Jean Duhamel, PEng

Jean Duhamel, PEng
Professor, Director (Institute for Polymer Research)
Location: C2 169
Phone: 519-888-4567 x35916


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.

Research Interests

  • Characterization of macromolecules by fluorescence
  • Colloidal particles
  • Chain folding using fluorescence
  • Smart Materials
  • Biomaterials, Polymers and Bioplastics
  • Biochemistry and Biophysic
  • Bionanotechnology and Biosensors
  • Soft Matter
  • Devices and Analytical Methods
  • Smart and Functional Materials


  • 1989 Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, France
  • 1987 M.Sc., Chemical Engineering, Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, France
  • 1987 B.Sc., Chemical Engineering, École Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques, France


  • 2021 Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award, Chemical Institute of Canada
  • 2013 Outstanding Performance Award
  • 2007-2011 Renewed Tier-2 Canada Research Chair
  • 2002-2006 Tier-2 Canada Research Chair
  • 2002-2006 Premier Research Excellence Award


  • 2010 Organizer and Chair of an MSED symposium at the 2010 CSC conference in Toronto.
  • 2008-2009 Senator, University of Waterloo
  • 2002-2009 Canadian Coordinator of the Trans-Atlantic Science Student Exchange Program for the E.U.-Canada consortium at the University of Waterloo
  • 2009 Invited Editor for the Can. J. Chem. special issue in honour of Prof. Mitchell A. Winnik

Professional Associations

  • Director of the Institute for Polymer Research
  • Member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Director, Institute for Polymer Research
  • Member, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology


  • CHEM 370 - Introduction to Polymer Science
    • Taught in 2021, 2022, 2023
  • CHEM 392A - Research Project 1
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • CHEM 392B - Research Project 2
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • CHEM 400 - Special Topics in Chemistry
    • Taught in 2020, 2021, 2022
  • CHEM 770 - Principles of Polymer Science
    • Taught in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • CHEM 773 - Selected Topics in Polymer Chemistry
    • Taught in 2020, 2021, 2022
  • MNS 322 - Polymer Materials
    • Taught in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Little H, Wang J, Duhamel J, Li X, Nagula M, Maurizot V, Huc I. Simplification in the Acquisition and Analysis of Fluorescence Decays Acquired with Polarized Emission for Time-Resolved Fluorescence Anisotropy Measurements. Analytical Chemistry. 2019.
  • Wang J, Little H, Duhamel J, Li X, Markandeya N, Maurizot V, Huc I. Application of Time-Resolved Fluorescence Anisotropy To Probe Quinoline-Based Foldamers Labeled with Oligo (phenylene vinylene). Macromolecules. 2019 Jul 24;52(15):5829-37.
  • Patel S, Seet J, Li L, Duhamel J. Detection of Nitroaromatics by Pyrene-Labeled Starch Nanoparticles. Langmuir. 2019 Sep 9;35(40):13145-56.
  • Gholami K, Jiang S, Duhamel J. Probing the Interactions between Mimics of Pour Point Depressants (PPDs) and Viscosity Index Improvers (VIIs) in Engine Oil Using Fluorescently Labeled PPDs. Macromolecules. 2019 Mar 18;52(7):2651-8.
  • Zhang Q, Kim D, Li L, Patel S, Duhamel J. Surfactant Structure-Dependent Interactions with Modified Starch Nanoparticles Probed by Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Langmuir. 2019 Feb 5;35(9):3432-44.


  • 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.