Jean Duhamel is well recognized for his expertise at applying fluorescence techniques to characterize synthetic or biological macromolecules and their supramolecular assemblies at the nanoscale in solution and in the solid state. DNA, peptides, polypeptides, dendrimers, or polymeric surfactants are examples of the types of macromolecules which are being currently studied in this laboratory.
He is the Director of the Institute for Polymer Research at the University of Waterloo.
- Characterization of macromolecules by fluorescence
- Colloidal particles
- Chain folding using fluorescence
Jean Duhamel and his research team are characterizing the behavior of polymers in solution using a variety of techniques. Among those techniques, fluorescence and particularly pyrene excimer fluorescence (PEF) is certainly the workhorse of their research. Most polymers are synthesized and fluorescently labeled in the laboratory. The research projects aim at modeling the internal dynamics in solution of a variety of polymeric backbones ranging from vinyl polymers to polyolefins and including polypeptides using fluorescence decay measurements. The applications of these techniques to retrieve structural information about polypeptides as random coils and helices are also being investigated.
Solutions of associative polymers have peculiar viscoelastic properties which have found applications in the oil and paint industries. The origin of these properties is rooted in the level of association of water- and oil-soluble associative polymers which can be determined by fluorescence. Several projects apply PEF to answer these questions.
Specific applications: Application of fluorescence techniques to characterize chain folding, the associative strength of water- and oil-soluble associative polymers, the interactions between gemini surfactants and DNA, or the associations between associative polymers and colloidal particles.
Jean Duhamel teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Course offerings have included topics in polymer science, thermodynamics, fluorescence and macromolecular science.
Recent publications include
Temperature Response of Aqueous Solutions of Pyrene End-Labeled Poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide)s Probed by Steady-State and Time-Resolved Fluorescence. Fowler, M.; Duhamel*, J.; Qiu, X. P.; Korchagina, E.; Winnik*, F. M. J. Polym. Sci. B, Polym. Phys. 2018, 56, 308-318.
Quantitative Characterization of the Molecular Dimensions of Flexible Dendritic Macromolecules by Excimer Excimer Fluorescence. McNelles, S.; Thoma, J.; Adronov*, A.; Duhamel*, J. Macromolecules 2018, 51, 1586-1590.
Temperature-Controlled Interactions Between Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) Mesoglobules Probed by Fluorescence. Fowler, M.; Duhamel*, J.; Qiu, X.-P.; Korchagina, E.; Winnik*, F. M. Macromolecules 2018, 51, 1946-1956.
Long Range Polymer Chain Dynamics of Highly Flexible Polysiloxane in Solution Probed by Pyrene Excimer Fluorescence. Thoma, J. L.; Duhamel*, J.; Bertocchi, M. J.; Weiss*, R. G. Polymers 2018, 10, 345/1-345/15.
Pyrene Excimer Fluorescence as a Direct and Easy Experimental Means to Characterize the Length Scale and Dynamics of Polypeptide Foldons. Casier, R.; Duhamel*, J. Macromolecules 2018, 51, 3450-3457.
Application of Pyrene Fluorescence to the Characterization of Hydrophobically Modified Starch Nanoparticles. Kim, D.; Amos, R.; Gauthier*, M. Duhamel*, J. Langmuir 2018, 34, 8611-8621.
Hydrophobic and Elastic Forces Experienced by a Series of Pyrene End-Labeled Poly(ethylene oxide)s Interacting with Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate Micelles. Raimbault, J.; Casier, R.; Little, H.; Duhamel*, J. Macromolecules 2018, 51, 5933-5943.
Arborescent Poly(L-glutamic acid)s as Standards to Study the Dense Interior of Polypeptide Mesoglobules by Pyrene Excimer Fluorescence. Hall, T.; Whitton, G.; Casier, R.; Gauthier*, M.; Duhamel*, J. Macromolecules 2018, 51, 7914-7923.
Quantifying the Level of Intermacromolecular Interactions by Using Pyrene Excimer Formation. Sheng Jiang, Akhilesh Duggal, Jean Duhamel, Solmaz Pirouz. U.S. Pat. Appl. Publ. (2016), US 20160077012 A1 20160317.
Awards and Distinctions
- Outstanding Performance Award, 2013
- Renewed Tier-2 Canada Research Chair, 2007-2011
- Tier-2 Canada Research Chair, 2002-2006
Premier Research Excellence Award, 2002-2006
University of Waterloo Affiliations
- Director of the Institute for Polymer Research
- Member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
Professional Associations and Service
Organizer and Chair of an MSED symposium at the 2010 CSC conference in Toronto.
Canadian Coordinator of the Trans-Atlantic Science Student Exchange Program for the E.U.-Canada consortium at the University of Waterloo, 2002-09
Chair of the Committee (Physical Sciences) for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship Selection, 2009
Invited Editor for the Can. J. Chem. special issue in honour of Prof. Mitchell A. Winnik, 2009
The following news stories have featured Jean Duhamel's research:
1989 PhD Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, Nancy, France
1987 MSc Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, Nancy, France
1987 BSc Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques, Nancy, France, Chemical Engineering