanostructured semiconducting polymer thin-film materials with hierarchically controlled molecular organization. This strategy is based on surface-initiated in situ polymerization through simple and efficient chemistries (such as metal-catalyzed controlled polymerization and other chemical routes which are being currently developed in the lab). As shown in the Figure below, this strategy produces nanostructures of semiconducting polymers which can be further used to prepare efficient and durable optoelectronic devices.

Figure 5

Presidential Research, Scholarship and Artistry Professor
La Tourette Hall 318

Educational Background

B.S. – Moscow State University (1992)

Ph.D. – Moscow State University (1996)

Postdoc – Univ. of Wisconsin Madison (1998-2002), Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (2002-2004)

Research Interests

Experimental and theoretical organic chemistry, functional organic materials and polymers, physical organic chemistry and photochemistry.