Dr Lukas Michalek

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Role in the Centre

As a materials scientist, Lukas Michalek is connecting advanced soft matter materials design with precise materials characterisation methods. His research work focuses especially on the combination of experimental and theoretical investigation of polymeric materials properties and the in situ investigation of dynamic changes in such systems. The coupling of surface sensitive measurement methods (e.g. AFM, QCM) with wavelength tuneable UV/Vis lasers is an essential requirement for these precise material testing applications. Lukas is particularly interested in investigating the influence of molecular interactions on materials performance.

Within QUT’s Centre for Materials Science, Lukas is contributing fundamental research from the precise analysis of single molecules (AFM based Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy – SMFS) to the testing of macroscopic materials properties for soft matter materials.

Short Biography

Dr Lukas Michalek is a postdoctoral fellow (since 2019) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Prof. Christopher Barner-Kowollik’s team. Lukas undertook his PhD studies (2017-2019) at QUT under the supervision of Prof. Barner-Kowollik after his MSc and BSc studies (2011-2016) in Material Science at the University of Stuttgart. His PhD research focused on quantifying macromolecular growth and hierarchical structuring on interfaces. He submitted his PhD thesis in less than 2.5 years (9 publications) and contributed to more than $350,000 AUD in research funding as investigator or co-investigator. Lukas’s research expertise is on the development and precise characterisation of novel dynamic soft matter materials. He is correlating advanced materials characterisation methods to investigate how molecular processes influence and change material properties. As a starting early career researcher (roughly half a year post PhD), he has already established a strong track record in the field of quantitative surface characterisation (12 publications).

Selected Publications

“Polymer on Top: Current Limits and Future Perspectives of Quantitatively Evaluating Surface Grafting” Michalek, L.; Barner, L.; Barner-Kowollik, C. Adv. Mater. 2018, 30, 1706321.

“The Long and the Short of Polymer Grafting” Michalek, L.; Mundsinger, K.; Barner-Kowollik, C; Barner, L. Polym. Chem. 2019, 10, 54-59.

“Quantifying Solvent Effects on Polymer Surface Grafting” Michalek, L.; Mundsinger, K.; Barner, L.; Barner-Kowollik, C. ACS Macro Lett. 2019, 8, 800-805.

“Access to Disparate Soft Matter Materials by Curing with Two Colors of Light” Bialas, S.; Michalek, L.; Marschner, D.E.; Krappitz, T.; Wegener, M.; Blinco, J.; Blasco, E.; Frisch, H.; Barner-Kowollik, C. Adv. Mater. 2019, 31, 1807288.

“Adaptable and Reprogrammable Surfaces” Goldman, A.S.; Boase, N.R.B.; Michalek, L.; Blinco, J.; Welle A.; Barner-Kowollik, C. Adv. Mater. 2019, 31, 1902665.