Texas Tech University

Dr. Samantha L. Kristufek

Title: Assistant Professor

Education: Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2017;
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia, 2017-2018;
Postdoctoral Associate (2019 Misrock Postdoctoral Fellow), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018-2021

Research Area: Polymer, Materials, & Organic Chemistry, Sustainable Materials

Office: ESB2 - 310D

Phone: 806-834-1612

Email: samantha.kristufek@ttu.edu

Webpage: Research Group

Principal Research Interests

We are designing sustainable materials for next-generation applications in plastics, agriculture, engineering, and biomedicine.

Sugar-based Polymers with a Close-Loop Lifecycle: Sustainable monomers towards advanced engineering applications

Inefficient current recycling processes and by-products with little value from newly designed degradable materials are problematic. Designing systems with a closed-loop lifecycle will dramatically improve the recycling process. Sugar chemistry has been well explored over the last 50 years, making it an excellent toolbox in designing sustainable monomers. We propose rationally designed sugar-based for a series of broad applications, including bulk materials (thermoplastics and thermosets) and delivery of small molecules and macromolecules towards agricultural and biomedical applications.

Polyphenolic Catechol Motifs for the Development of Ordered Polymers: Expanding the scope of natural product-based monomers and their applications in biomedicine

Emulating higher-order function that is displayed in Nature has been the driving force for many synthetic efforts. Leveraging the multitude of interactions undergone by the catechol, compounds will be designed polymerization then their self-assemblies will aid in the exploration of complex biomedical applications.

Programing Natural Product-based Platforms: Making sustainable materials more accessible

Transforming bespoke natural product-based monomers and polymers into well-studied, accessible platforms will expedite their use in everyday objects and expand the fundamental understanding of these materials. PolyBOT, a high throughput tool with machine learning integrations, will be designed for the exploration of libraries of sustainable polymers.

Representative Publications

  • Rahim, Md. A.; Kristufek, S. L.; Pan, S.; Richardson, J. J.; Caruso, F. Phenolic Building Blocks for the Assembly of Functional Materials. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 58 (7), 1904–1927. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201807804
  • Kristufek, S. L.; Wacker, K. T.; Tsao, Y.-Y. T.; Su, L.; Wooley, K. L. Monomer Design Strategies to Create Natural Product-Based Polymer Materials. Nat. Prod. Rep. 2017, 34 (4), 433–459. https://doi.org/10.1039/c6np00112b
  • Kristufek, S. L.; Yang, G.; Link, L. A.; Rohde, B. J.; Robertson, M. L.; Wooley, K. L. Synthesis, Characterization, and Cross‐Linking Strategy of a Quercetin‐Based Epoxidized Monomer as a Naturally‐Derived Replacement for BPA in Epoxy Resins. ChemSusChem 2016, 9 (16), 2135–2142. https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.201600392

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry