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
- Quantifying the Level of Intermacromolecular Interactions in Ethylene-Propylene Copolymers by Using Pyrene Excimer Formation. Pirouz, S.; Duhamel*, J.; Jiang, S.; Duggal, A. Macromolecules 2015, 48, 4620-4630.
- DiPyMe in SDS Micelles – Artefacts and their Implications on Micellar Properties. Fowler, M.; Hisko, V.; Henderson, J.; Casier, R.; Li, L.; Thoma, J.; Duhamel*, J. Langmuir 2015, 31, 11971-11981.
- A Pyrenyl Derivative with a Four Atom-Linker that Can Probe the Local Polarity of Pyrene-Labeled Macromolecules. Farhangi, S.; Duhamel, J. J. Phys. Chem. B 2016, 120, 834-842.
- Probing Side Chain Dynamics of Branched Macromolecules by Pyrene Excimer Fluorescence. Farhangi, S.; Duhamel, J. Macromolecules 2016, 49, 353-361.
- Long Range Polymer Chain Dynamics Studied by Fluorescence Quenching. Farhangi, S.; Duhamel, J. Invited Perspective to Macromolecules (Journal Cover; accepted) 2016.
- Membrane Binding and Oligomer Formation by the Calcium-Dependent Lipopeptide Antibiotic A54145: A Quantitative Study with Pyrene Excimer Fluorescence. Zhang, T. H.; Taylor, S.; Palmer, M. Duhamel, J. accepted to Biophysical J. 2016.
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
- 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